Name: Kevin Dooley
Where were you born?
I was born in 29 Palms, CA and I grew up in Lake Havasu City, AZ.
What is a short story about the biggest transition you have faced in your life?
I have always felt called to be a servant leader, and in 2009 I founded a wine tasting event to help my alma mater. My initial effort was to create a wine tasting experience for alumni to return to campus while raising funds for much-needed scholarships. What I discovered that first year was that I needed to put my energy behind a cause that I cared about. In 2010 I made the choice to leave a sales and marketing career to work with nonprofit organizations. The biggest transition from the experience was that I needed to start from the ground up and learn the ropes of how nonprofit organizations thrive (or survive), and what a great consultant can do to help them reach their goals. Taking the risk in making a career change was worth it, and it has lead me to The Honor Foundation today. The small wine tasting, scholarship fundraising event is in its 11th year and has raised more than $500,000 for student scholarships.
What is one piece of advice you would give a younger you?
Say YES more often! Yes to helping others. Yes to taking risks. Yes to understanding a different perspective or opinion. Yes to new experiences. Saying yes almost always provides new opportunities for success.
Top Five Strengths Finder Strengths and how they influence you?
Strategic | Woo | Self-Assurance | Positivity | Ideation
Military connection or Why do you respect special operations?
I have tremendous respect for the SOF community because this community asks for little or no recognition for the sacrifice and the service, they (and their families) provide to protect our nation and our freedom. This gives me great motivation to support their transition into civilian life by sharing the THF experience with those who can provide the life-changing financial support our fellows need. My father was a physician in the Navy and worked at the hospital at 29 Palms Marine base. Shortly after my birth, we traveled to Philadelphia and Pensacola where my father completed his internship and residency as an ophthalmologist. I also have a nephew that attended West Point and is on his way to becoming a Ranger in the Army. Additionally, I have another nephew who will graduate from high school this year and head off to basic training as he prepares to become a Cyber Operations Specialist. I am also close to many of my fellow New Mexico Military Institute Jr. College classmates who served or are serving in one the military branches today.
Favorite THF Value and Why?
Bold Behavior. I believe that when one makes the decision to be bold, your true authentic personality is revealed. When working with families or donors, I have learned to be truthful and to not be afraid to talk about what is needed and how they can help make a difference beyond financial support. They become lifelong fans and donors so long as you continue to be bold and authentic along the way.
Area / Industry of Expertise.
I have more than 10 years of experience fundraising, leading teams, and providing counsel to a diverse set of nonprofit organizations across the country. I have played a significant role in helping raise more than $50 million over that time and as Sr. Director of Development for THF, I hope to continue to inspire others to hear the story of THF and to meet the amazing leaders the SOF community provides this great nation.