Though 2018 is well underway, it’s still a little hard to believe! We at Kennari are excited to enter a new year – both for our own company and for the many nonprofit clients we serve. With the new year comes new possibilities – new initiatives – new successes – new stories of impact. Now we know that also means new challenges – new restraints – new obstacles – new complications. But, it wouldn’t be the industry we know and love if it was too easy!

In 2017, the Kennari Consulting team added five new members. We were grateful to add such high caliber people who were willing to jump in and join us in helping our clients move their missions forward. We continue to offer services in four main areas: campaigns, annual fund, grant writing, and strategic planning. We were also able to present at various conferences and groups on several facets of fund development and the critical role it plays within nonprofits.

As we celebrated the close of 2017, we were privileged to welcome Steve Wilson, President of the Frey Foundation, to present at our Holiday Luncheon. He shared that grant makers give gifts in three basic categories: Responsive, Collaborative, and Catalytic. Responsive grants are often transactional and given within defined guidelines to provide basic services. Collaborative grants have shared expectations and offer mutually beneficial partnerships. Catalytic grants look at systemic problems and partner to solve larger scale problems.

Though grant makers will likely always support all three of those categories, many, including the Frey Foundation, are continuing to seek more opportunities to make Catalytic Grants for long-term solutions. We were also all reminded to ask questions when meeting with funders: What are their goals? How do they see their funding changing in the next 5 years? What challenges do they currently have? Steve reminded us that fundraising, especially from foundations, should be a conversation, not just a presentation.

But most importantly, looking back on 2017, we celebrated many client successes. Whether it was the finish of a capital campaign, a transformational grant award, an implemented strategic plan, a wildly successful donor acquisition event, or just the first time an organization finally got a newsletter out, we have had much to celebrate with our clients. We are honored to partner with the staff and volunteers of so many organizations who truly are making a difference in their communities.

As we look ahead to all that 2018 can be, we are excited and ready. And we hope you are too!