On February 2, Kennari Consulting celebrates its 15th anniversary and its commitment to its mission; to change the face of philanthropy, moving nonprofits of all sizes to greater capacity and meaningful impact within the communities they serve. This year the celebration of our work begins an exciting new phase in our company’s history. Long time COO (and first employee) Laura Kruisenga is now President and CEO, and the new owner, of Kennari Consulting! In passing the torch to Laura, founder Sandi Frost Steensma is thrilled to have the company in such good hands and knows Laura is the perfect leader for Kennari Consulting after 11 years of working together.

Sandi started Kennari Consulting in 2007 (then known as Parrish Consulting) because she saw the need for more customized fundraising support for nonprofit organizations. After a couple years of being a solopreneur, Laura suggested they team up, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Together, they have built Kennari into what it is today – a team of 13 dedicated staff, a thriving internship program, and at any given time, about 75 active clients. 

Sandi will be staying with Kennari Consulting as a consultant, continuing to work with clients and community partners.  She’ll be phasing down her time over the next 5 years and may partner in an advisory/training role beyond that as well.  

Sandi is grateful for her time with Kennari and for this transition, reflecting:

When I look back over the past 15 years, I feel incredibly proud of the accomplishments of our team at Kennari Consulting. What started with just me and my flip phone has grown into a successful consulting business with nonprofit clients throughout Michigan and beyond. It has always been the work and the achievements of our nonprofit clients that motivates and inspires me on a day-to-day basis. I am grateful to have had a job where I am excited to do the work each and every day, and to be continuing in that work as I phase down my time with Kennari over the next five years.

And probably most important, I’m thankful to be passing the leadership of Kennari Consulting to Laura Kruisenga. She has helped me “build the plane” (and not while we are flying it!).  We agreed on strategic direction and she has built the company’s infrastructure to support our mission, which has not changed. I am confident that under her leadership, the company will continue to grow and will continue to be a resource to our nonprofit clients.

Laura is excited about the future, sharing:

I am incredibly grateful and privileged to lead Kennari Consulting into this next chapter. When I look back at where we started, the many incredible clients and partners we’ve worked with over the years, and the amazing staff we have, it’s humbling. It’s also gone so fast. Many days – and years – have felt like a pretty wild ride – we’re moving fast and constantly adapting. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! And I have had the privilege to learn from Sandi every step of the way. She is not only one of the best fundraising professionals I know, but also a valued community leader, talented entrepreneur, and an inspiring mentor. She has trusted me, stood beside me, coached me, and positioned both me and Kennari Consulting to be successful. 

As I look to the future, I’m excited. As the next generation of donors and nonprofit professionals continue to grow in their leadership, Kennari is ready to walk alongside them. We are also committed to doing our part to see real and equitable change in our community and the communities we serve. We’re learning how to ask the hard questions – both of ourselves and of our clients – and leaning into the reality that we still have a lot to learn.  Here’s to the next 15 years!

Laura and Sandi at LaughFest in 2013