Marketing, PR & Advertising, Nonprofits, and Technology

Online platform helps nonprofits

Kennari Consulting and Well Design Studio hope to have video series ready next month.

January 24, 2020
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Kennari Consulting has experienced major growth in its nonprofit client base over the past decade, but to manage that growth while still delivering to its clients, it has partnered with Well Design Studio to build an online video series for clients to learn on their own, as well.

Kennari Consulting approached Well Design Studio at the beginning of 2019 to figure out a way to expand its business model. At the time, the business was run on a traditional consulting model: attract clients through relationships and word of mouth, propose a scope of project and make a sale.

“We knew we wanted to do something additional to our business line,” said Laura Kruisenga, COO for Kennari Consulting. “We recognized our current model isn’t set up to meet the needs of every nonprofit.”

The firm knew its traditional model was not able to scale to help smaller nonprofits that didn't have a big budget, but also, it wasn’t accessible geographically for clients outside of the state.

Kruisenga said Kennari has grown substantially since its inception 13 years ago but working face to face with clients becomes difficult while trying to manage growth.

Based on 2019 numbers, Kennari had more than 100 contracts with different organizations. 

Kruisenga said while Kennari’s client concentration is in West Michigan, there are a handful sprinkled around Michigan and a couple outside of the state.

“Our staff doesn’t really want to be traveling, and we felt like we need to be on the ground in our current model,” Kruisenga said. “Us being face to face with our clients is really valuable … but this other tool allows us to impact nonprofit communities in a different way and, for sure, in a larger geographic space.”

Kruisenga said Kennari sent out an RFP and chose Well Design out of three separate marketing firms.

The new business model, branded Fundkit – Powered by Kennari Consulting, is a video training and tutorial platform for nonprofits, fundraising professionals or even committee members to learn more about the fundraising.

“Some of the folks we’ve been talking to are hosting an evening event, and they have a host committee,” said Josh Leffingwell, partner at Well Design, “and they just want those folks to understand how to run an event.”

Leffingwell said the program is course-based with courses consisting of around 10 videos lasting five to eight minutes each. The platform also includes homework, templates and other tools.

Well Design is considered a contractor on Fundkit, while the project is entirely owned and run by Kennari, Leffingwell said.

Kennari launched the beta version of Fundkit in December with plans to launch formally around the end of February.

The first two courses on the site teach developing a major donor program for a nonprofit and developing evening events for a nonprofit. The video series is $149 for an individual or $200 for a company.

Leffingwell said Kennari and his studio are beta testing the platform with a select group of Kennari clients, but other users are welcome to use the site and give feedback prior to launch.

The course program also is useful for Kennari to quickly onboard new employees with the skills outlined in the video courses.

“It was really fun to work with the folks at Kennari because we work with a ton of nonprofits already,” Leffingwell said, “but it’s helped us understand events so much more and how to run a major donor program that much more, and as we work with the clients, we’re now able to pass along some of the information (Kennari is) providing.”

Leffingwell said Fundkit will expand to include dozens of courses in the future.

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