Collected Wisdom for Grantmakers


Confident GIving Book CoverThis week, instead of sharing one point of wisdom, I’d like to share many – 46 of them, in fact. That’s how many entries you’ll find in my newly published book, Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders.

Why write a book? While a blog is great for sharing advice and helpful content in small, quick bursts of content, it also helps to have wisdom collected all in one place. This is true for just about any topic.

As a parent, I value little pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up here and there from friends and relatives, but there’s a reason why Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care is one of the top-selling books of all time.

As a consultant, I use my professional network to gather tips and advice for serving clients well, securing meaningful engagements and growing my business. But there’s no substitute for Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss.

For grantmakers, there are myriad listservs, blogs and journals out there to provide a constant stream of wisdom. These are all valuable resources, and I’m honored to add my voice to the mix. But I also want to contribute value to the field by offering a one-stop, go-to reference.

Unlike many of the more academic resources that are out there to guide grantmaking theory, I think you’ll find Confident Giving to be full of practical wisdom that you can implement right away, and with great effect.

For example, you’ll learn ways to:

  • Advance the vision and leadership that guides your philanthropy
  • Create clear strategies to drive the philanthropic process
  • Improve your grantmaking process and outcomes
  • Streamline your operation for greater efficiency
  • Improve relationships with grantees
  • Share your stories in meaningful ways
  • Incorporate evaluation into every initiative
  • Leverage the work of others to increase everyone’s impact
  • Think more like a strategic philanthropist
  • Maintain your personal focus and sanity in the philanthropic world
  • Create effective relationships with philanthropy consultants to add value to your efforts

Of course, I’m a little biased as to the value of this book, so I made sure others in the field felt it was valuable as well. They did, and you can read some of what they have to say here, or inside the front pages of the book itself.

Because you are a reader of my Philanthropy 411 blog, I’m particularly interested in what you have to say about the Confident Giving book. My hope is to produce subsequent volumes every year or two, and I’d like to create something that resonates with you and proves helpful to your work. So please send me an email and let me know what you think. (If you’d like a free reviewer’s copy, just ask!)

Next week, look for more of the usual wisdom and tips you’ve come to expect from Confident Giving. After all, I’ve got to create all the helpful content that will become Confident Giving, Volume 2!


“Kris shares the kind of advice that one wishes every consultant would give- insightful, useful and to the point, and always with good humor.”  – Peter Long, CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation

“Having known and worked with Kris for years, I’m always eager to find Confident Giving in my inbox. The ideas she shares are easy to read and engaging to think about-and have shown me many ways to improve our own strategies.”  – Nonet Sykes, Director of Race, Equity, and Inclusion, Annie E. Casey Foundation


Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a global philanthropy advisor. For over 16 years, top 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 Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, among dozens of others. Learn more at!


Download a Sample Chapter of Delusional Altruism Now!

Just provide us with your name and email and receive this sample.

Download the Article Now!

Just provide us with your name and email and receive this article.