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Welcome to Her Success Story.

Women inspire me every single day. Their tenacity, wit, enthusiasm, power and grace have provided the world with amazing businesses that have transformed industries. Her Success Story is a podcast that allows these impactful and fascinating women to share their success journey with the world. Their triumphs, along with their failures. Their lessons, along with their leadership. And their determination to follow their dreams. Listen in each week as we talk to women in fashion, coaching, corporate, legal and so much more.

Our theme song is Irresistible Me by Cindy Rainne. 

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Jan 4, 2021

Kris Putnam-Walkerly  







Kris Putnam-Walkerly is a trusted advisor to the world’s leading philanthropists. For over 20 years, ultra-high net worth donors, foundations, Fortune 500 companies, celebrity activists and wealth advisors have sought her advice to transform their giving and catapult their impact. As a philanthropy advisor, speaker, and award-winning author, she’s helped hundreds of philanthropists strategically allocate over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts. Kris’s clients include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, J.M. Smucker Company, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walton Family Foundations, Fujitsu, Blue Shield of California, and Avery Dennison Foundation, among many others.

A thought leader in transformational giving®, Kris has been named one of America’s Top 20 Philanthropy Speakers for the past three years. She is the author of Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving *Wiley, 2020) and Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders; a contributor on philanthropy; a global philanthropy content partner to Alliance Magazine; and the US philanthropy expert to the leading Dutch philanthropy media outlet De Dikke Blauwe.

Kris is also a frequent contributor in publications of national philanthropy organizations including the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy, PEAK Grantmaking, and GrantCraft. She has provided expert commentary about philanthropy to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Entrepreneur, NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report, Philanthropy News Digest, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Financial Advisor Magazine, Wealth Management, and more.

In 2017 Kris was inducted into the Million Dollar Consulting® Hall of Fame, one of only 75 consultants worldwide who are recognized for outstanding accomplishments and are regarded by their peers as global leaders in consulting. She helped launch the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and has served on the boards of the Community Foundation of Lorain County (OH) and the Horizons Foundation.

Prior to forming Putnam Consulting Group, Inc., Kris was a grantmaker at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and an evaluator at Stanford University School of Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She and her husband have five children and reside near Cleveland, Ohio. Learn more at

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Transforming change in giving
  • Moving away from band-aid solutions to the more important impact
  • What is your approach to giving to solve problems
  • Finding the better way to address social issues
  • How to transform mindset when it comes to giving
  • What are you trying to accomplish with your assets
  • How to have the greatest impact with giving
  • The value of recognizing yourself as a peer to those you are working with
  • How crisis drives change
  • How good foundational systems allows for agility to pivot
  • The importance of a plan