Communications Leader, Marketing Strategist, Innovative Fundraiser

  • Passionate about telling stories across channels to advance missions and brands.
  • Track record of building successful digital marketing and fundraising strategies from the ground up.
  • Specializes in digital content creation, compelling social media campaigns, effective copywriting, and fruitful media relations.
  • Online fundraising leader with experience attracting new leads, stewarding communities and converting new donors
  • Experienced manager and dynamic teammate who thrives on collaboration, experimentation, and creativity.

Matt Paolelli is the development marketing director at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a new role that blends his marketing expertise with his fundraising savvy to effectively craft development campaigns supporting the essential work of Bishop Barron’s evangelization ministry. In his first six months, he helped raise more than $1.2 million and began implementing the ministry’s first formal direct mail program.

Matt previously served as senior director of marketing and communications for the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, one of the largest Catholic seminaries in the United States. He oversaw all of the university’s communications efforts including media relations, website content, social media, email communications, multimedia content, events marketing, and digital advertising. His work attracted thousands of new email subscribers, raised thousands of dollars in online donations, and spread awareness of the seminary’s work to new audiences through social media campaigns and online events.

He has also served as the senior manager of strategic communications for Catholic Extension, a non-profit organization that raises funds for poor Catholic dioceses around the country. His social media campaigns were recognized with “Best in Class” awards from the Associated Church Press and the Religion Communicators Council.

Paolelli earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism. He later worked at Medill as a teaching technologies specialist, where he instructed students and faculty in multimedia software, Web technology and content management systems. He then worked as a Web content producer for Northwestern University Relations, where he produced hundreds of multimedia news features as well as created and managed the University’s social media presence. He also produced a half-hour documentary that aired on the Big Ten Network. See Multimedia Work

As a freelance reporter, Matt wrote extensively for The Daily Herald. As a blogger and columnist, his work has appeared in U.S. Catholic magazine, Medill Magazine, Northwestern Magazine, Motherly, Fatherly, Aleteia, The Grotto Network, and the Catholic News Service. See Writing Samples

He spent seven years teaching journalism and multimedia reporting as an adjunct professor at Medill and is the proud recipient of the 2014 Medill Students’ Choice award from across all faculty members. He was named to the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll three times. When he’s not doing any of that, he’s hanging out with his wife and four kids, rooting for the Chicago Cubs and the Northwestern Wildcats or posting on his blog.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn. He does not actually speak in the third person.