Meet the Team

Today’s donors have high standards. Their nonprofit of choice must offer vision, ethics, excellence and impact. Small wonder, then, that today’s nonprofits search out fundraising counsel with those same traits. That’s why we founded K2 Consulting Group. We are fundraising and marketing experts, providing services that differentiate your organization, engage your constituents, build your capacities and achieve your goals.

Kathy Kraas

President and Founder
K2 Consulting Group

For more than 30 years, Kathy Kraas has guided some of the nation’s most well regarded nonprofit institutions through periods of high growth and organizational turnaround. As a creative strategist with a can-do approach, Kathy has produced exceptional results for institutions of every size and focus, including education, health and human service organizations and foundations and associations.

In the mid 1980’s Kathy was hired to open and market the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles’ flagship Ketchum-Downtown YMCA on Bunker Hill. The YMCA surpassed its membership goals by 25% in the first week of operation. Within a few months of employment, Kathy was assigned the fundraising portfolio as well, an experience that provided insight into Los Angeles’ greatest social service needs. By lifting the needs of downtown’s less fortunate residents to the attention of those who wanted to make a difference, Kathy helped the Y set a national record for both annual campaign income and number of volunteers among Y’s, engaging 300 volunteers in solicitation. The record is yet to be broken!

Recruited to lead development at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, a then $80 million operation, Kathy oversaw fundraising for 33 individual YMCAs. Over the succeeding years the Y multiplied its annual fund, built three new YMCA’s, made needed renovations at each branch and successfully completed a $65 million campaign. Kathy’s role as strategist and advisor to YMCA executives and board leaders provided an exceptional laboratory for consulting.

National-Louis University, a Chicago-based university with seven campuses in three states and a business school partnership in Poland, approached Kathy in need of its own growth strategy. As Senior Vice President of External Relations, she helped hone NLU’s brand, rebuild its external relations functions, augmented the university’s board with Chicago civic leaders, and launched a new marketing campaign that reversed an enrollment slide.

In forming K2 Consulting Group in 2003, Kathy built on her 18 years in senior leadership positions and capitalized on her extensive experience in building new development programs, engineering organizational turnarounds and executing large, multi-site campaigns

“… insightful strategist with a can-do approach …”


Kathy’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, included a year of study at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She proudly retains her Spanish language proficiency and sustains her interest in international relations through travel; to date, she has explored 53 countries.

She pursues continual professional development through programs offered by University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, BoardSource, and the Association of Philanthropic Counsel. She received her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) status in 1995 and recertifies every three years. She is also certified by the Institute of Cultural Affairs as a facilitator in the Technology of Participation (ToP) method.



Girl Scout Cookie Sales “Top Producer”

Doug Diefenbach

Senior Counsel

Doug’s expertise as a creative nonprofit story teller and marketing guru is a critical compenent to our fundraising success strategies for our clients. For more than 30 years Doug has helped a wide range of organizations develop, meet and exceed their goals for brand visibility, constituent engagement and philanthropic revenue.

Doug formerly served with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national network of more than 450 community-based human service organizations. As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Philanthropy he led the intersection of all external affairs and institutional advancement functions, including individual and planned giving, grant writing and stewardship, corporate sponsorships, business development, marketing, public and media relations, government relations communications, content development and graphic design.


Improvisational genius … with a day job

“… a creative story teller and marketing guru …”


Prior to that he served as Vice President of Campaign Strategy and Communications for Advocate Charitable Foundation, the fundraising arm of Advocate Health Care, one of the nation’s top healthcare systems. He directed the foundation’s strategic planning, campaign development and message alignment for its capital campaigns on behalf of Advocate’s 12 hospitals.

Before joining Advocate, Doug was Associate Vice President at Lipman Hearne Inc., where he consulted with a wide array of local and national non-profits on marketing communications assignments including case statements, campaign themelines and brochures, communications audits, marketing plans and institutional positioning initiatives.

Doug is a graduate of Miami University. He founded and led (and until all too recently performed at) The Playground Improv Comedy Theater in Chicago, the nation’s only not-for-profit improv co-op theater, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017.

Sian Sutcliffe

Associate Consultant

Sian brings development experience, curiosity, and immense professionalism to her role with K2 Consulting Group. Drawing on her background with arts organizations and independent schools, Sian is actively involved in K2’s campaign planning studies, campaign management services, development assessment, and planning projects. Sian’s insights, communications, superb attention to detail and interpersonal skills contribute to a range of client-facing fundraising consulting services as well as behind-the-scenes team support to ensure the highest quality experience for our clients. An engaged listener and active partner, Sian is flexible to changing ideas and needs, a fundamentally important asset in the course of a campaign.

Sian has worked in corporate and foundation relations for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as well as Reading in Motion in Chicago. Following her tenure at Reading in Motion, she managed the Lycée Français de Chicago’s development department, including the annual campaign, which increased in revenue by 166 percent in one year.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Sian graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and Literatures. She received her Master of Arts in Visual Arts Administration from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.

Sian resides with her husband and two young children in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. She and her family can often be found in Museum Campus, with the Field Museum some days feeling like a second home. Sian enjoys volunteering with her children and supporting local charities. She and her husband are actively involved with The Night Ministry, a non-profit organization that provides housing, healthcare, and human connection to members of the community who are struggling with homelessness.


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