Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW:

Biographical Sketch


For over 18 years, top global philanthropies have requested Kris’s help to transform their giving and catapult their impact, including designing strategies that achieve results, streamline operations, assess impact, and allocate funds. Her clients include the Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard, Avery Dennison, Annie E. Casey, Charles and Helen Schwab, and Walton Family foundations, among dozens of others. She’s helped over 60 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over $350 million in grants and gifts.

A thought leader in transformative philanthropy, Kris was named one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers in 2016 and in 2017. She is the author of Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, which was named one of the 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books, and chosen as a finalist in the 2017 International Book Awards. She is a frequent contributor in the publications of leading philanthropy associations including the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Foundation Center, Southeastern Council on Foundations and Exponent Philanthropy. She provides expert commentary about philanthropy in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Washington Examiner,,,, and others. Kris’s success as a global philanthropy expert and advisor has earned her a place in the 2017 Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame, a rare honor, which has only seventy-five members worldwide.

Kris chairs the board of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Advisory Committee of the Foundation Center in Cleveland. She co-edited The Foundation Review’s themed journal on philanthropy consulting and the Grants Managers Network’s GMNsights journal on streamlining philanthropy. Kris and her firm have received many accolades, including a “Top 10 Women Business Owners” award from the National Association of Women Business Owners – Cleveland and a “Ten Under 10” award from the Council of Smaller Enterprises.

Prior to forming Putnam Consulting Group, she was a grantmaker at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and an evaluator at the highly esteemed Stanford University School of Medicine. Kris holds a master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She and her husband have five children, and reside near Cleveland, Ohio.

Contact Kris by emailing, calling 1-440-377-6559,
or skype: krisputnam.

Kris provided a roadmap that allowed us to identify new funding opportunities and invest in them with great confidence.
Jane Issacs Lowe
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jane Issacs Lowe