Five Questions with Sean Maroney

Lotus Campaign
January 19, 2023

Solving homelessness will require scaling to new cities and fast. Enter Sean Maroney, our new Senior Vice President of Development & Strategic Partnerships. Lotus is thrilled to have Sean join our team this month to help create new relationships with supporters, landlords, and companies. Before joining Lotus Campaign, he led the fundraising team for the country’s third largest Habitat for Humanity affiliate and biggest ReStore operator - the same affiliate where he first started volunteering while growing up in the Raleigh area. During his five years on staff, Sean’s strength was leveraging community relationships to develop key alliances and advocating across the affordable housing spectrum. He also helped lead a Global Village team of volunteers to Honduras.

Get to Know Sean Maroney

1. What's your background and how did you come to Lotus Campaign?

A Leadership Raleigh classmate of mine referred me to Lotus during their search for a new director of development. I first learned about Lotus after the recruiter reached out, and I was intrigued by its innovative strategy in the affordable housing space.

2. What inspires you most about Lotus Campaign's model & programs?

I’m all about collaboration, and I love how Lotus’ mission centers on engaging the for-profit sector as a partner. I still can’t help but marvel at the radical simplicity of it. We welcome landlords as part of the solution to homelessness by making it easy for them to step outside their comfort zone. Lotus then leverages their expertise on providing housing and its associated amenities in neighborhoods with strong opportunity structures, so we can empower local nonprofits to maximize their expertise on meeting the non-housing needs for those individuals and families. It’s a win-win for everybody.

3. What's one thing you want people to understand better about homelessness and the housing sector?

No factor matters more to homelessness than access to housing. Poverty, mental illness, addiction, and other issues do play roles, but they pale in comparison to our country’s supply-and-demand problem with affordable housing.

4. Last book you finished.

“Don’t Ask the Blind Guy for Directions: A 30,000-Mile Journey for Love, Confidence, and a Sense of Belonging” by John Samuel. Johnny is the CEO and co-founder of the Digital Accessibility and Inclusion company Ablr, as well as a dear friend and huge source of inspiration. He honored me with the task to voice the audio version of his book, so I’ve read his memoir MANY times over the past few months. You can now get your copy on Spotify, Audible, and Amazon (both audio and print). It’s a powerful story that takes you from the streets of New York City to the offices of India to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, all from the perspective of someone who struggled with losing their sight in childhood and now works to rebuild a world where everyone belongs.

5. If you had to choose one quote that described how you want to live your life, what would it be?

My favorite quote comes from Fred Rogers, popularly known as television’s Mister Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in this world.” I firmly believe that there is no better mission than to help the helpers through one’s time, treasure, and/or talents.