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Philanthropy can be a powerful lever to tackle complex social problems, address inequities, invest in more vibrant communities and introduce transformative innovations.  Erin Kahn Consulting helps individuals, couples and families to realize the potential of their philanthropy.


Through a customized approach, Erin supports clients to sharpen their focus, craft insightful and responsive strategies, and operationalize their giving with joy and clarity.  Whether it’s facilitating conversations to refine philanthropic goals, creating learning opportunities that forge stronger connections and learning from nonprofit partners, or designing strategies for engaging a multi-generational family foundation board, Erin draws on a range of tools, best practices, strategic insight and facilitation skills to help her clients have a big impact. She can help donors who are just getting started in their philanthropy as well as those who are reinvigorating their giving or welcoming a new generation of family members to their philanthropic efforts.

Services Include:

  • Guiding conversations about philanthropic mission and core values

  • Working with multiple generations to craft a vision and plan for giving together

  • Clarifying giving priorities and focus areas, including target geography and population

  • Identifying a donor’s philanthropic style and approach to achieve impact

  • Designing grantmaking strategies, including problem clarification, landscape scanning, and identifying pathways to impact

  • Advising on methods to amplify impact, such as advocacy, challenge grants, funder collaboratives and using a donor’s “voice”

  • Developing a learning plan to deepen knowledge of an issue area, draw on the wisdom of community members and nonprofits, access issue-area experts and like-minded funders

  • Designing grant guidelines or “requests for proposals” as well as outreach strategies to identify prospective grantees

  • Defining governance models and decision-making approaches 

  • Exploring strategies for engaging and preparing the next generation


  • Designing a "process flow" to review, evaluate and make funding decisions

  • Developing strategies for budgeting and balancing giving priorities 

  • Establishing systems, processes and core infrastructure for small foundations, giving programs, family offices or Donor-Advised Funds

  • Serving as a “one-stop shop” for start-up foundations without staff, including serving as a liaison to accounting, legal, family office and other trusted advisors

  • Supporting due diligence and proposal review

  • Assessing staffing needs and supporting hiring processes for “first hires”

  • Coaching and mentoring new foundation staff

  • Structuring evaluation and learning opportunities to listen and gather feedback from grantees

"Erin has been a trusted partner in our philanthropic journey.  She helped us get clear on the impact we wanted to have and how to achieve it. We’d recommend her to other philanthropists who want to do their giving well. "


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