Excerpt from the GSB study:
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 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.
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.
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.”
In their 2017 Founders’ Letter, Bob and Dottie King review highlights from the past year.
Underlying all of our efforts at King Philanthropies is a belief in the power of investing in people and then leveraging the connections that emerge between them. As we explained in our 2016 letter, our vision for confronting extreme poverty depends in part on embracing a new math: 1 + 1 = 3. The best way to generate outsized impact, in other words, is to foster collaborative relationships between talented people and between high-performance organizations.
Building and deepening relationships, particularly with grantees and other partners, was a hallmark of our work at King Philanthropies during 2017.
Read the full letter here.
Marc Sepama and Theo Wilson exemplify the promise of the King Scholar Leadership Program at Dartmouth.
By Charlotte Albright
When they marched onto the Green at Dartmouth College for the commencement ceremony on June 11, Marc Sepama, from Burkina Faso, and Theo Wilson, from Jamaica, became the first King Scholars to graduate from the college.
As undergraduates, Sepama and Wilson participated in the King Scholar Leadership Program, which Dottie and Bob King started in 2012. At commencement, both Kings received honorary degrees, as President Phil Hanlon noted at the ceremony, for their “compassion, generosity, and profound commitment to improving the quality of life in impoverished nations around the world.”
Sepama (shown in the photo below) and Wilson (shown in the photo above) say they are proud to be the first graduates of a program that prepares international students to fight global poverty. And they feel close to the couple who helped them come to Dartmouth.
The Kings, who have donated more than $35 million to the program, are international investors and partners in philanthropy. They often open their Menlo Park, Calif., home to the scholars in the program. “The Kings treat us like family,” Sepama says. “Having that personal connection to them—it’s very nice.”
“Marc and I share a love for music,” says Dottie King. “When he came over for Thanksgiving, I played Sinatra for him, one of my favorites.” King says she tries to be a mother to the King Scholars because they are far from home when they attend Dartmouth. Sepama and Wilson, she says, “are both wonderful. Sensitive, humble, and kind.”
They are also ambitious, says Bob King. “I’m so proud of them. The idea behind all this is to help them become future leaders—genuine leaders and innovators in their countries. They represent that promise.”