Category Archives: Philanthropy 411 Blog

Starting A Consulting Business? 15 Things To Do Right Now

In my last post, “So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant?” I offered 5 questions to consider if you want to become a philanthropy consultant.  No matter what your industry, if you want to take the consulting plunge, here are 15 practical things you should do right away: Open a business checking account – This is really quite simple. If you like your current bank, walk in and explain that you’d like to open a business checking account. Deposit all of your business income into this account, and write all business-related checks out of this account. This will make for much cleaner bookkeeping and tracking of business income and expenses.  You might also consider a business savings account. I … Continue reading Starting A Consulting Business? 15 Things To Do Right Now

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So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant?

About once a week someone emails me to learn more about philanthropy consulting: foundation staff looking for their next career move (or more recently, anticipating a layoff), business executives tired of an emotionally unfulfilling career who seek to make a difference in the world, and recent college graduates who stumble upon my website and think what I do sounds really cool (it is!). Each asks for 30-60 minutes of my time – preferably that week – to help them think through their options. It would be great to have time to talk with them all. But alas, I don’t.  Instead, I’m writing this blog to pass along some insight that I have developed in 10 years of consulting to foundations … Continue reading So, You Want To Be A Philanthropy Consultant?

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Council on Foundations: Smaller But Determined Crowd

This blog was originally posted May 1, 2009 on the Tactical Philanthropy Blog From May 2 – May 7, the Tactical Philanthropy Blog Team will be covering the Council on Foundations conference from Atlanta. The individual blog team members represent a range of opinions and have been given no editorial directions. The opinions expressed in these posts do not necessarily represent the opinions of Sean Stannard-Stockton. By Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Community Investment Consulting. One thing I appreciate most about philanthropy conferences is the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, friends, and clients who live in other parts of the country, and who I don’t get to see often. In preparation for the Council on Foundations conference (taking place this week in … Continue reading Council on Foundations: Smaller But Determined Crowd

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Challenges Grantmakers Face in This Economy

This blog first appeared on and was written for Nonprofit Conversation. No one is immune to the challenges of doing more with less in this economy. From my vantage point as a philanthropy consultant, I hope this blog post helps nonprofits understand how the economy is impacting foundations, and provides suggestions for what grantmakers are looking for from nonprofits. Six challenges grantmakers face this economy 1. Significant cuts in foundation assets and grantmaking budgets – Foundations lost approximately 28% of their assets in 2008, and a reduction in assets generally means fewer dollars available for grantmaking. Some, such as the Gates and MacArthur foundations, are making efforts to increase funding in 2009. However, 67% of foundations surveyed recently plan to … Continue reading Challenges Grantmakers Face in This Economy

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5 Tips for a Successful Foundation-Consultant Relationship

Simply choosing to hire a consultant isn’t enough to guarantee a successful engagement. You need to clearly communicate your goals at the outset, and take the time to provide feedback on whether those goals were met upon project completion. Here are few guidelines to help you succeed with consultants: 1. Understand All Your Goals Before you choose a consultant, take the time to fully understand the problems you want to resolve. Be clear about what you expect the consultant to accomplish and identify all the key stakeholders. It’s also essential to identify any barriers that could influence the project, and to be very clear about your timeframe and budget. 2. Identify the Right Consultant Once your goals are clearly outlined, … Continue reading 5 Tips for a Successful Foundation-Consultant Relationship

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Are You Prepared for a Disaster? Learn How!

If you’ve ever found yourself in the midst of a disaster, you know how quickly a fire, flood, pandemic, or earthquake can erase any illusion of personal safety. Disasters come in all forms, and they can strike whether the economy is strong or in crisis. You can’t prevent disaster, but you can prepare for it. The key: put a plan in place to protect your assets, sustain productivity and provide support where you are able. Over the years, we’ve worked with many foundations to strengthen disaster preparedness in the philanthropic sector. With this blog, we share some of our ideas and resources. Use them today, so you can be prepared for tomorrow. What If?” 5 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself … Continue reading Are You Prepared for a Disaster? Learn How!

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How to Involve Young People in Philanthropy

There are many ways to engage young people in philanthropy. By cultivating an early interest in “giving back”, we have the power to inspire the next generation to become active, informed and generous members of society. The bottom line? It’s never too early to start – and never too late to make a real impact on how young people view the world!  Below are resources and information I have compiled to help you support the next generation in philanthropy. Strength in Numbers: A Growing Trend Toward Family Foundations It has been said that “charity begins at home” and today, there are more family foundations in the United States than at any other time in recent history. According to the Foundation … Continue reading How to Involve Young People in Philanthropy

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Hello, World!

Hello everyone! I am officially launching into the world of blogging.  While writing a recent e-newsletter, Disaster Preparedness: Are You Ready for the Unexpected, I realized that I would much rather have written it as a blog. Sending out an e-newsletter is a great way to share information and ideas — but the newsletter goes out and little comes back.  I wanted a way to interact with people, learn from their experiences, and hear about the resources they find most helpful.  That realization prompted me to “get off the fence” and start this blog. I truly look forward to hearing from you! — Kris Putnam-Walkerly Share

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