Kathy approaches every client engagement with a fresh perspective, open-mind, curiosity and can-do approach. She sees her client’s potential from another point of view and skillfully works side by side with every organization to achieve their ambitious goals.
She brings 20 years of experience as owner of K2 Consulting Group and as a fundraising career professional guiding some of the nation’s most well-regarded nonprofit institutions through periods of high growth and organizational turnaround. As a creative strategist who works well with ambiguity, Kathy has produced results for institutions of every size and sector within the nonprofit world.
How did you become a fundraiser?
My parents will attribute my start to being the top Girl Scout cookie salesperson in Jr. High, however, I owe my career to the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCA for hiring me as a very young (in my 20’s) marketing and development director for their yet-to-be-opened flagship new Y in downtown Los Angeles. Their exceptional training and mentorship coupled with my determination and ambition were a good match.
How did you gain your skills as a consultant?
Two positions readied me for consulting. Senior leadership positions within the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, a then $80 million operation, and National-Louis University – both complex organizations with 33 branches and seven campuses in three states respectively. In addition to building teams, we were in consultative roles with the individual centers for which we were responsible for developing strategy, providing training, and ensuring that their fundraising goals were met. This included their annual campaigns, a comprehensive $65M capital campaign and individual building campaigns. Both positions required an overhaul of fundraising, building a team and boards, metrics management, helping branch executives learn new skills and coaching them along in their campaigns – essentially the role of a consultant.
What are you most proud of upon celebrating K2’s 20th anniversary?
Three things stand out:
First: I come from a family full of professionals, not entrepreneurs and business owners. I never saw myself as as owning a business but the time came when the decision to form K2 Consulting Group was obvious to me. Upon renewing our license annually, I marvel that the business is still going strong.
Second: I am extremely proud of our work product and results. We’re not always successful in changing beliefs about approaches, however, we receive a tremendous amount of gratitude from clients for opening new horizons, engaging volunteers, coaching staff, and identifying new donors.
Third: I think about the professionals I’ve coached over the years and see how their careers have progressed. This gives me so much pleasure. I stay in touch with many of them and love that.
It can’t be all work and no fun. What do you do when you are not working?
LOL. Not working?
Those who know me well, know that I love traveling nationally and globally. I think I’ve been fortunate to visit 67 countries. It was my Junior year of study in Mexico City that changed my life, gave me an additional language skill, and opened my horizons. I share that love of adventure with my husband, whether it’s adventure travel, a geopolitical, historical, or ecological focus. I’ve maintained my relationship with the family I lived with in Mexico and my Spanish-speaking ability.
I’m also as active as can be in federal and state political campaigns. My field of study at UCLA was Political Science, so I guess you could say I’m pursuing my education in some form.