Keynote Speaking

Are you in need of a provocative, engaging voice at your next conference or private event? How about a respected, outside expert to enlighten your board or foundation members?

Named one of America’s Top 20 Philanthropy Speakers

Named one of America’s Top 20 Philanthropy Speakers, renowned philanthropy advisor and award winning published author Kris Putnam-Walkerly is an experienced speaker who regularly shares her knowledge and expertise to a variety of audiences. Drawing insight and wisdom from more than two decades of philanthropy consulting, she’s been a featured presenter for associations, private donor meetings, and individual foundation boards.

"Kris’s broad and deep knowledge of the philanthropic sector has been an asset as we work to help emerging foundations scale the learning curve. Her presentations are a compelling combination of solid best-practice information coupled with real-world examples from her work with numerous foundations."
Ret Boney
Executive Director, North Carolina Network of Grantmakers

How Kris Can Work With You

Kris’ wealth of experience makes her a highly qualified speaker on a variety of topics within the philanthropy space. Her recent and popular keynote and session topics include:

  • Delusional Altruism®
  • Transformational Giving®
  • 5 Best Practices of Extraordinary Grantmakers
  • Getting Out of Our Own Way for Greater Impact
  • Strategic, Responsive, or Both?
  • Out of Your Bubble and Into Your Community
"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
President & CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation

Upcoming Speaking Engagements



Delusional Altruism: Insights by Kris Putnam-Walkerly

10am PT/1pm ET

Description: In her latest book, Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving, philanthropy advisor Kris Putnam-Walkerly provides real-world advice and practical guidance to help philanthropists avoid common delusional thoughts and practices that drastically hinder them from achieving transformational social change. In addition to helping you uncover self-limiting fallacies and how they may be manifesting in your giving efforts, Putnam-Walkerly shares proven strategies to avoid and overcome these pitfalls to realize your goal for impactful, sustainable change. Join Putnam-Walkerly for a special webinar where she’ll answer your questions about effective giving. Hosted by Giving Compass.



7 Ways to Increase Your Philanthropic Impact During COVID-19

1pm ET

Description: In a crisis that touches every funder’s mission, strategy, geography and focus area, many philanthropists are rapidly adapting, transforming how they give, and providing immediate relief. Co-Sponsored by National Center for Family Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy, and Putnam Consulting Group.



12pm ET

Description: Did you know that most philanthropists want to change the world, but they get in their own way? Kris Putnam-Walkerly, global philanthropy advisor and author of Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change And What They Can Do To Transform Giving (Wiley, March 2020), will share common delusional thoughts and practices that drastically hinder philanthropists from achieving transformational social change. She will also explain how consultants can inadvertently contribute to this delusional thinking, and what they can do to help funders transform their giving. Sponsored by National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers.



Philanthropy and the Impact of COVID-19

3pm ET

Description: Everything has changed. Leading consultants and philanthropists come together to discuss the role of individuals, foundations and governments in the coming era and the kinds of partnerships we will need to forge on the road ahead.



How to Increase Your Nonprofit Leadership and Effectiveness During The Crisis

1pm ET

Description: In this webinar nonprofit leaders will learn how to:

  • Prevent fear and overwhelm from holding you back
  • Increase your speed and agility
  • Stay focused on your top priorities
  • Increase your effectiveness and impact during the crisis
  • Maintain momentum AFTER the crisis

Sponsored by iWave.



Giving Resiliently Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

1pm ET

Description: In this webinar, philanthropists will learn how to:

  • Prevent fear and overwhelm from holding you back
  • Increase your philanthropic speed and agility
  • Stay focused on your top priorities
  • Increase your effectiveness and impact during the crisis
  • Maintain momentum AFTER the crisis

This webinar is for all types of philanthropists – individual donors, foundations, corporate giving programs, giving circles, family offices, and donor-advised fund holders – who are looking for ways not only to navigate through this crisis, but increase their philanthropic effectiveness.

Sponsored by iWave.



Philanthropy and Its Role in the Wake of COVID-19

Description: Opal is proud to launch our Virtual Family Office Planning & Structure Forum, scheduled to take place on July 1, 2020. Through this virtual conference, speakers and attendees will explore the methods of structuring a family office with consideration of modern day planning for the next generation. The conference will bring together industry experts and family offices who are actively involved in building family office and succession planning structures.

Sponsored by Opal Group.



Case Western Reserve University Nonprofit Management and Leadership Series

Cleveland, Ohio

Description: Celebrate April Nonprofit Impact Month with us! This session addresses how funders can achieve greater impact through their funding and how grantees and fundraisers can best understand how to help them do that.



SunTrust and McGuireWoods Private Foundation System

Richmond, VA

Description: Delusional Altruism


April 2021

Philanthropy Experts & Leaders Academy (PELA)

Naples, Florida

Want to learn more?

Have another topic in mind or are you ready to book Kris for your next engagement? Contact her today!

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6 Mistakes Philanthropists Make During a Crisis (And What They Can Do Instead)

Don’t let delusional altruism hinder your impact! Learn valuable tips to improve your giving during tumultuous times.