Meet Kris Kunze

Founder & CEO of KCL Engineering



Engineering Consulting


Des Moines, IA



With Grateful, KCL Engineering combined their people-first company values and steadfast community support, allowing employees to share in company philanthropy. The result was no longer a sole committee making all the charitable decisions, but now each KCL team member has the choice to support organizations they value most. It moved KCL from the broader intention of giving back to the team’s intentional act of doing it.

“I love the team can get involved in giving, and choose that the donation goes to organizations that matter the most to them.”

KCL Engineering invests in their people and the community because they thoroughly understand the value and impact sound internal elements have on success — within their company, client work, and charities worldwide.

KCL’s Grateful wish:

“Hopefully, our story will inspire other companies to use Grateful to encourage employees to share in company philanthropy, and this effort to build a Grateful culture continues to grow to help those less fortunate.”

Volunteering and donating to charitable causes throughout his life shaped Kris and the type of company he wanted KCL Engineering to be in the community. Giving back is an essential part of the KCL’s culture and through their charitable giving committee they proactively and reactively support requests each month. However, that community support was company-focused donations and KCL desired a solution to include their entire team in their philanthropy.

Grateful presented KCL Engineering the opportunity to reimagine their company philanthropy as an employee recognition benefit by including everyone in giving back. Through the Grateful platform, KCL gives a quarterly contribution to each employee to allocate to their chosen nonprofits. The software solution serves as an easy channel for the KCL Engineering team to control their personal, company-funded donations. Grateful provided a creative solution to centering KCL’s philanthropy around their people and, as a result, impacted more organizations through donations.

“The concept makes a lot of sense to me, and it made me excited to be a part of it. Grateful was just the vehicle we needed to donate to organizations our employees wanted to support.”

KCL Engineering knows that thoughtful structuring of internal elements is paramount to achieving the success of the end goal. The forward-thinking engineering firm specializes in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, technology, and lighting solutions. Their work constitutes the core systems and components of an architect’s or Owner’s vision. KCL’s intentional, innovative approach to a structure’s inner workings is what they do and metaphorically represents who they are.

When Kris Kunze founded KCL Engineering nearly fifteen years ago, he built a people-first culture with unlimited flex time as a cornerstone element of work-life balance. The internal focus and flexible offering were a progressive statement of company values at the time, especially within the engineering consulting industry. Still, KCL understood that assembling and investing in the right team created an environment for their people to thrive and, ultimately, their clients and business. Intentionality permeates everything KCL Engineering does, and like their engineering work, the company continues to pioneer thoughtful ways to structure and strengthen their internal elements.

Share Grateful[ness]

Kris and the KCL team’s advice for companies considering Grateful: 

“Give your employees a chance to decide where the donations go and how they are dispersed. It is a great way to get company involvement and create a better team atmosphere rather than the business donating behind the scenes, and no one knows about it.”

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