Tim Kersten

Board of Directors

Tim brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Mission Board.  As the founding CEO and now Chairman of RKD Group, with nearly 500 employees, Tim built the RKD Group into North America’s largest and premier full-service, omni-channel direct response fundraising and marketing services platform focused on growing revenue, engagement, and impact for a Who’s Who of more than 250 nonprofit organizations.  Marquee clients include The Salvation Army, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Food Bank for New York City, Wounded Warrior Project, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Operation Smile, Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, Save the Children, American Bible Society and Los Angeles Mission.

Tim assumed leadership of RKD Group (then called Stratmark) in November 2011 with the aim to turnaround the troubled company.  He downsized, changed the company name and brand, and focused its business strategy on stability and growth before securing the firm’s first private equity investment in April 2014, leading to a successful exit in early 2019 via sale to a second PE sponsor, which exited its investment after just 3-1/2 years via sale to a third PE sponsor in August 2022.  Following that transaction, Tim moved to Chairman and handed day-to-day leadership to a new CEO.

Under Tim’s tenure as CEO, RKD Group achieved 20% CAGR grew organically, and through six acquisitions, from around 30 to nearly 500 employees to become, by far, the largest pure play (i.e., no printing and mailing capabilities) data-driven marketing services company in the nonprofit sector.  The first two PE sponsors’ exits were the largest in each company’s history.  The third financial sponsor is just over one year into its hold period.

As CEO, Tim was known for his compassionate, people-focused, and visionary leadership, attracting and keeping the best executive talent in the industry and becoming the employer of choice for those with a desire to serve nonprofits’ fundraising needs.

Prior to RKD Group, Tim was an international award-winning independent consultant, creative director and writer serving exclusively nonprofits including the Smithsonian Institution, National Park Foundation, American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army.  For three years in the early 2000’s Tim was chief creative officer of two national ad agencies serving nonprofit organizations but returned to his own consulting business before taking over leadership in 2011 of what would become RKD Group.