Meet Karen

Known for her keen problem solving skills, innovative organizational leadership and infectious smile, Karen Coutts left a successful career in fundraising and development to launch KC Nonprofits, an organization designed to help nonprofits advance their missions.

Building on her extensive experience in strategic planning, fundraising and membership, Karen is able to support San Diego’s nonprofits with depth and breadth. Prior to founding KC Nonprofits in 2011, Karen spent four years with The New Children’s Museum, overseeing the Development Department. She joined the museum team prior to its public opening and is proud to have created a sustainable donor and member infrastructure from the ground up. Her work helped open the 50,000 square foot green facility and complete a $10 million dollar Challenge Campaign.

Karen gained much of her experience at the San Diego Museum of Art, a well-established non-profit with nearly a century of history and a multi-million dollar endowment. In her seven years at the Museum, Karen oversaw foundation, government, and corporate giving as well as membership, donor circles, and annual giving. In 2006 she received her Certificate in Fundraising Management, and launched a planned giving program for the Museum.

Born and raised in San Diego, Karen pursued dual bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Human Biology at the University of California, Riverside. She then left for the east coast, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Art History and Museum Studies at Boston University. She remained in Boston after accepting a position in the Fundraising and Membership Services department of a consulting firm. Specializing in client relationship management and data-based fundraising, she oversaw multi-dimensional fundraising and membership programs for clients that included the Smithsonian Institution, American Cancer Society, Consumers Union, Arthritis Foundation, and the Cousteau Society.

When she’s not helping nonprofits Karen spends time in her Ocean Beach neighborhood with her husband. There she enjoys eclectic coffee shops, beach bonfires, and regular trips to dog beach. Karen has two children, one at UC Berkeley and one at Quest University in British Columbia, Canada.


CFRM, Indiana University School of Philanthropy 2006, course provided by The San Diego Foundation

MA, Art History and Museum Studies Boston University 1996

BA, Art History, University of California at Riverside 1994

BA, Human Biology, University of California at Riverside 1994