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AFP Member Spotlight: Tim Maloney, National Director Mercy Ships Canada

July 18, 2018

Raised on the flat Saskatchewan prairie, Tim has a BA from Notre Dame College and a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa. He and his wife Karen, also a fundraiser, are both Rotarians. They make North Saanich, BC home and have a blended family of six, ages 25 to 40 plus 3 grandchildren. Tim tries to live life according to the axiom: “have hope, take risks and seek harmony… but above all be kind.”

Tim MaloneyName: Tim Maloney

Years working and/or volunteering in the nonprofit sector: 35-plus years as of today with hopefully more to come!

What was your first job or defining moment in the sector?

Growing up in a small prairie hamlet, I learned at a young age that if things were going to happen, they needed to be driven by the entire community.  Everyone played their part in making the community stronger for every member. As I moved into larger communities, it became clear to me it is not the number but the willingness of those committed to bettering a community that make the difference. Someone said never under estimate the power of a few—they were right.

What topic needs to be discussed and/or taught to further the fundraising profession?

I firmly believe that money is never the issue. There is lots of money. To access the resources needed to better the communities we work in, be they small or international, fundraisers need to focus on the needs and passions of their donors.  More education is needed in understanding that the most transformational gifts are listened for, not asked for.

Describe a memorable #donorlove moment:

One that stands our was during a door-to-door campaign years ago for the United Way. The mother that opened the door said that she could not afford to support the campaign right now, but thanked us for what we did to make things better for others. From behind her, a young girl peeked out and asked her mom what was going on. Mom said, “It is the United Way looking for funds to help the community,” and then told her daughter she did not have any extra money right now. The little girl said, “wait” and ran upstairs. She returned with a couple of dollars from her piggy bank and said, “I want to give what I can because sharing is caring, right Mom?” I left that door with tears in my eyes, knowing that if people truly hear the story and have the means, their commitment will follow.

How important is mentoring to the nonprofit sector and/or to you personally?

Mentoring, and being mentored, has had a profound impact on my career and my life. These engagements create opportunities to transcend our limitations though sharing knowledge, experience and friendship. There is a simple truth that I learned from a mentor and have since shared many times with those I have mentored: one should “never withhold an invitation for fear it will be turned down." Those of us in the nonprofit sector need to be bold in our thinking and to step beyond our comfort zones. If we do these simple things, we will achieve results beyond our wildest dreams.

How do you define leadership? To lead you must serve.

Last perfect day off?  Mid-April 2018: on the beach south of Cancun, visiting my 4-year-old grandson who lives there. We flew a kite, ate guacamole and chips, played in the surf and sand and laughed like children, sharing time together. What could be more perfect than that?