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


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

The power of taking stock: 5 reasons to conduct evaluations

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, but I am not sure many foundations fully believe that. In the course of working with foundations across the country, I have made a somewhat surprising discovery: Many foundations grossly underestimate the importance of evaluating impact. This is unfortunate, because evaluation is both enlightening and empowering… Read More