Voices in Foundation Software | Jeff Tenbusch

In the dynamic world of philanthropy and technology, our team members from the foundation space bring unique perspectives and valuable experiences to akoyaGO. Having firsthand knowledge of our clients’ challenges, they contribute invaluable insights. Join us in this series as we explore the captivating journeys of these individuals, from foundations to their current roles, revealing stories of passion, connection, and technological innovation. 

Meet Jeff Tenbusch

Technical Support Representative, Tier III

Jeff began his career in the nonprofit sector, where he honed his skills as a grant writer. His experience applying for grant funding allowed him to understand the intricacies and challenges faced by grant seekers. This foundational knowledge proved valuable as he transitioned to the Bay Area Community Foundation, taking on the role of Program and Communications Officer. Over four and a half years, Jeff managed grant applications, reported financials, and engaged in community outreach for field of interest funds, particularly those assigned to a geographic affiliate.

His responsibilities extended beyond program management to include vital communication functions such as managing social media, crafting invitations, overseeing mailing lists, and producing annual reports and appeals. Jeff’s diverse experience provided him with a comprehensive understanding of foundation operations, a perspective that would later enrich his role at akoyaGO.

Despite having no prior technology background, Jeff’s foundation journey took a significant turn when he discovered akoyaGO through the Council of Michigan Foundations. His initial role as a Database Consultant in the early days of akoyaGO encompassed a wide range of responsibilities – from project management to technical services and support – within a small team. This position not only leveraged his foundation knowledge but also introduced him to the technological aspects of foundation management.

As akoyaGO evolved, so did Jeff’s career. He witnessed the transition from legacy products to the innovative akoyaGO solution and, later, the integration of the current accounting platform, Business Central, powered by Microsoft Dynamics. This transition marked a significant enhancement in servicing community foundation clients by offering an all-inclusive, integrated software solution that simplifies financial management tasks like reporting, rebalancing, and month-end procedures.

Jeff’s current role involves specializing in supporting Business Central, addressing community foundation accounting questions, and assisting project managers with onboarding new customers. His work ensures that clients understand not only how to use akoyaGO more efficiently but also why certain steps are beneficial to their processes, thereby enhancing their operational efficiency.

Foundation’s Use of Technology to Advance Philanthropic Impact

Jeff believes that the challenges faced by foundations vary with their size but commonly include the need to systematize processes. By transitioning knowledge from a few individuals to standardized, automated systems, foundations can significantly improve their efficiency and impact. Jeff highlights the example of scholarship funds, where akoyaGO’s grantmaking platform, GOapply, streamlines the matching of students to scholarship criteria, ensuring that available funds meet community needs effectively.

"By transitioning knowledge from a few individuals to standardized, automated systems, foundations can significantly improve their efficiency and impact."

One of Jeff’s favorite aspects of his role is training clients and witnessing their ‘aha’ moments when they grasp the capabilities of akoyaGO. He finds great satisfaction in seeing clients understand and get excited about the software’s features, from investment management to rebalancing and reapportioning. Jeff’s passion for educating clients underscores the transformative potential of foundation accounting software like akoyaGO in enhancing the philanthropic impact.

Jeff Tenbusch’s extensive background in the foundation space, combined with his adaptability and eagerness to learn, has made him a valuable asset to the akoyaGO team and, by extension, to the broader community of foundation professionals.

For community and private foundations interested in elevating their operations, exploring foundation software like akoyaGO can be a game-changer. With experts like Jeff Tenbusch at the helm, akoyaGO continues to lead the way in providing integrated, user-friendly solutions for the philanthropic sector.



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