After a thorough search and interview process—and unanimous approval by the Board of
Trustees—Jim Steenbergen is the new Chief Advancement Officer for Kuyper College.
President Patti Harris said she looks forward to working with Steenbergen.
“Jim is very enthusiastic about being part of a biblical higher education community like Kuyper College,” she said. “I am confident that Jim will be embraced well by our constituency as he brings 22 years of experience in successful fund development, marketing and communications within faith-based organizations and health care facilities.”
Steenbergen is equally eager to work alongside President Harris and connect with Kuyper alumni and friends.
“It was after prayerful consideration, and a nudge from a friend, who is a supporter of Kuyper College, that I first became curious about the position,” he said with a smile. “As a long-time West Michigan resident. I’ve always respected it as a uniquely Christian college that prepares people for a life in ministry. And I know many people who have supported it for years!”
Steenbergen added that as a parent raising children who plan to attend college (he and his wife Vicki have three young children)—and as someone who has actively raised money to plant churches in the past—he is eager to become part of a college community at Kuyper that is preparing the next generation of Christian leaders.
“I truly believe that this is the absolute best place for me at this point in my career and my life,” he said. “At Kuyper, students take Bible-based classes and develop a Christ-centered worldview. They learn to lead with humility and love toward others, and when they graduate, they enter the world prepared to lead lives of faithful service. I can’t wait to be a small part of that amazing mission.”
Though he has never worked in higher education before, Steenbergen has a long and successful track record in fundraising, which will be a focal point in his work at Kuyper.
He has overseen and planned major special events, including an Annual Gala and a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. He has served on CEO leadership teams, has managed and developed a standardized donor pipeline program for small and mid-level givers (and a custom program for donors that showed potential and capacity to become major givers), and he has developed and supervised a suite of donor communications and print materials, including annual reports and newsletters.
At Corewell Health, he played an instrumental role in the explosive growth of peer-to-peer fundraising programs and supported his team as they built Corewell Health Foundation’s corporate business partnership program from the ground up. He also represented Corewell Health in various settings, including presentations to large and small groups. He also served Bronson Healthcare as their Marketing and Development Director, including budgeting, expanding Bronson’s reach in social media, website development, and creating metrics and standards for success.
And he has significant experience in the non-profit, including at Guiding Light, Resonate Global Mission and Degage Ministries.
A Kalamazoo native, Steenbergen moved to Grand Rapids at a young age after the death of his father, also Jim Steenbergen, and attended Grand Rapids Christian Schools through high school. He then graduated from Calvin University (then Calvin College) in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He also earned a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Emphasis in 2003 from Grand Valley State University and is a Certified Fundraising Executive or CFRE.
He is eager to begin to get to know Kuyper donors and alumni, he said, and excited about the team in Kuyper’s advancement office alongside which he will work.
“I have big shoes to fill after Ken’s retirement,” he said. “But he left me with an excellent team, loyal to the College and filled with great ideas and excitement. I’m stepping into a great situation and truly excited about what’s ahead for us as we spread the word about the awesome things happening here.”