I’ve worked with grantmaking clients of all sizes and all types.
Here’s what your colleagues have to say.
Working with Kris Putnam-Walkerly was a great experience for our Board and staff alike. Some were skeptical about the value of a retreat, but Kris’s expertise in philanthropy and skill as a facilitator created an environment for thoughtful and focused deliberation, resulting in the development of a sharper strategy for accomplishing our mission, along with actionable implementation tactics for all involved. Her style is clear, direct and practical, and I would recommend Kris to any foundation that is committed to becoming a more effective grantmaker and enhancing its impact.
Kris is an exceptional philanthropy leader, partner, and innovator. Her collaborative approach enables both ambitious visioning and practical planning. We have embarked on a significant initiative to address historic inequality and disparity, and we are fortunate and grateful to have Kris as trail guide, thought partner, and advisor. I highly recommend her!
Kris has dual impressive superpowers: both expertise and mastery of the field of philanthropy and also a practical, thoughtful, approachable communication style. This is a rare and important combination that makes growth and progress possible for her clients. She is absolutely my go-to person for insight and wisdom in the field of philanthropy.
As my trusted advisor, Kris helped our foundation navigate an organizational transformation to become more strategic and develop a clear plan to implement our new strategy. She offers funders a fresh perspective and practical tips to improve their giving.
As a CEO it is tremendously helpful to have someone with Kris’s expertise to be able to call any time and discuss any issue, big or small. Her insights validated my thinking, gave me new perspective, and streamlined our strategy. One of her suggestions alone saved me countless hours and helped me make a critical hiring decision. I would definitely work with her again.
Kris brings a rare and unique perspective to her philanthropy consulting that makes it easy for us to bring our best selves to our work as grantmakers. It’s clear that she has invested in her own knowledge and capacity and has shared that with our field. In addition, she holds herself and her practice to the highest standards of integrity, honesty, clear thinking and creativity, and she helps our organization do the same.
Kris is a wonderful and objective resource for professional coaching. She promotes thoughtful consideration of myriad issues to help determine the big picture, while simultaneously helping define strategic direction. Her clarity of thought helps each individual articulate his or her destination and develop a roadmap to get there.
Kris’s thoughtful, practical advice provides a roadmap for practitioners who want to increase their effectiveness.
As my strategic advisor and sounding board, Kris is always there when I need a clear path forward or a reality check. I am grateful to have her as a trusted, unbiased, and experienced professional to turn to!
Today, everyone is trying to do more with less. You need consultants who are a quick study, who already have broad experience, and who can work with a variety of people. Kris has all these qualities. We will definitely work with Kris in the future.
Kris’s deep knowledge and experience in philanthropy is invaluable. Her ability to identify and distill best practices beyond the obvious and then translate them into actionable approaches is a gift to every funder. Whether it’s through books, articles or speaking, Kris’s insights and messages are enabling philanthropists to increase their impact and find even more joy in their work.
Kris Putnam-Walkerly is one of the world’s foremost advisors to leading philanthropists. I highly recommend her if you want a trusted guide and confidential sounding board to navigate your philanthropic journey!
Kris’s keynote brought home the all-important point that transformational change can’t just be an aspirational vision for foundation executives alone. To achieve the greatest impact possible, all foundation staff should be engaged in changing how the business of philanthropy. I highly recommend her as a keynote speaker!
Financial institutions that serve private foundations and ultra-high-net-worth individuals seek to offer greater philanthropic value – especially in the current complex investment, regulatory, and grantmaking environment. Kris shared practical insights and guidance that helped our clients learn how to create powerful giving plans while navigating rapidly changing circumstances. I highly recommend her!
Savvy advisors understand that expanding philanthropic offerings is vital to their long-term success. That’s why we engaged philanthropy expert Kris Putnam-Walkerly to help us understand common mistakes donors and advisors make and offer practical tips to help advisors support their clients’ philanthropic goals. I immediately implemented her suggestions with several of my charitable clients, and they were delighted!
Kris’ approach is refreshing! It’s the right approach. She makes sure our philanthropy makes sense — to us and our partners, grantees, and community.
We’ve hired Kris time and again for several projects, including objective evaluations of our own internal operations. Kris and her team stand out because they always take the time to really understand what we need, and they maintain their objectivity to make sound recommendations. I highly recommend them.
Kris shares the kind of advice that one wishes every consultant would give—insightful, useful and to the point, and always with good humor. She provides clear thinking that comes from her experiences and passion for our field.
We trusted Kris and her team to create an honest retrospective about our work with race, both inside and outside the Casey Foundation — and they delivered beautifully. They made our staff and partners comfortable talking about a sensitive subject and allowed the spirit of our work to shine through. Now we have a way to share our story and use it to launch a new era of race equity and inclusion within Casey and beyond.
Kris expertly managed our $20 million grantmaking initiative to solicit, review, and select grantees to support Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Her consulting services are of exceptional quality and I highly recommend her.
We wanted to motivate other funders to support nonprofit talent and leadership by sharing the incredible work in process of our grantee partners. Kris immediately understood the complexity of the work and distilled it into a variety of tools that the foundation is using now to promote the early successes and build momentum and support within the field.
We hired Kris to conduct an environmental scan of the field of neuroscience and its application to interventions for children and youth. Kris and her team provided a comprehensive road map and conveyed several strategies for program investments with clear delineation of the pros and cons of each. As a result, we were able to identify new funding opportunities and invest in them with great confidence.
Kris has a refreshingly clear-eyed point of view on philanthropy. She can cut through the noise and keep things focused, which has made her both a valuable advisor and a good speaker for our members.
Kris led our board through a very comprehensive and thorough strategic plan refresh process that allowed us to confidently develop the next steps for our organization. It was just the right approach to amplify our impact.
Kris is great at making the complex easy to understand, and helps grantmakers shift their thinking to embrace new possibilities and opportunities. Her presentations to our board and grantmakers association were engaging, informative and inspiring, and have set us all on a clearer path toward effectiveness.
Our evaluation work with Kris was essential to supporting one of the most significant grantmaking endeavors our foundation has ever had. Kris helped our board see the importance of looking beyond the grant award itself, and we are looking forward to doing more evaluations like this as our organization matures.
Kris really understands how foundations work. Kris and her team have a high level of knowledge and are very professional. Kris was clear about what they could do and when they could do it, and she always delivered on time.
Since working with Kris we have a far more streamlined grantmaking process, and we get all the answers we need to make sound grantmaking decisions. If we ever need to undertake a similar project, Kris will be at the top of our list.
Kris’ ability to collect the best thinking and present it back to the field has been a valuable asset for EPIP and helped enhance our reputation. It also allowed us to play a key role in advancing the talent and leadership development movement within the field of philanthropy.
Kris and her team were instrumental in helping shape my big picture ideas into an actionable and sensitive representation of our major rural community health improvement initiative. The wealth of tools and connections they created to tell our story are things that we will use for years to come. We would definitely work with Kris and colleagues again.
The impact assessment that Kris and her team conducted for EPIP really helped to shape our organization’s strategies for growth. We had minimal evaluation mechanisms in place and an urgent timeline — but Kris met those challenges with flying colors. She delivered engaging qualitative and quantitative data in both written and multimedia formats that proved our organization’s unique value proposition to all of our key audiences and were key in ensuring our sustainability.
Creating a theory of change is challenging work, but Kris helped us envision and plan where we want to go and did so in a way that incorporates diverse perspectives and complex ideals. Now we are much more targeted and clear about what we’re working to accomplish and how we’ll get here.
Kris cares deeply about communities. She worked with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods and was able to build trust and understanding while providing us with valuable insights.
We needed more than an environmental scan. We needed someone to give us their analytical perspective on how best to build out an initiative of largely disconnected campuses and create a unified whole. Kris and her team delivered all this so we could get the initiative up and running. I would definitely hire her again.
We’ve received only positive feedback from our partners about Kris and her team. They helped me stay organized and ahead of the curve while organizing and planning one of the most comprehensive initiatives that our foundation has ever launched.
We wanted to create a niche leadership recognition program, and we approached Kris because of her deep knowledge of California, nonprofits, and how foundations were thinking about this body of work. She was instrumental in defining and developing a unique focus for our program. As a result, we created a high-profile program, the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, that really focuses on key issues facing our state.
Kris has a proven ability to do what she says she’ll do, on budget, on schedule, every single time. Her reports are concise, accessible, and incredibly comprehensive.
Kris crafted an analysis that helped us more deeply understand the impact and challenges of our investments in youth media, which guided our work to its next phase. As a result of their findings, we doubled the number of grants we were making and expanded our geographic reach. I strongly recommend her.
Kris asked us questions about our strategic planning that we hadn’t considered. She challenged our thinking and helped us answer key questions around the identity and purpose of our foundation. At the end, we were able to clearly articulate our value in a way that attracted new funding.
Kris and her team were instrumental in helping the United Way of the Bay Area identify organizational challenges and set priorities to tackle these challenges. They did this in a very thorough and responsive way, without taking too much of our staff’s time. Kris understood our institutional culture and brought remarkable diplomacy to a difficult situation. They presented their findings to our various stakeholders in ways that prompted action and commitment and have changed the way we do business here.
Kris knows the philanthropy field, has the relationships, and understands the behavior and culture of foundations.
We had an idea for a new initiative but needed to refine and expand upon it. Kris and her team added muscle to our existing staff capacity, including the organizational skills to coordinate, publicize, and convene a series of national workshops, and helped us pinpoint our program design. The initiative, Jobs to Careers, has received tremendous response, including an award from the Council on Foundations. I would definitely hire Kris again.
Working with Kris is extremely beneficial. Her attention to detail — specifically in analyzing and sharing information to support our decision making — helped us to stay organized and on time and really made an RFP process that was so overwhelmingly big seem well organized to all participants.
Kris’s insights help keep our heads focused on our vision and our feet firmly rooted in the communities we serve.
Kris has a direct, matter-of-fact style and unquestionable logic when it comes to corporate giving in ways that are efficient, effective and ultimately beneficial for communities and companies alike. She also knows how to explain her ideas clearly and simply in ways that shine through the fog of ‘corporatespeak’.
Kris “gets” philanthropy in a way that few consultants can match. I find her voice and her ideas refreshing, inspiring and always a bright spot of common sense and sanity in a sometimes crazy field.
Kris is knowledgeable about all the different, nuanced aspects of philanthropic strategy and understands why not all grantmakers are the same. I appreciate the way she repeatedly brings a fresh perspective to our work.
Kris’s advice is thought provoking and very practical.
No matter how you approach philanthropy, Kris has valuable wisdom to share.
Kris’s thoughts on our field are refreshing, provocative, and compelling.
Kris brings the perfect combination of bold visioning ability and attention to detail, which is why we retained her to develop a clearer, more engaging strategy for growing our organization’s reach and impact.
The fresh perspective that Kris brings to philanthropy is always eye-opening and spot-on.
Kris has a rare ability to work with diverse personalities and populations. She integrates easily and always gets the job done. Kris is simply great to work with.
Kris is creating innovative news ways to look at philanthropy and altruism so that both donor and recipient are better served and there is far more impact of the dollars being transferred. She is one of the global thought leaders in philanthropic philosophy and implementation.