Founder and Collaborative Strategist

Wendy Knight, MSHA, MBA

As the Founder and Collaborative Strategist, I bring a depth and breadth of business and nonprofit expertise and experience in campaign management, organizational leadership, board development, fundraising, strategic thinking and best practices.  With over 27 years of experience in healthcare, higher education, non-profit leadership and banking, I take sound business principles and apply them as best practice to nonprofits to help them be more effective and efficient in achieving outcomes.  I am dedicated to service in the community, skilled in building relationships with a shared sense of purpose and have a willingness to work hard to make a difference.

I have been able to work with private and nonprofit organizations saving them time and money, by reducing the need to reinvent the wheel and leverage my knowledge and network. My ability to stay focused on outcomes, action and impact brings a perspective of objectivity and independent thinking that complements the insight of those affiliated with the organization.

A proven track record of integrity, focus, responsiveness and determination, I am able to take the burden off of current staff to be able to move organizations forward.  I provide the structure, resources and discipline needed to take action and achieve results.

I look forward to putting the US in Focus.

About Focus Forward

Help non-profits build strong organizational blueprints that serve as the foundation for sustainable growth and philanthropy.

To be the leading provider of innovative counsel to non-profits in the Midwest, empowering organizations to achieve their full potential and become the most impactful and influential non-profits of tomorrow.

  • As a servant leader I put the US in FOCUS. Several key principles shape my work with clients. When you work with me you will recognize these principles in action as I guide your organization forward.

    1. Leadership is everything.
    2. You’re only as strong as the team around you.
    3. Equip, inspire and empower others.
    4. Speak the kind truth.
    5. Challenge the status quo. Never settle
    6. Anyone can build a plan. Execution is what matters.
    7. Why informs what. Always curious.
    8. Never stop learning and sharing knowledge
    9. Dedicated to Innovative and Transformational Excellence
    10. Humbly Confident
    11. Actionable Results
    12. Integrity and Responsiveness You Can Count On
    13. Transparent Process
    14. Grateful

I am more than a consultant. My role and goals are bigger than that. My primary role as a Collaborative Strategist is very much like that of a teacher.  In my case, I teach by ‘doing.’ This implies, of course, a partnership between US. I see my clients as part of my team to meet your goals and fulfill your mission. Combining my expertise in nonprofits, fundraising, and business principles, I align my organization with your purpose. Unlike traditional consulting organizations that concentrate on helping clients identify problems, Focus Forward exclusively works with nonprofits to implement concrete, practical, short and long-term actions designed to move the organization forward.

By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin

Stages of focus

Strategic Thinking and Action


on’t know where or how to begin? Request a complementary consultation.

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dentified opportunities lead to action, growth and sustainability.  Together a plan is identified that fits your time line and budget. During this stage candid conversation is based on findings. You can be assured I will not recommend services that will not grow and sustain your organization If you are a nonprofit considering a campaign and you are not ready or already have stellar practices in place, I will tell you.

Based on our dialogue and your budget a road map will be created.


ased on the service(s) you desire and need, action will occur. During this stage of the relationship, the project takes shape. Together we will determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide the project. The action phase is the doing phase, and it is important to maintain the momentum.

At the end of the action phase, the result is evaluated according to the list of requirements created in the opportunities phase. Together we must keep in mind that during the action phase opportunities and strategies may be adjusted altering the KPIs.

Focus Forward will:

  • Stay as your guide on the side for 1 year to assure communication, action and implementation occur.
  • Be your sounding board and trusted confidant when guidance and insight is needed.

s a Collaborative Strategist unlike other consultants Focus Forward continues as your guide on the side for one year after services(s) are complete to assist and guide growth.

Focus Forward is more than a consulting firm.

Core to Focus Forward values is to provide innovative and transformational excellence ensuring results and action.

Your growth is my success and our community’s success.

Example of Focus Forward’s year long service

  • After a plan or project is complete, quarterly, together we will review progress and outcomes. If the plan needs to pivot actions will adjust.
  • A visual tool will be updated and shared with the board and staff for feedback and analysis. Then again adjustments and actions may need to pivot.
  • Review the operations plan with staff and leadership monthly.
  • Be your sounding board throughout the year.