Kansas City Consensus
PO Box 10252
Kansas City MO 64171
Consensus Civility Award winners 2018
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (785) 224-4344
Mission Statement
Consensus puts the "public" in public policy. It provides the neutral space, research and processes necessary to improve public policy decision-making by giving the public a voice. Consensus, building on a distinguished history as a catalyst for progress, has grown into a social venture with an array of tools at its disposal. Each of those tools -- among them deliberative forums, task forces, surveys, focus groups, future search conferences, and customized public meetings -- are designed to improve decision-making by providing effective ways to engage the public. Consensus makes an impact by:
 
  1. Providing access for civic leaders and legislators to the distinct point of view of the public
  2. Creating action that leads to progress, including new laws, new and improved programs, and shifts in allocation of resources
  3. Developing new leaders with a regional rather than parochial point of view
  4. Strengthening the civic fabric by providing opportunities for diverse citizens to learn from and work with one another.
 
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Heidi Holliday
Board Chair Michael Knabel
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1983
Former Names
Consensus
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Interested in contributing to Consensus? If you want to contribute funding, please send a check to our mailing address or donate via Paypal. We are always looking for volunteers who have good process skills, enjoy helping with events, are interested in being on a working board, or who can help us get the word out about what we bring to the community. To find out more about how your skills and interests might connect with Consensus, contact Heidi Holliday at heidi@consensuskc.org. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Consensus puts the "public" in public policy. It provides the neutral space, research and processes necessary to improve public policy decision-making by giving the public a voice. Consensus, building on a distinguished history as a catalyst for progress, has grown into a social venture with an array of tools at its disposal. Each of those tools -- among them deliberative forums, task forces, surveys, focus groups, future search conferences, and customized public meetings -- are designed to improve decision-making by providing effective ways to engage the public. Consensus makes an impact by:
 
  1. Providing access for civic leaders and legislators to the distinct point of view of the public
  2. Creating action that leads to progress, including new laws, new and improved programs, and shifts in allocation of resources
  3. Developing new leaders with a regional rather than parochial point of view
  4. Strengthening the civic fabric by providing opportunities for diverse citizens to learn from and work with one another.
 
Background Statement

Kansas City Consensus (DBA Consensus) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization specializing in putting the public in public policy. Consensus has years of experience in constructive public engagement, helping to find solutions to even the most contentious issues. Consensus conducts research, provides the results in clear language, and designs processes that help people come to agreement. Its work generates trustworthy information for leaders who must decide what actions to take.

Founded in 1984, Consensus has convened residents to study a range of issues. Its studies have resulted in new and improved programs, and legislation at the local and state level. In the 1990s, it conducted a regional strategic planning project that engaged thousands of citizens in identifying a vision and goals that could unite the metro area.

Consensus’ clients include national organizations like the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, the Kettering Foundation, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, along with major projects conducted for clients around the U.S., including Iowa, Oregon, and Washington State.

Consensus also is considered a national leader in the use of the deliberative model. Each of the four times that MacNeil/Lehrer Productions held a “By the People” day of deliberation, it selected Consensus and KCPT Public Television as one of about 10 convener teams around the U.S. Consensus has also conducted deliberative forums for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Johnson County and Kansas City Public libraries, and Partners of the Americas.

Consensus has designed meetings, workshops and trainings for a variety of other clients and projects. For example, in 2007-2008, Consensus co-led, with MARC’s One KC Voice project, an extensive citizen-engagement project on pandemic flu preparedness. The project was conducted for four health departments, including the health department of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

Consensus brings a unique and flexible approach to community engagement centered on bringing diverse groups together to learn, make hard choices, and seek common ground - a model that has proven effective in the Kansas City metro area and nationally.

Impact Statement

Our top five accomplishments in 2018 were:


    • National Week of Conversation: Consensus engaged Kansas Citians online and in person during the National Week of Conversation, with a pledge to listen first, free discussion guides, social media topics, and two public events with the Kansas City Public Library (KCPL).
    • Public events: Consensus partnered with KCPL and Westside CAN to facilitate two deliberative forums on immigration in February. Later, Consensus worked with KCPL to host the “Our Democracy” series in May and June, which included an author talk, panel discussion, and deliberative forum.
    • Just Vote: Raise your voice!: Consensus partnered with Livable Neighborhoods to pioneer the text based voter engagement platform in Wyandotte County.
    • We received the Community Partnership Award by the Missouri Library Association for our work with KCPL.
    • Consensus held the annual Civility Awards, which this year honored five individuals working to promote civility and reached across boundaries to achieve progress. Those award winners were: John Couture, the owner of Bier Station; Rachel Gonzalez, a Missouri college student activist; Damon Daniel, the Executive Director of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime; Sunayana Dumala, the founder of Forever Welcome; and Rosilyn Temple, the Executive Director of KC Mothers in Charge.

Finally, we successfully managed an executive leadership transition.

Our five goals for 2019 are:

  1. Grow the annual Civility Awards breakfast attendance by 10%.
  2. Develop a workshop that can be presented to other nonprofits, local government, or civic groups focused on engaging the public.
  3. Host two fundraising events.
  4. Develop video content featuring past Civility Award winners.
  5. Secure funding to build internal capacity of organization for technology updates and website overhaul.
Needs Statement

Our top five needs are: 


  1. $8,000 to update our website and set up a donor database.
  2. $2,000 for professional development opportunities for our board and executive director.
  3. $10,000 in general operating expenses.
  4. Coworking space membership with storage for organizational archives.
  5. Sponsorships for our annual Civility Awards breakfast (https://www.consensuskc.org/civility-award/)
Service Categories
Citizen Participation
Alliances & Advocacy
Research Institutes & Public Policy Analysis
Areas of Service
MO
KS
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Consensus is at an exciting point in the organization's history. We successfully weathered an executive transition in 2018, and are growing our scope of services and our outreach programming. We are currently working on a major initiative with Livable Neighborhoods on affordable housing in Wyandotte County and pursuing other projects around the region.

Our board is engaged and enthusiastic about our mission, and we have big plans for the future!

Our ability to have earned income through consulting on public engagement projects helps enable our long term financial stability, and is key to our business model.

- Heidi Holliday, MPA
Executive Director, Consensus 
Programs
Description Consensus improves public policy by engaging citizens in deliberative action planning. In 2013, our capacity for large-scale engagement led organizers of Creating Community Solutions (the national dialogue on mental health) to chose KC as one of six lead cities. Our ability to develop discussion guides, engage skilled facilitators, and produce meaningful results is valued by community and clients. In 2003, the Kauffman Foundation chose Consensus as the home for a deliberative project. Very quickly, we became a national presence, working with the Kettering Foundation, AmericaSpeaks, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and others. We have attracted local co-sponsors including the Truman Presidential Library, the Kansas City Public, Mid-Continent and Johnson County libraries, elected and other leaders. Deliberation uses balanced information and asks citizens to consider different ways of approaching an issue. It helps people move past wishful thinking and work across boundaries to find solutions.
Program Budget $9,000.00
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Citizen Participation Programs
Population Served General/Unspecified, Adults, General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term successes focus on citizen and elected official attitudes: 1. Citizens know more about the issue, 2. Citizens better understand other points of view, 3. Citizens are more likely to take action. 4. The results of the forums have a significant impact on the thinking of elected officials.
Long-Term Success Long-term success means fundamental changes in how public policy decisions are made in metro Kansas City. Those outcomes include: 1. Citizens move past wishful thinking and denial to make the hard choices that are inherent in public policy; 2. Policymakers seek citizen involvement early on, before decisions have been made; and 3. Initiatives are successful at the polls as a result of deliberative citizen involvement in decision making. The end result is a new collaboration between citizens and policymakers that results in a more thoughtful civil society and renewed respect for one another.
Program Success Monitored By We administered evaluations after most forums during our first five years. We have also conducted surveys of past By the People participants and of elected officials who received forum reports. When we conduct deliberative projects for clients, such as the Scott County Libraries Together project, we track action that results.
Examples of Program Success Participant evaluations from five forums found: 74% of participant had a better understanding of the issue and how it might be addressed; 65% better understood other points of view; 66% were more likely to take action. A survey of elected officials who received forum reports had a 10% rate of return. The survey showed that the reports had a significant impact on the thinking of 63% of elected officials who returned surveys. Sixty-three percent also said that the forum reports helped them understand what their constituents were thinking. An anecdote: KC Forums conducted a forum on Americans’ role in the world just days after the start of the war in Iraq. At the end, one participant said that he served in the defense department under the first President Bush. He said that, while group members had different viewpoints, they’d had a thoughtful, respectful conversation. He said it was his first experience being listened to respectfully by people who disagreed with him.
Description
Consensus members watched in dismay as the health care town hall meetings just drove Americans further apart. We believed that what happened wasn't a people problem, it was a process problem. Using an antiquated "public hearing" process was entirely wrong for the task. That led us to wonder how local residents would like high-conflict issues to be handled. The c/three Consensus consulting team has conducted a dozen focus groups with everyone from Mainstream Coalition to the Tea Party to find out. Consensus worked with Nick Haines to hold a public forum on civility that drew 130 people and was broadcast on KCPT. This resulted in the "Six Simple Changes for Elected Officials" document.
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Citizen Participation Programs
Population Served General/Unspecified, General/Unspecified, General/Unspecified
Short-Term Success
1. Consensus understands how citizens want to be involved in public issues, based on 20 focus groups with people from across the political spectrum.
2. Elected officials understand  how citizens want to be involved in public issues, based on Consensus conversations with them.
3. Consensus understands how elected officials would be willing to change the process to accommodate citizens.
4. Offer classes to elected officials and candidates on how to deal with high-conflict public meetings, and 60% of attendees report using at least one new method.
Long-Term Success
Long-term success for The Civility Project would be for our local, state and federal governments to engage citizens in a way that actually solves problems. Public meetings would be less intimidating but more demanding in many ways, as citizens would be asked to listen to one another and work together with elected officials to come to agreement. Citizens would expect to do more than just say "here's what I want," and would welcome the opportunity for a thoughtful, sometimes passionate, discussion with others. Metro Kansas City would lead the nation in its ability to convene people across boundaries of political ideology, race/ethnicity and class while always holding to standards of civility. Elected officials would be proficient at process and would understand how to deal with conflict productively.
Program Success Monitored By
Evaluations of participants in training for elected officials and on civility.
Conversations with elected officials and others with whom we share focus group results.
Conversations among the Consensus board and c/three team.
Examples of Program Success
The project is still fairly young, but we do have two notable successes.
1. We have been able to fill 20 focus groups with people eager to talk with us about civility in the public square. Among the groups, the KCMO Youth Commission, Mainstream Coalition, Tea Party, Coffee Party, KC Fair Tax, Sue Shear Institute, and others.
2. 130 individuals gave up a Sunday afternoon to attend a panel discussion about civility that was conducted with KCPT Public Television. Panelists included Congressman Cleaver, talk-show host Chris Stigall, former elected officials Lana Oleen and Ronnie Metsker, and the Missouri Tea Party chair Reed Chambers. KCPT found the topic important enough to tape it for broadcast.
Description

The Civility Awards honor people, organizations, and businesses working across differences to solve problems. Every day, in every community, people are working to build bridges, engage in public policy, and tackle the big issues we face in society. Often, this work goes unnoticed. We created the Civility Awards to make sure it doesn’t.

Consensus’ 7th annual Civility Awards Breakfast will be held on November 8, 2019 at Grand Street Cafe. Tickets and sponsorships are available now.

The award criteria stress respect, integrity, engagement, inclusiveness, objectivity and common ground.

Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Citizen Participation Programs
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Examples of Program Success
Prior award winners are now working with Consensus on projects. For example, the Bier Station is collaborating with Consensus to develop programming that brings people of different political beliefs together.
 
 

2012-2018 Awardees

Government/Elected

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Kevin Yoder
Airick Leonard West, President, Kansas City School Board
Teresa Kelly, Roeland Park Mayor & City Council Councilperson
Sly James, Mayor, Kansas City, Missouri
Darryl Forte, Chief, Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department
Mark Holland, Mayor, Kansas City, Kansas

Lifetime Achievement

Father Norman Rotert
Al Brooks, Founder, Ad Hoc Group Against Crime
Frank Pogge, President, Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC)
SuEllen Fried, founder, Reaching Out from Within and BullySafeUSA
Carol Marinovich, former mayor, Kansas City, Kansas
Sisters Corita Bussanmas and Berta Sailer, Operation Breakthrough

Young Adult

Rachel Gonzalez

Engaging the public

Miriam Pepper, The Kansas City Star editorial page editor
Ann Norbury and Diane Kuhn, Johnson County League of Women Voters, co-presidents

Nonprofit

Carol Grimaldi, Brush Creek Community Partners
Steve Roling, Retired CEO, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Corinna West, Founder, Wellness Wordworks
RESPECT Institute
Kate Corwin
, Green Works, founder
Mindy Corporon, founder, “Seven Days”
Debbie Wilson, Saint Luke’s Hospital
Brad Grabs, founder, The Learning Club
Tyrone Flowers, Higher M-Pact
Grandview Park Presbyterian Church
Troost Festival
DEBATE-KC
The Anytown Team
Officer Orlando Singleton, 
Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools
Officer Octavio “Chato” Villalobos, Kansas City Police Department
Kansas City Public Library
Damon Daniel, Ad Hoc Group Against Crime
Sunayana Dumala, Forever Welcome
Rosilyn Temple, KC Mothers in Charge

For-profit

Greg Graves, Burns & McDonnell
John Couture, Bier Station
The Kansas City Royals

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Heidi Holliday
Term Start Nov 2018
Experience

Heidi Holliday (https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidiholliday/) is the Executive Director of Consensus, a Kansas City based nonprofit dedicated to “putting the public in public policy.” Consensus believes that through community engagement focused on giving people a voice in the decisions that affect their lives we can strengthen the civic fabric. Consensus facilitates dialogue and public engagement on issues in Kansas City and the region.

Prior to joining Consensus, she served for two years as the Executive Director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, where she led efforts to pass comprehensive tax reform legislation. In that role, she worked closely with policymakers, advocacy groups, and Kansans to promote economic equity and shared prosperity for every Kansan.

Holliday’s passion for innovative community engagement efforts on public policy efforts began during her seven years at Rosedale Development Association in Kansas City, Kansas, first as a Program Director and later as Executive Director/CEO. There, she worked to create a community where “the healthy choice is the easy choice” through the development of community master plans, changes to the built and social environment, and policy change. While at Rosedale, she led the development of an innovative new community master plan and worked closely with local government, residents, businesses, universities, and other nonprofits to advance community initiatives.

Holliday received a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and Bachelor of Arts from Bethel College. Holliday is a trained facilitator, Kansas Supreme Court approved mediator, and has worked with diverse populations across the Kansas City metro area. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, ‌Australian‌ ‌Broadcasting‌ ‌Company,‌ ‌The‌ ‌Atlantic,‌ ‌Washington‌ ‌Post,‌ ‌Reuters,‌ ‌Bloomberg,‌ ‌NBC‌ ‌News,‌ ‌Salon‌, National Public Radio, ‌and‌ ‌local‌ ‌TV,‌ ‌print‌ ‌and‌ ‌radio‌ ‌stations‌.

Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ginger G BohachickJan 1999 - Jan 2003
Jennifer WildingJan 2003 - Nov 2018
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Contractors 3
Volunteers 45
Retention Rate 0%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 1
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations

 

  • Consensus was the backbone agency for Creating Community Solutions-KC. The planning team includes reps from funders (Jackson County Mental Health Fund, United Way of GKC), providers (Wyandot Inc., Crittenton, Swope, Truman), universities (UMKC, KU), schools (KCSD and East High School, Nat’l Assoc. of School Psychologists), consumers, families, and mayors’ offices.  
  • One core collaborative partner is KCPT Public Television. Consensus worked with KCPT as a co-convener for four MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ “By the People” events. Consensus has worked with KCPT to produce filmed forums on topics like civility in the public square. KCPT films those events for broadcast. In 2016, Consensus and KCPT will launch “Common Grounds,” filmed focus groups on topics with a range of participants.
  • Libraries are often partners. We contract with Mid-Continent for deliberative forums, and in the past have had projects with the KCMO and JoCo libraries.
  • We have an extensive network. In 2009 the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer hired us to recruit 120 diverse citizens for the first ever citizen conversation with the Federal Reserve chair. NewsHour filmed the event for national broadcast, and both Lehrer and Gwen Ifill acknowledged Consensus on-air.
  • We collaborate closely with Livable Neighborhoods, and currently are working with them on an affordable housing contract in Wyandotte County.

 


 

Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Core Values Award for project of the year - given to Creating Community SolutionsInternational Association for Public Participation2014
Finalist, Ash Award for Public Participation - Creating Community SolutionsHarvard's Kennedy School2015
Community Partnership AwardMissouri Library Association2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments

 

Consensus operates as a nonprofit consulting firm, with no office and contract staff members. It’s not the traditional arrangement, but it has worked remarkably well for Consensus since it began using this model in 2003. It allows us to have an earned income stream and still seek philanthropic, corporate and other funding for other projects.

We are, bit by bit, building understanding of what the people really can do and how to build positive new methods of engagement.



 

Board Chair
Board Chair Michael Knabel
Term July 2019 to July 2020
Email michaelknabel@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Therese BigelowRetired
Rebecca BrownSt. Luke's Hospital
Dan Cash
Megan Crigger
Andrea Generaux
Kim Gile
Michael Knabel
Shakedra Knight
Scott Lakin
Vince LaTonaLaTona Architects
Patty Markley
Julieann VanLiew
Darrion Walker
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 75%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 80%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO Comments In the last couple of years, Consensus has beefed up its board recruitment and given board members more substantial roles to play in the organization. We have added a co-treasurer who is an accountant and we have added a committee focused on the Civility Awards event that is led by a board member and includes community members,. We have maintained connections with long-term board members at the same time we have benefited from adding new members. Serving on the Consensus board is an honor, and the opportunity to remain on the board is earned through meeting attendance and helping with the work of the organization. Board members are expected to pull their weight, and almost all meet or exceed expectations.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $50,000
Projected Expenses $50,000
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013:  Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$88,577$64,121$99,684
Administration Expense$138$29,537$9,507
Fundraising Expense$1,950$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.381.140.72
Program Expense/Total Expenses98%68%91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$92,918$58,028$45,334
Current Assets$92,918$58,028$45,334
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$564$564$564
Total Net Assets$92,354$57,464$44,770
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities164.75102.8980.38
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
Other Documents
Organization Name Kansas City Consensus
Address PO Box 10252
Kansas City, MO 64171
Primary Phone (785) 224-4344
Contact Email heidi@consensuskc.org
CEO/Executive Director Heidi Holliday
Board Chair Michael Knabel
Year of Incorporation 1983
Former Names
Consensus