In the late 1970’s, there were very few organized development programs for Catholic schools; however, there was an awakening among professionals involved in these schools reflecting the need to find new methods for funding. Boston College High School, Boston, MA, had established a development office in 1971. In the following years others had initiated programs, Catholic Memorial High School, West Roxbury, MA, and Fontbonne Academy, Milton, MA, in particular.
The financial support given to most schools was on a one-on-one, informal basis. As the interest and requests for information and support grew, it was felt that a more structured approach was needed. Accordingly, Boston College High, Fontbonne Academy, and Catholic Memorial sponsored the first development conference, which met at Boston College High School, attended by a few area schools. Follow up meetings were held at various sites.
The new organization was named, New England Association of Catholic Development Officers (NEACDO). Its goal was to offer support to the then over 500 Catholic schools in New England. From the beginning it was an entirely volunteer enterprise funded and carried out by the donated services of its members.
In the early 1980’s, to better serve a wider area, the annual conference was held at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, and benefited from the generous support of the college. A new group of active members led the creation of a more formal organization establishing Bylaws, an Executive Council, and Officers. This group included:
St. Mary's High School, Nashua, NH
Trinity High School, Manchester, NH
Ste Jeanne d’Arc School, Lowell, MA
Bishop Guertin High School, Nashua, NH
an annual conference with relevant speakers and workshops,
an annual newsletter,
smaller meetings in regional areas,
networking opportunities, and
an awards ceremony recognizing significant contributors to the development of Catholic schools.
NEACDO received national recognition from the NCEA, and other organizations, for its unique volunteer structure and its longevity as a source of support for Catholic schools. In its more than 25 year history there have been six presidents representing a wide geographical area and a diverse group of institutions, including:
William A. MacNeill
Sister Ann Moynihan, CSJ
In 2006, NEACDO members were approached by a group of admissions professionals who were trying to form a similar organization. Members of both groups met to discuss the needs and desires of their constituents. Both groups had goals of developing a vehicle for professional education, networking, and sharing ideas and best practices. The outcome of these meetings was that the best solution would be to join together and to share the expertise of people in both areas for growth and strengthening of the Catholic institutions they serve.
In 2008, NEACDO was dissolved and became the Association of Catholic Admissions and Advancement Professionals.
Today: The Association of Catholic Admissions and Advancement Professionals of New England (ACAAP) was established. New Bylaws and a new Mission Statement were drawn up committing ACAAP to the "continued service of Catholic schools and organizations".