From Well Done to What’s Next


img_0692a-croppedAs some of you may have noticed, I recently was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame by my own mentor and advisor, Alan Weiss, Ph.D. This honor was especially gratifying – not because of the fanfare but because, just like most people, I like to know that the work I’ve put into something (in this case, my consulting practice) has paid off.

Over the last decade, I’ve invested hours of my time and a good amount of my own money in my personal professional development, striving to become the most effective and valuable philanthropy advisor I can be. I’ve learned one-on-one from top global consultants, improved my consulting practice by honing in on key strengths and opportunities, and constantly strived to generate new ideas and content that will be useful to my clients and the field of philanthropy writ large. I’ve also helped found and served as chair of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) so that all of us who serve the philanthropic field can expand our connections and better our craft.

These investments have paid off handsomely in terms of knowledge gained, skills built, and purpose defined. And it’s wonderful to have that acknowledged by a third party for whom I have great respect.

But while this award marks a place for pause and reflection, it’s by no means a pinnacle. I still have miles to go and much to do. I still have to ask “what’s next”?

Why? Because I deeply believe in the power of philanthropy and want to help grantmakers deliver greater impact in ways that benefit funders, grantees and communities to the greatest extent possible. This isn’t a job for me – it’s a calling.

Over the next few months, I plan to introduce a number of new services to make it easier for funders to achieve their goals in ways that are most efficient, effective and powerful. I’m currently developing quick-startup tools for starting a foundation or streamlining operations, as well as an online assessment to measure the extent to which funders engage in “delusional altruism.”

Look for these and other new offerings throughout the year. And in the meantime, thanks to each and every one of you who brings your all to the practice of philanthropy. Those of you who continually learn, question, innovate and continually strive for “what’s next” are an inspiration to all of us.


Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW, has helped to transform the impact of top global philanthropies for over 18 years. She was recently inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame, one of only six consultants chosen in 2017. In 2016 she was named one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers, and authored the book Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, which was named one of “The 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books.” For more ideas, tips and tools to improve your giving, visit Putnam Consulting Group to read an article, listen to a podcast, or check out a case study.

Do you need someone to help you handle your proposal process from start to finish? Call Kris at 800.598.2102 or reach out by email at

“We’ve hired Putnam time and again for several projects, including objective evaluations of our own internal operations. The Putnam team stands 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 is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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