Erin Kahn

Principal, Erin Kahn Consulting

Erin Kahn is Principal of Erin Kahn Consulting. Since 1998, Erin has served as a trusted partner to donors to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. As the founding executive director at the Raikes Foundation, Erin worked closely with the foundation’s benefactors to shape and execute their philanthropic vision. She was deeply involved in all aspects of the foundation’s start up and maturation, including design of the foundation’s mission, vision and values, as well as core grantmaking strategies. Erin was also responsible for building the foundation’s infrastructure, including grantmaking processes, operational systems and attending to legal, accounting and administrative needs. During her eleven-year tenure, she built a talented team of 16 employees and helped direct more than $100 million in grants.

From 1998-2006, Erin was Associate Director at Social Venture Partners Seattle (SVP), one of the first “venture philanthropy” organizations in the US. She was instrumental in managing a “giving circle” where hundreds of donors contributed their time, funding and talent. Erin worked closely with dozens of new philanthropists who needed support to develop the skills and experience to become effective donors. She developed learning opportunities to deepen donors’ knowledge about regional social, educational and environmental issues, trained them in grantmaking basics, and provided guidance on all aspects of due diligence, from proposal evaluation and site visits to rating proposals across a portfolio of grantmaking opportunities. 

Throughout her career, Erin has worked closely with donors to clarify their philanthropic visions, shape and frame strategic opportunities, and help them take their next big steps in their philanthropy. As a consultant, advisor, and coach, Erin enjoys helping individuals and families to achieve lasting philanthropic impact on the causes they care about.  She has cultivated and managed proposals and funding projects across hundreds of nonprofit organizations, giving her deep expertise in nonprofit programs and operations. She is nimble, resourceful and creative in helping donors identify different approaches to giving back, finding joy in philanthropy, and achieving impact that goes beyond simply writing checks to charitable causes.  In addition to her experience working with philanthropists, she is a Certified 21/64 Advisor in multi-generational philanthropy.


Non-family Staff Peer Network: Wearing Many Hats with One Head – Difficult Choices as a Staff Member

Posted on February 17, 2019 by Christy Uchida, Erin Kahn, Steve Toben

Non-family staff members tend to wear many hats—they are responsible for balancing multiple aspects of their foundation’s growth, sustainability, goals, and overall culture. For a small foundation staff and particularly for a sole foundation staff member, prioritizing and making difficult decisions are necessary to be sure all work gets accomplished. Join NCFP’s Non-family Staff Peer Network to consider the many… Read More

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