Testimonials

I’ve worked with grantmaking clients of all sizes and all types.
Here’s what your colleagues have to say.

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.
Dr. Laura Gerald
President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
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.
Janet Spears
CEO, Metta Fund
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.
Ronn Richard
CEO, The Cleveland Foundation
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.
Tina Markanda
Executive Director, Foundation for a Healthy High Point
Kris’s thoughtful, practical advice provides a roadmap for practitioners who want to increase their effectiveness.
LaTida Smith
CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation
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!
Maureen Sheehan Massaro
Executive Director, Wilson Sheehan Foundation
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.
Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
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.
Mamie Kanfer Stewart
Director, Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation
Kris’ approach is refreshing! It's the right approach. She makes sure our philanthropy makes sense -- to us and our partners, grantees, and community.
Sherece West-Scantlebury, Ph.D.
President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
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.
Mark Smith
Former CEO, California HealthCare Foundation
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.
Peter Long, PhD
President & CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation
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.
Nonet Sykes
Director, Race Equity and Inclusion, Annie E. Casey Foundation
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.
Juan Davila
Executive Vice President, Blue Shield of California
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.
Rafael Lopez
Associate Director, Annie E. Casey Foundation
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.
Jane Isaacs Lowe
Senior Adviser for Program Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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.
Tamir Novotny
Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
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.
Deborah Ellwood
CEO, CFLeads
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.
LaTida Smith
CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation
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.
Alison Belfrage
Executive Director, Ohio State Bar Foundation
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.
Christy Pichel
President, Stuart Foundation
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.
Merle Gordon
Director, Community Benefit, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio
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.
Rahsaan Harris
Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in 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.
Allen Smart
Former Vice President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
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.
Rusty Stahl
Founder and former Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
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.
Sue Krey
President, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
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.
Michael Baloing
Former Program Officer, The California Wellness Foundation
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.
Denis Udall
Former Senior Program Officer, Walter S. Johnson Foundation
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.
Lisa Bottoms
Program Director, The Cleveland Foundation
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.
Lande Ajose
Former Senior Program Officer, The James Irvine Foundation
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.
Eric Sloan
Program Officer, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
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.
Rhonnel Sotelo
Chief Operating Officer, Stuart Foundation
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.
Dave Henderson
Board Chair, Stroke Awareness Foundation
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.
Molly Wertz
Vice President, United Way of the Bay Area
Kris knows the philanthropy field, has the relationships, and understands the behavior and culture of foundations.
Colin Lacon
President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers
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.
Victor Capoccia
Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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.
Maisha Simmons
Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Kris’s insights help keep our heads focused on our vision and our feet firmly rooted in the communities we serve.
Bob Eckardt
Executive Vice President, Cleveland Foundation
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'.
Alicia Procello Maddox
President, Avery Dennison Foundation
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.
Shawn Dove
CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
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.
Kathy Smith
Senior Program Officer, Walton Family Foundation
Kris’s advice is thought provoking and very practical.
Brian Frederick
President and CEO, Community Foundation of Lorain County
No matter how you approach philanthropy, Kris has valuable wisdom to share.
Lori Kuhn
Executive Director, Morgan Family Foundation
Kris's thoughts on our field are refreshing, provocative, and compelling.
Alison Belfrage
Executive Director, Ohio State Bar Foundation
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.
Deborah Ellwood
President and CEO, CFLeads
The fresh perspective that Kris brings to philanthropy is always eye-opening and spot-on.
Allen Smart
Vice President of Programs, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
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!
Mitzi-perdue
Mitzi Perdue
Philanthropist and Author, How to be Up in Down Times

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