I can’t believe that we have already reached the 10-year mark. It seems like just yesterday that I started Kennari Consulting working by myself as a sole practitioner. Now here we are, a team of ten, having served almost 140 clients and helping them raise millions of dollars to support their important missions.
I could talk about a lot of things, but I want to mention three important lessons I’ve learned in these ten years.
- Listening is critical. As we’ve grown, we’ve added many services because our clients were asking for them. We grew because we listened to what our clients have needed to grow their capacity. And for our clients, listening is just as critical. The better they listen to and understand their donors, the better job they do of engaging people in their mission. Engaged people contribute more gifts to the organizations they love.
- Relationships drive action. Donors are better champions and advocates for an organization when they are engaged in the mission. Our clients who adopt this philosophy have seen tremendous success. I also continue to see this dynamic evolve in the overall funding community, in powerful collaborations between nonprofit organizations, and in public-private partnerships. It really is true: “Connectedness matters.”
- Change is constant. After the economic downturn of 2008, donors became more discerning about their giving and how they give. So I have seen many shifts in the philanthropic landscape. They include a new emphasis on planned giving, a greater role for public-private collaborations, an increased focus on endowment funding for stability, the rise of online giving, and much more. It just goes to show that fundraising is not a static profession. We must be in tune with the donor community, and ready to adapt our processes and tools to respond quickly to changes as they happen. A good consultant is always learning.
I could say more, but the most important thing I can say is this: thank you. Thank you to our faithful clients for partnering with us to succeed. Thank you to funders who give so generously to support their communities. Thank you to board members who give selflessly of their time and talents so that the organizations they serve can thrive. And thank you for allowing us to walk alongside you for these past 10 years. It has been a privilege and a joy.
Kennari Consulting celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary on February 2, 2017.