The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Located on a sprawling, wooded campus in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a spiritual destination for pilgrims worldwide.
Its mission is to strengthen the union of the human spirit with Christ through Our Lady of Guadalupe and within the glory of the Catholic faith. Originally envisioned by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke in 1995 and dedicated in 2008, the Shrine is a place of ceaseless prayer and spiritual renewal, with a fourfold mission of pilgrimage, spiritual conferences, retreats, and catechesis and evangelization. It now embarks on a period of exciting growth.
To better serve the 80,000 pilgrims who visit yearly, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is in the beginning phase of a capital campaign to build a beautiful retreat house adjacent to the Shrine Church. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe seeks a visionary Director of Development to help guide the Shrine to new heights.
• Be a practicing Catholic with sound knowledge of the Catholic faith;
• An understanding of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the history and activities of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe;
• A passion for and commitment to the mission of the Shrine;
• A strong sense of integrity, poise, and confidence.
• Relational and visionary
• Systematic and operationally-minded
• Analytical and high standards
• Opportunistic and problem-solving
10 + years in nonprofit development, and
• Possess a strong ability to communicate the Shrine’s mission and build personal relationships with prospective and current major donors;
• Demonstrate strong communication skills, both verbal and written;
• Self-motivate and strong follow through in all tasks;
• Display a strong personal work ethic with attention to detail, while affirming and motivating colleagues;
• Possess a history and proven track record of leadership, effective management, and ability to cultivate current and prospective donors;
• Strategically build the Development Department to harmonize development programs with the Shrine’s mission and goals;
• Have the ability and willingness to travel both domestically and internationally;
• Interact comfortably with people of various socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds;
• Be experienced with Raiser’s Edge (preferred).
THE ROLE OF THE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT + STRATEGIC FOCUS
A successful Director of Development will possess the strategic vision to successfully coordinate campaign and fundraising efforts, oversee development personnel, and form strong relationships with the Shrine’s current and prospective supporters. The Director must build up the structures, processes, and relationships that sustain the mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe carried out at the Shrine.
The Director of Development will join a staff of 50 people at the Shrine and be the principle development officer tasked with considerable oversight of donors from all 50 states and over 70 different countries. The Director works for and with Cardinal Burke and the Executive Director, Father Check.
The Shrine is in the early stages of a multimillion-dollar capital campaign of which the singular focus is to deepen the pilgrim journey by the creation of a retreat house. All people—lay and religious—will have an extended sanctuary of prayer and peace at the retreat house for either private or programmatic retreats. The retreat house will serve the church and world broadly by being a center for renewal that apostolates will carry back to their communities.
The Director of Development works primarily in the following categories:
• Design and execute a comprehensive development strategy: conduct annual fundraising, capital campaigns, and planned giving; implement a system of donor solicitation and cultivation that broadens the donor base and adds mid-level and major gifts; and execute strategies for acquiring, managing, and optimizing development software and research tools, including a Raiser’s Edge database.
• Manage fundraising staff, donor portfolios, and grant applications: manage associate development personnel, including Shrine staff and volunteers who may assist with the Development Department; oversee a personal portfolio of donors, along with the donor portfolios of the Executive Director and Founder; seek out public and private granting organizations and apply for grants.
• Bring donors into the life of the Shrine: plan and host donor visits and events at the Shrine and other locations; develop regular travel schedule to meet with current and potential donors.
• Participate actively in the community: Attend religious and liturgical functions of the Shrine, including Holy Mass, rosaries, novenas, and other devotional practices.
THE POWER OF THE PRESENT IN ALL TIME
Nearly 500 years ago, the Virgin Mother of Our Lord, through a gift from God, commenced a series of apparitions to the Chichimec peasant, Saint Juan Diego. She expressed her endearment towards him by calling him “Juanito, Juan Dieguito,” demonstrating the motherly intimacy and maternal care with which she wished to manifest God’s immeasurable and ceaseless love and mercy toward all His beloved children.
Our Lady’s desire to establish a place of pilgrimage so that her children could draw nearer to her Divine Son, Whose mission She eternally shares, extends over nearly five centuries to this day and age, and to this place of pilgrimage in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
All through 2020, the Shrine staff remained steadfast in keeping doors open for pilgrims, encouraging participation in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and serving Our Lady’s mission of mercy—hosting a remarkable 65,000 pilgrims in the year affected by COVID! That work continues what was started 500 years ago.
The quincentenary of the apparitions of Our Lady to St. Juan Diego will come soon, in December 2031. Her message and her maternal solicitude of 1531 remain timely and relevant to us.
THE CRISIS WE FACE TODAY IS NOT DISSIMILAR TO THE ONE OF 500 YEARS AGO IN MEXICO. THE SHRINE IS AN ANSWER TO THE CRISIS AS IT TAKES SHAPES IN OUR PLACE AND TIME IN HISTORY.
The Shrine invites you to prayerfully discern the role you could have as the Director of Development. This opportunity is for the faithful Catholic looking to embed him or herself in an engaged, courageous, and spirit-filled community. The surrounding area is likewise a witness of God’s love—full of majestic rivers and beautiful bluffs, outdoor recreational activities, arts and culture, and lively eateries. For the young professional looking to grow or the family desirous of a Catholic community, the Shrine invites you to apply.
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