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Development as Personal Relationship with Bill Maloney

By September 28, 2022December 29th, 2022podcast, Steier Tips

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In the Gospel, Jesus fed 5,000 with only five loaves and two fish. After the crowd was satisfied, there were 12 wicker baskets left over. God provides the abundance. In each episode of this podcast, we will explore, with pastoral leaders and development professionals, all the many ways God meets the spiritual and temporal needs of our parish communities, our Catholic schools and the diocesan church. And not only meets those needs but provides in abundance.

The seventh episode of the podcast is Development as Personal Relationship with Bill Maloney.

During his early career in banking, Bill Maloney decided to step out of accounting and take the Dale Carnegie Class on Human Relations, which led him to push through his introversion and make strategic recommendations to bank management and colleagues. This opened the door to development, which Bill emphasizes is premised on strong personal relationships.

Bill has learned that while approaching major donors can be intimidating and risky, it’s important to remember that we all share a common human nature and need for God. When we can tap into that reality and get past trappings and exteriors, confidence grows. We’re all on the same path. Personal relationship at the heart of development work is the key to avoiding popular misconceptions that fundraising is simply a sales job or commercial exchange. Development, Bill says, is an invitation to participate in something great. You feel good about that. And for the invitation to have a favorable response, there needs to be trust. For those who work in diocesan fundraising, parochialism can be a challenge; to earn the trust of the faithful, it’s important to be involved in one’s own parish and identify with those invited to support the diocese. Also important is to educate parishioners across the diocese that giving to diocesan needs is, in fact, supporting one’s own parish as well. And, of course, building trust as a foundation to personal relationship is not something done quickly but only patiently with the passage of time.

In his archdiocese, Bill and his team have implemented several strategies to keep communications with donors frequent to build relationship. Each week they place a huge number of phone calls to parishioners across the diocese for no other reason than to say “thank you.” While seemingly a small thing, it’s rarely done and its impact is significant. Bill also began monthly emails to the entire archdiocesan database in which he shares personal stories and invites others to share their personal stories as well. He crafts and tailors a minimum of three emails every day to send to donors. Each September the archdiocese sends a request to have people provide prayer requests to the archbishop who then prays over them in his home. Bill continues to be amazed at how these efforts have generated a very great response. Unless you open yourself up to others and let others know you, Bill notes, others will be hesitant to do the same.

Guest: Bill Maloney
Title: Executive Director of the Office of Stewardship & Development, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas

Previous episode: Shepherding and Stewardship in a Vast Diocese with Bishop Peter Christensen

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