Monica Patten has been appointed as the new interim director of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Resources for Mission department. Photo: Art Babych
Monica Patten, chair of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Resources for Mission (RfM) Committee, has been named as interim director of the RfM department, succeeding Vianney Carriere, who announced that he will resign from his role as director as of Jan. 1.
Patten has a wealth of experience in philanthropy and fundraising for charitable organizations. She was president and CEO of the Ottawa-based umbrella organization Community Foundations Canada (CFC) for 20 years, during which time the organization reports growing from having 28 member foundations with assets of $500 million to 170 members with assets totaling $3 billion. In 2013, she was named as a member of the Order of Canada for “her leadership in the voluntary sector and stewardship of charitable giving.” She also received the Anglican Award of Merit, the highest honour given to lay people for contributions to the life and work of the church on a national or international level, in 2010.
Patten also knows the Anglican Church of Canada and its financial landscape well. In addition to serving as the chair of the RfM Committee, she also chaired General Synod’s financial management committee for six years. Following her retirement from CFC, Patten began work as campaign co-chair of the diocese of Ottawa’s “Growing in Faith Together” campaign, which raised about $12.1 million for parishes, the diocese and the national church over about two years.
Patten lives in Ottawa and remains actively involved with a continuation phase of the Ottawa campaign, and therefore says she plans to do much of her work remotely, supplemented with time in the church’s national offices in Toronto when necessary, particularly in January as she begins her new role and establishes her relationship with the staff.
According to the announcement from the general secretary Michael Thompson, the reason for this change in the department’s leadership is a “recognition of the changing needs and directions of the department. Mr. Carriere’s term was mean to solidify the department as a team and formulate guiding principles under which it would go forward. A recent operational review of the department noted that Mr. Carriere had achieved those goals, and that the deparment is now poised to benefit from leadership with expertise, a track record in fundraising and development, and that is grounded in the life of the church.”
The operational review, conducted during 2012 and presented to the Council of General Synod in November was based on interviews conducted with 15 individuals, including staff from the RfM, parishioners and donors from parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada. Murray McCarthy of Ministry and Money International, a fundraising and consulting firm based in Toronto, conducted the review and presented the report. One of its recommendations was that the RfM department required a full-time director with revenue generation as a single priority.
Carriere, who continues in his role as director of General Synod’s Communications and Information Resources (CIR) department, was first appointed as interim director of the RfM department in 2010 and later named as director, in addition to his other responsibilities.
Carriere told the Journal that he was “asked to lead the department in order to build a coherent team and work on communications. I accept the Operation Review’s comment that at this time, different skills are needed to move the work along and so I step aside.”
He added that a great deal has been accomplished during his three-years heading the department. “The staff now do work as a team, have a much higher profile throughout the church, and we have established guiding principles such as stewardship development, diocesan services and partnerships that are commonly accepted and for which the need grows,” he said. “We have moved beyond a straightforward search for money, to offering services for the whole church.”
He plans to remain a RfM staff member to assist the team and Patten and “to enhance the natural synergies that exist between RfM and CIR,” he said. “The transition with Monica as interim chair and Bishop [Robert] Hardwick [diocese of Qu’Appelle] as chair of the coordinating committee provides us with energy and vision as we start the triennium. I am excited by the prospects and I believe staff are as well.”
In an interview with the Journal, Patten said the review was not a directional document that could be implemented directly, but as a “document that has stimulated good conversation” and that “has surfaced interesting ideas for us to pursue and we will pursue them.”
Though it would be premature to discuss any specific initiatives, Patten said, the team will focus on relationships with donors and dioceses, as well as building on operational infrastructure such as the database. “I’m really excited about the potential of building on partnerships within the overall framework of General Synod, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Foundation would be two that come to mind,” she said. “We already have relationships and partnerships in place, I want to take a look at that and see where we can develop them even more effectively.”
Editor’s note: A correction has been made to the quote from the General Secretary’s announcement.