Kara Steffen

The Change Up Group was founded by Kara M. Steffen. Kara entered the nonprofit sector more than a decade ago, ultimately serving as the Director of Development Operations for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a national organization with a $100M+ annual operating budget. In this role she managed a plurality of fundraising operations, and a 23-person development team, emphasizing revenue generation, data management, team development, and department-wide budgeting. Kara’s direct reports raised roughly $10 million in revenue each year, earned through annual giving, corporate philanthropy, and special events. She also managed the operations for the Center’s $70M Capital Campaign.

Since founding The Change Up Group, Kara has partnered with nonprofit organizations in a multitude of service areas to help them address their operational and fundraising challenges. She is well-versed in database management, and the challenge posed by work-arounds that teams employ to compensate for systems that aren’t maximized. Kara employs a pragmatic approach to consensus building and excels in defining and articulating a common vision for stakeholders across organizations.

With The Change Up Group, Kara is applying her talents for strategic planning to support and guide non-profit teams to focus on the delicate balance of mission centric messaging, fundraising objectives, and the operational efficiency that helps drive a successful organization. 

Kara completed a Master’s degree in History at San Francisco State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Northridge. When she is not guiding her clients toward greater success, she can usually be found writing, fishing or watching the Chicago Cubs with her partner,two sons and two rescue boxers.

Peers & Pros

It’s good to know we have friends we can count on, because we couldn’t do it alone. Below is a list of friends and business partners who we call on for expertise when needed. They are “peers and pros” who share our vision and values, and are the best at what they do.

Olympia Ammon
The Olympia Collective

Max Bean
Scout Idea Ranch​

Jane Bloom
Founder & Executive Producer
The Oz Effect​

Marcus Brown
Director, Development Operations
Los Angeles LGBT Center​

Jennifer Dawson
Founder & CEO
Pallas Care​

Rani DeMesme-Anders
Director, Audre Lorde Health Program
Los Angeles LGBT Center​

Lauren Dowling
Lauren Dowling Consulting​

David Esau
Click Track Marketing​

Kelly Freter
Senior Communications Strategist

Ryan Gallagher
Associate Director, Prospect Development
City of Hope​

Jason Hammonds
New Business Executive
Honey Media​

David Hayes
Black Brick Software​

Matt Kamin
Co-Founder, Envision Consulting

Kimiko Martinez
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Yosemite Conservancy​

Bill McDermott
Campaign Director
Project Angel Food

Marisa Yukich
Senior Vice President, Human Capital

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