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Kay Edwards



Kay Edwards

Kay provides research, planning, and project management services to not-for-profit and service organizations throughout the United States. Kay brings over 20 years of consulting experience and has worked with organizations throughout the United States, leading research and planning projects in the fields of financial services, grant making, higher education, health care, human services, religious, and membership organizations. She is a national leader in research among faith-based and denominational institutions, and has developed research models which enable organizations to learn and plan while respecting their unique culture and relationships with their constituents.

She founded and was managing partner of Criterion Consulting, where she built and managed a network of more than 4500 consultants throughout the United States, bringing together service teams and ensuring high quality service delivery to all of Criterion’s clients. This innovative model of consulting practice helped clients access new thinking resources, simplify consulting engagements, and manage costs. Under her leadership, Criterion created four spin-off companies in partnership with its clients; led the design and launch of an innovative knowledge sharing and management information portal for the world’s largest association of women’s and girls’ funds, funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation; and provided marketing research, planning, and organizational development counsel to senior leadership of some of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the United States.

Kay developed Donor Network Analysis® (DNA), a tool that maps relationships in the  community and helps to unlock cultivation tactics so an organization might leverage opportunities before extending the case to a donor.

Kay began her career as a communications specialist for a national cookware manufacturer, producing corporate training films and other communications vehicles. She has also worked as a research specialist and account executive for a regional advertising firm. She spent 14 years with Growth Design Corporation, as head of its research services, and 2 years as a member of its Executive Team, responsible for the firm’s service and team development and quality assurance.

Currently, she serves on the board of S.H.A.L.O.M. Ministries, a social ministry organization serving Milwaukee’s inner city, and is a member of the board of Guardian Electronics, a medical electronics manufacturing firm. Kay holds a music degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, and has done graduate work in English/Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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