The Development Offices are structures inside the provinces whose ministry is to invite people to join the mission of the Society by encouraging them to provide some of their time, money, knowledge skills, or prayer.

The purpose of the Development Offices Network is to establish cooperation and communication among the Directors of the Development Offices. It provides the space for sharing good practices and learning from each other. It allows to discover new tools and improve competences for fundraising, but also helps to grow spiritually and strengthens understanding of the fundraising as part of the Jesuit mission.

JCEP facilitates the cooperation and communication among the Development Offices in Europe as well as encourages provinces without one to establish their Development Office, which would improve efforts for local philanthropy, sustainability of resources and Society as a whole. Certainly, new Development Offices are invited to join the Network.

The networking of the European Development Offices is encouraged by the General Treasurer’s office and supported by the President of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials. A first meeting took place in Drongen, Belgium, in 2018. The meetings created space for sharing good practices, learning from each other and networking. They made us feel part of the Ignatian family, strengthened cooperation and improved our understanding of fundraising in the Jesuit mission. Therefore, last year, a new Steering Committee (Annamária Jacsó - HUN, Lucie Constant – EOF, Gražvydas Bareišis – LIT, and Herminio Rico - JCEP) was encouraged to resume these gatherings, because all earlier participants agreed that meetings are useful and inspiring.   For the first reunion on Friday, May 7, the Steering Committee invited everyone who was actually doing practical work of fundraising at Province level. 7 Provinces were represented by Jesuits or lay professionals. During the first reunion attendees had the chance to hold a short personal and professional introduction and establish professional relationships. Our goal was to address the actual issues and topics being faced by fundraisers.  The next online meeting was held on Friday, September 24. This time the General Treasurer, Thomas McClain SJ, based on the General's letter "On Our Benefactors and the Province's Development Offices", elaborated on the primary and secondary goals of the development offices. He helped the participants to understand clearly the language, the strategies that will enable provinces to seek donations, and focus on establishing long-term, and fruitful relationships with friends. He assured the participants about the assistance of the General Treasurer’s Office. Daniel Villanueva SJ presented the history and the role of the Xavier Network. The participants had the chance to better understand the organization and its fundraising strategy and scope. It was concluded that the Xavier Network and the Development Offices are complementary networks of the mission and development work of the Society of Jesus. In the future the representatives of the XN and DOs will have the opportunity to help each other and create synergies. We were very grateful for those who were able to attend the virtual meeting of the fundraisers' network. Looking forward to the future cooperation!
The third meeting of European Jesuits and lay collaborators working in fundraising gathered at Oude Abdij Drongen last week.  Twenty participants from twelve provinces met to share learning from each other’s successes and failures, and to receive inputs from industry experts. “St Ignatius was a great fundraiser.  Many of his letters were to donors, asking for money, to be sure, but more importantly, thanking them and explaining diligently to them how their money had been spent. He recognized that important truth that fundraising is not principally about money but about relationship and partnership in mission,” said Fr Jorge Serrano SJ, Fr General’s Assistant Treasurer for Development.   Fr Jorge reminded the group of the history of Jesuit networking in fundraising.  His role was created in 2007 by Fr Kolvenbach, at which time across the world there were twelve development offices, of which ten were in the USA, also home to the only Jesuit fundraisers’ network.  Now there are 60 offices worldwide and each conference has its own network.  Europe has been a relatively late developer in this field, with fundraising mainly focused on missions and international development, and most provincial development offices being established less than five or six years.  Delegates from France, Slovenia and Austria were in the process of setting up provincial development offices, while Ireland is still discerning. Fr Jose de Pablo SJ, Socius of the Jesuit Conference of European Provincials, led a workshop in which groups looked closely at ways to reach their audiences, including internal audiences. He observed, “The Jesuit conference supports groups in ministries with the expectation that they will first get to know each other and share problems and solutions, then begin to collaborate, and ultimately plan together.  Collaboration and planning is crucial as the Society faces diminishing numbers across Europe; we have to be smarter and more effective in everything we do.” Other inputs were from John Chandler and Ryan Bergin from the development office of St Ignatius Prep School in Chicago. They described the Ignatian journey offered to their alumni and parents which combines opportunities to give, to belong to an extensive social and professional network and to receive ongoing faith formation for themselves and their families.  They raise around $10 million each year. “Giving is important and people want to show their support in this way,” explained John, “but feeling a part of the Ignatian family is also highly valued.” Finally, fundraising consultant Friederike Hofmann reminded the group of Henry Rosso’s definition of fundraising – “the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”