Sandra Jensen talks about KELL Partners and serving non-profits

Sandra Jensen talks about KELL Partners and serving non-profits

Picture of Sandra

Sandra Jensen, President and Founder, KELL Partners

What is KELL Partners?

KELL helps nonprofits use the technology from salesforce.com to improve their operational performance. So many non-profits are still using spreadsheets and old database technology to manage their contacts, relationships, donations and program functions. Increasingly, the technology choices we make, either as individuals, business or nonprofit organizations greatly affects our efficiency. More than any other type of business, nonprofits must operate efficiently and this is what motivates our team and services. We have a passion for nonprofits and the Salesforce.com technology, so it is a natural fit for our services to focus on helping these organizations improve their use of technology. We’ve been doing this for 4+ years, have helped more than 650 clients and have delivered more than 50,000 of hours of our services and it’s still a lot of fun.

What is your user base?
We have over 650 clients.

How did you start the company?
Kevin Burpo and I had been working with nonprofit and higher education clients for more than 8 years during our tenures at Convio and PeopleAdmin together. We saw a need in the marketplace to help nonprofit organizations maximize their use of technology and specifically Salesforce.com. The Salesforce.com Foundation has been a great partner and has really helped us grow our business with client referrals.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up?
Since there was such a strong need in the marketplace, we had challenges in being able to hire as quickly as we could sell.

How did you fund it?
We bootstrapped it all the way.

What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to utilize technology to help non-profits meet their mission more effectively.

What need does it fulfill?
For smaller non-profits we help them build their donor base. For medium and large size firms we move them to Salesforce from a legacy database.

What are your core three values?
Integrity, Excellence, Compassion

What is the next step for your company?
Our number one limitation is hiring enough good people. We need to hire individuals who understand Salesforce, have led projects in the past and preferably have nonprofit experience to help service our growing number clients. The nonprofit market continues to rapidly adopt Salesforce and there is plenty of business for KELL to develop, we simply need good people to help us service the opportunity.

In addition, we’re getting better and better at delivering a higher quality solution to our clients more efficiently. In other words, we’ve begun developing what we call SmartPacks, that combine code with expert services to solve common discreet needs of our clients. While KELL remains a professional service company at the core, we’re developing apps based on custom solutions we’ve built numerous times and packaging these with consulting to deliver a “battle tested” solution without having to start from scratch each time. We expect this approach to deliver a winning solution for KELL and most importantly, our clients.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs today?
It’s important to build the right type of culture by hiring the right people, who care about your clients and in our case the client’s missions.

What resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?
The Salesforce community and Salesforce.com Foundation is quite strong and very helpful. Our clients have been very loyal and have helped us grow tremendously through word of mouth referrals.

What does “Kell” stand for?
It’s a combination of the first letter of the founders’ children’s’ names