The National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) will close its Washington, D.C., office next week after slightly more than 50 years of operation. The three-person national office will close on Wednesday and the largest association of charitable religious fundraisers will fold into the The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA), formed last year.
“For several years, NCDC has struggled financially as an organization. The Board of Directors has come to the conclusion that we can no longer financially sustain our mission under our current organizational structure,” President and CEO Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF, said in a message to supporters today. “Our shared mission and community is soon to re-emerge as part of a larger umbrella organization, The NonProfit Alliance,” she said in a letter co-signed by TNPA CEO Shannon McCracken.
“Although our mission as an association has not changed over the years, our organizations, our church, the nonprofit community and our world has changed in many ways since 1968. NCDC has adapted to the changing needs of its members by diversifying our programs, providing more resources and advocating on behalf of our membership in a number of different ways,” Lehmuth said.
Established in 1968 as the Catholic Fundraising Conference, NCDC sponsored its 50th annual conference last fall in Chicago, Ill., but will not host a conference in Nashville, Tenn., this year as originally planned. Instead, members were invited to attend the TNPA’s conference in spring 2020.
“As part of this larger community, we still will be able to continue to learn, stay informed, network with each other in the context of faith,” Lehmuth said. “While we will be closing one door, we will be opening another door that will continue the mission for which NCDC was originally founded. More excitingly, we will be able to expand that mission to be more inclusive of those who like us, minister in faith-based organizations,” she said.
Lehmuth had planned to step down in December 2018, with a national search under way aiming to find a successor by October 2019. She had served in the role since 2001. NCDC relocated its headquarters to Washington, D.C., in July 2015 after many years in Hempstead, N.Y.
“This is a moment of regeneration and new life for us,” she said. “We hope all of our members will choose to join us as we re-emerge to begin our next 50 years.”