Voices from the Field

Four Questions to Get Maximum Impact During This Crisis

Posted on May 20, 2020 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Putnam Consulting Group and is re-posted here with permission. You’re just the philanthropic leader we need. If you are like most funders or philanthropy-serving organizations, in the past couple of months you’ve done one of two things: You jumped into action, heroically extending or eliminating grant deadlines, providing additional funding without applications,… Read More

Creating a Culture of Respect in Philanthropy

Posted on February 1, 2017 by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

There is a lot of talk in philanthropy about organizational culture in foundations. Some foundations fall into the trap of promoting a culture of disrespect when it comes to the way they deal with grantees, consultant partners, and even themselves. Fortunately, for every example of disrespect in philanthropy, there are many examples of what respectful philanthropy can look like… 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

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