In their 2018 Founders’ Letter, Bob and Dottie King review the top 10 themes that have stood out in the work of King Philanthropies this past year.
Each of our three core initiatives at King Philanthropies (King Essentials, Seed and Global Scholars) possess significant power to achieve even more impact when integrated together. We like to think of it as weaving threads together to create a beautiful tapestry. 2018 brought many opportunities for such weaving, and we anticipate many more in years to come.
Read the full letter here.
King Philanthropies (KP) was a grant-making organization that employed a highly intentional and carefully targeted approach to philanthropy. It was guided by relentless pursuit of its mission: to alleviate extreme poverty by magnifying the impact of high-performing leaders and organizations.
In early 2018, the KP board had expressed enthusiasm for creating a grants initiative in India. However, as KP Portfolio Director Cindy Chen and her team started doing diligence on organizations in India, they found a number of challenges when it came to the pipeline of potential grantees. Indeed, the vast majority of organizations were small, working in only a few communities across just one or two of India’s 29 states and 7 union territories.
Equally problematic, few of the organizations they looked at in India had a demonstrated capacity to scale across the country, or even interventions that were scalable. This mattered because KP, for reasons both practical and philosophical, focused on organizations that could scale their impact.
Learn more and access the case study here.
King Philanthropies celebrates the Stanford King Center on Global Development! With an extraordinary team and bold vision for the future, the Center brings together scholars and students from across Stanford University to pursue innovative approaches to poverty alleviation based on data-driven research.
Read more in the official announcement from Stanford University.
King Philanthropies is thrilled to launch a new podcast series, King Global Scholars on Air. The series shares the lives and unfiltered stories of exceptional Global Scholars committed to poverty alleviation around the world. From Yemen to Kenya to Rwanda to Tibet—the upcoming podcasts reveal these scholars’ journeys as they navigate the transition from their home countries to Dartmouth College and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Season One focuses on the powerful theme of community to transform and positively impact lives.
Beverly Watson, Director of the Global Scholars Program at King Philanthropies, conducts one-on-one interviews with the 12 first- year Global Scholars, as well as two Global Scholar Alums of Dartmouth College. Catch the King Global Scholars on Air series here. Two episodes will be released each week, starting on Friday, February 15th. The Season One Trailer can be heard here.
Stanford University recently hosted a terrific Engine of Impact event, featuring inspiring lessons from the high-impact nonprofit, Last Mile Health. On November 27th, Engine of Impact co-author and King Philanthropies President and CEO Kim Jonker and Last Mile Health cofounder and CEO Raj Panjabi took part in an exciting discussion on “Achieving Impact in the Social Sector”, co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Global Poverty Development and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and moderated by Laura Hattendorf of the Mulago Foundation.
To an audience comprised of students, (including visiting King Scholars from Dartmouth!) faculty, Stanford alumni, and social sector leaders, Panjabi shared his personal lessons of leadership and learnings so far at Last Mile Health. Lauding the importance of themes of “focus, focus, focus” in Engine of Impact’s Chapter 1, “The Primacy of Mission”, Panjabi stressed the importance of focus in a nonprofit’s activities (versus breadth and diversification). Panjabi shared that the early years of Last Mile Health looked very different from what the organization is today. Initially, Last Mile Health’s interventions were broad, including agriculture, sewing & more! But by honing in on a single concept – professionalizing community health workers – Last Mile Health has achieved massive impact. It was featured as an exemplary organization in Engine of Impact, cited for its current clear and focused mission. Last Mile Health was also featured in Engine of Impact for its impressive ability to scale.
On November 15th, Kim Jonker, President and CEO of King Philanthropies, and Tim Hanstad, CEO of the Chandler Foundation and cofounder of Landesa, led a discussion at the ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Organizations) Annual Conference in Austin, TX. Kim shared insights and themes from Engine of Impact, with Landesa as a case example of an organization that has mastered so many of the essentials of strategic leadership. Audience members were keen to ask Hanstad, who just stepped down after 32 years at the helm of Landesa, about the challenges posed and lessons he’d learned co-founding a small organization that went on to have incredible impact at scale. “Strategy is all about what you say no to,” said Hanstad. He shared that his team’s commitment to Landesa’s focused mission led the Landesa team to turn down enormous sums of grant money that would have led the organization astray.
J.P. Morgan has selected "Engine of Impact" for its 19th annual list of recommended books.
Every summer, out of the thousands of nonfiction books published in the preceding year, the financial services giant J.P. Morgan selects 10 books to recommend to its clients. Today, the firm announced its 19th annual Reading List Collection, and Engine of Impact is among the titles honored by placement on the list.
In a video released in conjunction with the announcement, co-authors Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker expressed their pride in being so recognized.
To create the list, J.P. Morgan drew on nominations from its client advisors, who suggested hundreds of books for consideration. In its description of Engine of Impact, the firm observes that the book “provides actionable guidance for donors who seek to maximize the effectiveness of their giving, and nonprofit board members and executives who want to help their organizations achieve greater impact.”
An overview of the full list is available here.
Every recipient of a King Scholars award—either from Dartmouth College or the University of Wisconsin–Madison—has a powerful story to tell about the journey that has brought him or her to that institution. Consider Janel Consuelo Morales Perez, a young woman from the Philippines who will enter Dartmouth this fall as a King Scholar. Inquirer.net, a news site that serves people of Filipino descent around the world, profiles Perez in a recent article, “From Buting Elementary School to Ivy League.”
The article explores the inspirational influence that Perez’s mother, Cristina, has had on the young scholar, as well as Perez’s connection to Zholl Tablante, senior assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth, who is also from the Philippines. In addition, the piece covers Perez’s educational and professional goals—goals that align closely with the mission of the King Scholars initiative. “I want to focus on poverty alleviation through human capital development,” Perez says.
At the annual Global Philanthropy Forum conference, the CEO of King Philanthropies led a discussion with two leading figures in African philanthropy.
This week, president and CEO Kim Starkey Jonker moderated a panel at the 2018 Global Philanthropy Forum conference in Redwood City, Calif. The panel, “Building an Ecosystem: When Generosity Meets Strategy,” focused on the growth of philanthropy in Africa. In introducing and leading the session, Jonker drew both on her work at King Philanthropies, which sponsors ambitious programs in Africa, and on her work for the book Engine of Impact, which explores (among other topics) the nexus of generosity and strategy.
A post at the GPF website summarizes the session:
Strategy is a planned set of actions that enable you to achieve your goals. However, many organizations in the social sector have strategies that lack focus and spread their resources too thin. Kim Starkey Jonker, president and CEO of King Philanthropies, sat down with Valerie Dabady, manager of the Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department at the African Development Bank and Dikembe Mutombo, chairman and president of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, to discuss how philanthropists can effectively identify or build organizations with strong, targeted strategies. A former NBA player, Mutombo emphasized the importance of collaboration as a central part of strategy. “Anything you want to do in life, you have to understand you need to work as a team,” he said. Building on this, Dabady pointed out that knowing who to work with, and making the right partnerships for your organization is critical.
A complete video recording of the session appears below.
Online profiles show the wide range of ambitions and talents that mark the program's first cohort.
In February, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program announced that it had selected 49 students from 21 countries to form its first cohort of scholarship recipients. Recently, the program added to its website a new page titled “Meet the Scholars.” At this page, users can access a brief profile of each scholar. From Jani Adcock, an American who will enter a doctoral program in computational and mathematical engineering at Stanford School of Engineering, to Asaf Zilberfarb, a citizen of Israel who will pursue a master’s degree in international policy studies at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences, the roster of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars highlights both the impressive scale of these students’ achievements and the diverse array of academic fields that they will represent.
Last week, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies(known as Seed) received a delegation led by Mahamudu Bawumia, vice president of Ghana. The delegation included leaders from that country’s information technology industry, and among the group were eight entrepreneurs who have completed the Seed Transformation Program(STP). Vice President Bawumia discussed a broad range of technology initiatives that the government of Ghana is now undertaking, and Seed executive director Darius Teeter spoke to the delegation about STP. (Accra, Ghana, is the site of the Seed Transformation Program in West Africa.) About 40 students from Stanford Graduate School of Business attended the gathering.
King Philanthropies leaders Kim Jonker and Bill Meehan are now contributors to Forbes.
To help spread the ideas set forth in their book Engine of Impact, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker have agreed to write a regular column for the Leadership section of the Forbes website. Every two weeks, they will post a brief, to-the-point article that leverages content from the book to shed light on current events and to offer practical insight for leaders.
The first entry in the series is a post titled “Philanthropists, Nonprofit Executives, and Board Members Must Awaken to the Dawn of the Impact Era.” It draws on recent developments in and around the social sector—the response to Hurricane Harvey, the decision by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to change its admission pricing policy, a new study on race and mobility in the United States—to illustrate the quest by nonprofit leaders to sharpen their focus on impact.
Meehan and Jonker argue that we are entering a new era—the Impact Era—and that nonprofits must rise to the occasion:
[T]he world of charitable giving is rapidly transforming as high-net-worth individuals turn their attention from the challenge of creating wealth to that of creating social impact. … The scale, timing, and focus of the portion of global wealth that will go to philanthropy in this era remain to be determined and are very much subject to influence—which is why nonprofits and their leaders must prepare themselves for this moment by earning the right to receive and leverage philanthropic investment.
You can access all posts for the Forbes column here.
How can nonprofit leaders tell if their organization has earned the right to scale? Kim Jonker and Bill Meehan offer tools to help answer that question.
Not all nonprofits are created equal, and not all nonprofits are equally ready to scale up their impact. In the last chapter of Engine of Impact, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker argue that there are different levels—and different kinds—of scale-readiness. They also present the Readiness to Scale Matrix, an analytical tool that enables users to evaluate whether an organization has reached a point where it not only has achieved an ability to scale its impact but also has earned the right to do so.
Now Stanford Social Innovation Review has published an article by Meehan and Jonker that encapsulates the core logic of the Readiness to Scale Matrix. Titled “Earning the Right to Scale,” the piece offers a brief overview of the seven essential elements of strategic leadership and then describes how an organization’s performance in those elements determines its placement on the matrix.
Although nonprofits remain unequal in their readiness to scale, all of them have a right—and, arguably, a duty—to optimize their performance in the context of how they are performing currently. To help nonprofit leaders gauge how ready their organization is to expand its impact, Meehan and Jonker created the Engine of Impact Diagnostic. This resource is, in effect, an interactive version of the Readiness to Scale Matrix, and it complements the SSIR article.
To read that article, click here.
In his first semester at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Lusayo Mwakatika stands out by winning a campus speech contest.
By Steve Barcus
What does it take to deliver a strong persuasive speech?
The CA 100 Speech Contest is a long-standing tradition that occurs each semester. Teaching assistants from each of the CA 100 sections submit speeches from their top students to compete in the competition. The field is vast for the competition, especially considering that last fall more than 700 students were enrolled in CA 100. From the students selected to participate in the competition, six went to the final round, with Mwakatika receiving the top honors.
Mwakatika’s speech was a persuasive piece, encouraging his peers to join the BRIDGE (Building Relationships in Diverse Global Environments) program, coordinated by International Student Services. Hailing from Malawi, Mwakatika joined BRIDGE last fall as a way to meet fellow students, acclimate to campus and the U.S., and build friendships. It affords U.S students with those same opportunities to connect with Badgers from around the world.
However, soon after joining BRIDGE, Mwakatika noticed a need for more American student to take part in the program.
“When I was in BRIDGE, I frequently heard from international students about the need for more American students to join the program,” Mwakatika said. “Many international students have been put on a wait list to join because there aren’t enough American students in the program.”