Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Kris Putnam-Walkerly

President, Putnam Consulting

Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a global philanthropy expert and advisor. For over 20 years, ultra-high net worth donors, family foundations, Fortune 500 companies, wealth advisors and family offices have sought Kris’s advice to increase the clarity, impact, and joy in their giving. As president of Putnam Consulting Group, Inc. she’s helped over 100 philanthropists strategically allocate over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts, including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Zilber Family Foundation, J.M. Smucker Company, Community Foundation Sonoma County, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and dozens of others. Kris’s services for family funders include trusted advising, coaching for new foundation leaders, VIP Strategy and Coaching Days, rapid strategy development, strategy implementation, and board training. She also offers bespoke philanthropic services for wealth advisors and family offices. Kris is an award-winning author, and recently published her second book, Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change And What They Can Do To Transform Giving (Wiley 2020). Learn more at


December 2016 NCFP Non-Family Staff Peer Network Call

Posted on December 13, 2016 by Christine Koehn, Kelly Chopus, Kris Putnam-Walkerly

This session will feature a conversation on the strategies and challenges of connecting with community and building an equity lens into your grantmaking and internal operations. It’s a great chance to talk in a private space about this timely and complex topic with your peers around the country! About the NCFP Non-family Staff Peer Network The NCFP Non-family Staff Peer… Read More

What the Heck Does “Equity” Mean?

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

A clear definition of equity would seem paramount to galvanizing philanthropy into action around this increasingly used term—but the field is only beginning to explore what it really means. In this piece, pubslished in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, our content partner Kris Putnam-Walkerly (with the help of co-author Elizabeth Russell) poses some important questions about an infamous philanthropy buzzword… Read More
Voices from the Field

Strategic, Responsive, or Both?

Posted on October 14, 2016 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Responsive grantmaking is being open to receiving proposals and ideas from any nonprofit, and allowing the nonprofits to drive the agenda. Requests are initiated by the nonprofit, rather than by a funder seeking them out. This doesn’t mean that a foundation doesn’t have core areas of focus, but that within those areas is wishes to be responsive to the needs nonprofits feel most keenly… Read More
Voices from the Field

The 5 Dysfunctions of Philanthropy

Posted on January 6, 2016 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

In 2002, Patrick Lencioni wrote a book called, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team." It explains the interpersonal aspects of teambuilding in a professional setting and how they undermine success. Although Lencioni’s team is in a fictional company, his lessons also are entirely relevant to grantmakers. We're pleased to share this recent blog post from NCFP Content Partner Putnam Consulting Group on five common dysfunctions that can affect philanthropy generally - and family philanthropy specifically. … Read More

5 Common Philanthropy Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

There are many rules of thumb and lists of best practices out there for grantmakers. Yet, so many grantmakers seem to get caught in ruts of practice and policy that hold them back from achieving the effectiveness and impact they want to deliver. Here are five of the most common mistakes that I’ve seen through my practice, and even seasoned… Read More

6 signs your funding initiative is in trouble

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

I have helped dozens of foundations explore, develop and launch new grantmaking programs and initiatives. In my experience there are six red flags indicating trouble ahead. Investments made now will be easier and less costly than trying to resurrect a failing initiative later… Read More

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