By ERIKA ANDERSON-Staff Writer | Published February 9, 2006
Bringing with her a wealth of experience in Catholic dioceses and the nonprofit arena, as well as a great love for the Catholic Church, Lorraine Clarke has been selected as the new archdiocesan director of development. She will begin her new role March 6.
Since 2003, Clarke, 58, has served as the director of resource development for the United Way of Kenosha, Wis. A certified fundraising professional, she has 26 years of experience in all fundraising capacities.
The mother of two adult daughters holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in mathematics from the State University of New York at Potsdam, an associate’s degree in religious studies from Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg, N.Y., and a master’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. In addition, she holds a certificate from the National Institute of Planned Giving at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
Clarke has established three development offices during her career, including the one for the Diocese of Burlington, Vt., where she initiated 12 capital campaigns raising $22 million. Clarke, who has also served for the past 13 years as a master catechist in Catholic parishes, believes strongly in serving the church.
“I have a great devotion to the Catholic Church, and I’m passionate in the belief that the church is really needed today. People are spiritually hungry, and the church has a prophetic and healing role in our world,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back to furthering the mission of the church.”
To ensure the success of the office, Clarke hopes to first get to know the priests and parishes in the archdiocese.
“Personally, I want to build relationships with the parishes, priests and schools in the diocese,” she said. “In Vermont I spent a lot of time working with the parishes and schools in the diocese, and I’m very concerned with building really good, trusting and productive relationships.”
In addition to her work in Burlington and her role at the United Way, Clarke has served in a variety of development roles, including as a grants consultant for Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in Ogdensburg, as a proposal developer and grant writer at the State University of New York at Potsdam, and as the development director for St. Francis Children’s Center in Milwaukee, where she helped to raise over $400,000 for annual scholarships and led a successful $4 million capital campaign.
Prior to her role in the Diocese of Burlington, she served as the director of development and public relations for Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., where she increased the donor base from 12,000 to 53,000 households and the mailing list to 400,000 additional households. Her efforts helped to make Right to Life that state’s largest voluntary advocacy organization and increase annual contributions from $674,000 to $1.7 million.
Father Joe Corbett, vicar general for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, believes that Clarke’s many years of experience will be a great asset to the archdiocese.
“She is a real professional,” he said. “She’s done it all—has a powerful resume of over 25 years of development and stewardship experiences and volunteer commitments.”
Clarke’s great passion for the church will also help to further the mission of the archdiocese, the priest added.
“She is very comfortable with all aspects of diocesan stewardship and development. She is very excited about working with and meeting the people, priests, deacons, staff and volunteers of the archdiocese,” he said. “I am very happy she has accepted the position with us, and I look forward to working with her and learning from her.”
Before she interviewed for the archdiocese Clarke had only been to Atlanta for conferences but said she is looking forward to getting to know the city.
“In all my experience and all my many jobs, I have learned that each job has its own flavor and personality. Certainly the church in New England is different than the church in Wisconsin, and I’m really curious to learn the differences with the church in the South,” she said, adding that she’s already become appreciative of her future city.
“I’ve just been so touched and impressed by the Southern hospitality,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to living in a large city. The city where I live now has a population of about 150,000.”
Her first areas of concern, she said, will be meeting with Catholic department heads and scheduling meetings with the heads of the deaneries to hear their hopes and concerns for her office.
“I’m just really looking forward to coming back to work with the church,” she said.