The following comes from a July 15 story in the Oakland diocese paper, the Catholic Voice.

A new department has been created that is consolidating various Diocese of Oakland fundraising efforts into a single, more coordinated structure….

The new diocesan department, the Office for Mission Advancement, will bring disparate elements such as second collections, the Annual Bishop’s Appeal and Family Aid Catholic Education school fundraising, under one umbrella.

“Over the last 24 months, two studies were conducted to assess the fundraising and development activities of the diocese and certain diocesan entities,” explained Bishop Michael Barber, SJ, bishop of Oakland. “It was determined through these studies and recommended to the Bishop’s Administrative Council and then-Bishop Cordelione, that a restructuring and consolidation of such efforts occur.

“The goal of this consolidation was to increase the effectiveness of fundraising/development activities and reduce the cost for the dollars being raised. Though the process was initiated before I became bishop, it was strongly supported by then-Bishop Cordileone, and Archbishop Brunett, the apostolic administrator. I wish to add my support for this restructuring and consolidation of the development efforts.”

A new position to lead and coordinate these efforts was approved, and after an extensive national search, Ken Hokenson was named executive director for Mission Advancement effective Jan. 1.

Hokenson brings a solid background in nonprofit fundraising to the diocese. His career has included top fundraising jobs in the archdioceses of Boston and Hartford, the dioceses of Springfield and Providence, at Spring Hill College in Alabama, and United Community & Family Services in Connecticut. Early in his career he worked at the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

During his 10 years in the Archdiocese of Boston, he helped plan, develop and lead a $300 million capital campaign.

Research done last year by the International Catholic Stewardship Council and the firm, Guidance in Giving Inc., indicates the Oakland diocese lags significantly behind comparable dioceses in fund raising and that it was operating with twice as many staff members as needed. The diocese has shed much of its former fundraising staff through attrition.

The Oakland diocese was spending about 26 cents of each dollar raised on development costs; Guidance in Giving estimates it should be spending 15 cents per dollar raised….

Interestingly the size and demographics of the Oakland diocese compare favorably with Sacramento and Providence, where Hokenson has worked.

The bishop has made it clear he wants to see more collaboration and “that we’re not competing with each other,” Hokenson said.

Some organizations will maintain separate operations. “Catholic Charities has its own operation, and it will still have a separate operation, but there will be more collaboration,” he said.

To read the entire story, click here.