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Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Announces Formation of Department of Development

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Announces Formation of Department of Development

Date: March 15, 2005


Sean Buscay, Department of Communications and Information (717-687-9087)


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The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCA) announced it has established a Department of Development (fundraising) effective January 2005.

After a wide search, Ruth Ann Skaff was appointed Director of Development. Notified of her selection, she said,

“To serve our Holy Orthodox faith and faithful professionally is a dream come true. It’s definitely time to enhance our fundraising efforts and realize our capacity as an Orthodox Christian community so we can better evangelize and ‘do unto the least of these’. I’m grateful, humbled and excited.”

The Archdiocese’s newest department will raise funds in support of the all the Archdiocese’s numerous programs, with special emphasis this year on Youth Ministry, Mission and Evangelism, and Christian Education, as identified by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip. Board of Trustees member Dr. Joseph Samra of Cumberland, Rhode Island chairs the newly formed Development Committee.

The goal is to increase both the amount of operational and endowed funds raised for approved Archdiocesan programs as well as the sources of revenue. The department is soliciting unrestricted and restricted donations. In 2005 the department will focus on three programs:

a) major gift solicitations;

b) launching a planned giving bequest campaign to be called “Leave a Lasting Legacy – Remember the Church in Your Will”;

c) and further research regarding potential foundation grants.

Ms. Skaff is a seasoned fundraiser. She spent ten years in Memphis, Tennessee, with the fundraising arm of world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, America’s largest childhood cancer research center. She had a range of national and international responsibilities, and remains an active volunteer for this noble charity. While in Memphis she attended St. John the Evangelist Orthodox Church.

Most recently Ms. Skaff raised funds and collected artifacts for the first-ever Arab American National Museum, spearheaded by the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS). The 34-year old nonprofit is headquartered in Dearborn (metro Detroit), Michigan. Construction and the initial $16,000,000 capital campaign were both completed on time; the grand opening is slated for May 5, 2005.

Ms. Skaff graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and immediately joined the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in Marrakech, Morocco. Teaching and later directing a charity for handicapped children in Marrakech led her to a career in the non-profit sector. Ms. Skaff has served as staff and as a volunteer board member for large and small charitable and advocacy organizations. Her first grassroots organizational training came as Texas coordinator for the newly formed American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) upon returning to her hometown of Houston after Peace Corps.

A “priest’s kid”, she grew up in the heart of the Antiochian Orthodox church community. Her parents served several Midwestern parishes and two in Texas - Beaumont and Houston. Ms. Skaff has a life-long commitment to pan-Orthodox cooperation, instilled from her parents. A Dame in The Order of St. Ignatius, Ms. Skaff resides in metro Washington, DC. She serves on the parish council of Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Ms. Skaff is working full time and can be reached at:

Ruth Ann Skaff, Director

AOCA Department of Development

c/o Ss. Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church

10620 River Road

Potomac, MD 20854

Phone: 301 765-7001

Toll free: 866 765-7001

Fax: 301-765-6267