We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Klaassens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For more than 7 ½ years I was an executive for a family foundation that went way beyond typical grantmaking activities. I became actively involved in the nonprofit sector and essentially functioned as the “connector” to help coordinate and facilitate philanthropy in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. As an executive for the foundation, I was fortunate to meet and work with key individuals and community leaders with hundreds of businesses, foundations and nonprofits. These connections provided the opportunity to gain a better understanding not only of the needs of the community and the nonprofits, but also to learn the interests of the individuals, businesses and foundations that want to help the community. This information was, and is, invaluable in allowing me to provide a unique perspective on the populations and communities we serve and it allows me to better coordinate the interests of benefactors with those of the nonprofits. Six years ago, my entrepreneurial spirit was calling and I founded Jen Klaassens Consulting. I am a purpose driven human, so I created a purpose driven niche firm that that focuses on streamlining effective giving for private family foundations, businesses, and high net worth individuals. In addition, we concentrate our efforts on coaching nonprofits to maximize their revenue to more effectively further their mission.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Foundations, corporations, and nonprofits look to Jen Klaassens Consulting (JKC) when they need a partner in designing effective granting making, corporate philanthropic initiatives or defining nonprofit fundraising strategies. With a proven record of success, we can amplify your reach and impact on the community, which also results in stronger foundations, corporations, and nonprofits. Challenges arise when you are trying to make the world a better place, it is a lofty and vital goal. While it is true that bold philanthropic initiatives do not always yield big advances, small, cautious efforts rarely do. When it comes to being a change agent you must act boldly and ask bold questions. Transform from the more conventional “check book giving” to thinking strategically about how to achieve better outcomes in society and continuously look for gaps and opportunities where resources can be applied to tackle long-term social goals.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love what I do, but I live for the weekends especially when girlfriends come and visit. I work hard and play harder. It is amazing what I can pack into those two days off to make the most of my weekend. A little rest, recharge, a ton of fun, and some form of accomplishment must be had like cleaning my closet so I can donate my clothes to those in need. I strive to create lasting memories when my girlfriends are in town. We must check the box with a beach walk followed by breakfast at Java & Jam on Las Olas. Next on the list, is a trip to Auberage Spa followed by spending the rest of the day on the beach which concludes with champagne & the sunset. Back to the condo we go to get ready for cocktails at Salt 7 on the New River and dinner at my current favorite restaurant – Takato on the beach. And then hello Monday and back to the grind.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
You have no business without clients, and they are a huge part of my journey and story. I dedicate this shoutout and give thanks and gratitude to our clients who inspire us every day to do give more and do more for our community. Helping our clients succeed builds stronger communities. We share the same goal which is to leave the world a better place than we found it. It is a lot of work to achieve this goal, but the great part is that we get to do it together.
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