Jenny Kleintop is Vice President and a Principal Consultant at Gobel Group. We recently conducted an interview with her regarding her background and experience.
- What did you do before joining Gobel Group?
I started out working for Kaplan Test Prep helping medical, nursing, college, and high school students with preparing for standardized testing. I decided I wanted to make more of a difference on another level, so I went into the nonprofit industry. I joined the philanthropy operations team at Fox Chase Cancer Center. After four years, I went to work for Abington – Jefferson Health, where I oversaw advancement services and led their operations group.
- Why did you decide to join Gobel Group?
I have a deep-rooted desire to help others make a large-scale difference. When I was at Abington, we worked with Gobel Group for about three years, and I really knew the program inside and out. When I saw the opportunity to work more closely with Gobel, I got excited as it looked so intriguing. I talked it through with my boss, Jill Kyle (for whom I have tremendous respect), and told her that while I was not looking to leave Abington, I felt in my gut that it was something I was meant to do. With Gobel, I saw the opportunity to help more places beyond just the ones I worked at. So, I had conversations with Gobel, said yes to join the company, and made the transition – it is hard to believe it has been three years. And what an amazing journey it has been!
- How would you describe your consulting expertise?
As a true partnership with those we help. It is interesting when you say “consulting.” Yes, we are consultants – that is what it says in our titles, of course – but that is not how we are viewed. I realized this a few years ago, when my husband (who works in higher education philanthropy) told me about how he and a colleague had been discussing consultants they worked with – he said, typically, the consultants would come in, listen, provide general advice, and then leave the follow-through up to the philanthropy staff. But my husband and his colleague thought the advice was too general, and that there was no real interaction or follow-up off-site. He said, “Gobel is different. What you do is more like a partnership.”What is different about Gobel Group is that we as consultants truly invest ourselves in the people and the places we help. We roll up our sleeves and do what it takes, and we help philanthropy staff fine-tune things until they reach their goals. We genuinely want them to succeed, so I think we tend to seem less like “consultants” and more like an extension of the philanthropy team. I just love that aspect of it.
- What excites you about leading the Philanthropy Services team?
What we are able to do! Sometimes I stop to take a breath and say, “Wow, we just did that,” and it is remarkable. We have this unique ability to connect all aspects of healthcare philanthropy, to see it not only from an operations perspective, but from that of leadership and frontline fundraisers as well; and that is powerful. Anything we roll out has to cover all angles and if it does not, then we find a better way. We do not settle for “just okay” – we keep going until it is instrumental! We are able to do what we can because of the collaboration, the resources, the expertise, and the passion that exists on this team, and that is true about the company in general. We have the people, the expertise, and the drive to keep pushing the bar higher and higher for our clients and in the industry.My role as the leader of the Philanthropy Services team is to help support my team so that they can thrive and work at their natural best. To make sure they have what they need to succeed. And to continue to find ways to grow and evolve together. I feel fortunate to have the team I have. We have so much knowledge, energy, and drive on the team to want to keep enhancing what we do. You should see when we all get together – it’s awesome! The ideas, the brain power, the willingness to keep pushing to make things better, stronger, more powerful for those we help – who wouldn’t want to wake up every day to get to do this? It is exciting!
- What excites you about working with Gobel Group’s clients?
Everything! I love that no client is the same. While there are some similarities between them, each client has their own uniqueness that keeps our company evolving and growing. There is really no limit to what we can do. It is amazing to wake up every day and not only help people, but to find ways to help them even more. I really enjoy helping our clients reach potentials that they did not even know they were capable of. We develop genuine relationships with our clients, and it is these relationships that really drives me as a consultant and Gobel as a company to push the bar higher and higher, every time. There is just no limit to what we can accomplish together.
- What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I absolutely love that I am able to help other people each and every day. I love being able to have a real impact on the lives of fundraisers, so that they can have an even bigger impact on healthcare systems. It is so exciting to be an extension of their success. We have helped hundreds of thousands of patients through their healing process by helping them to recognize and unlock their gratitude to give back in meaningful ways. It is rewarding to know that there are so many more we will be able to help in the future.
- What are a few personal details you could share?
I am originally from California and I currently live in Pennsylvania. I played Division 1 soccer in college and coached for a few years. I love music and enjoy spending time scrapbooking. I have been married to my husband, Doug, for 16 years, and he is amazing and is very supportive. He has been working in development in higher education for almost 20 years. We have two children, Dougie, who is ten, and Morgan, who is eight. I love being a mom and helping my kids to grow and learn to navigate life. I find time to be grateful for the simple things in life and believe in taking time to appreciate the journey!
- What did you do before joining Gobel Group?