How can I or my organization apply to become a King Philanthropies grantee?

King Philanthropies, in tandem with our partner organizations, pursues a highly intentional and carefully targeted approach to philanthropy. We conduct proactive and rigorous due diligence to select grantees that align with our core mission. For that reason, we cannot accept unsolicited grant proposals or other requests for funding.

How can I apply for a job, an internship, or a volunteer opportunity at King Philanthropies?

Thank you for your interest in King Philanthropies. Please visit our Careers page for information on available positions.

I would like to request an interview with Bob King or Kim Starkey. How can I contact them?

To inquire about an interview, please complete and submit our Contact form.

I would like Kim Starkey or another member of the King Philanthropies team to speak at a conference or event. How can I invite them?

To invite Kim Starkey or another member of the King Philanthropies team to a speaking engagement, please complete and submit our Contact form.

King Essentials

How can I or my organization apply to become a King Essentials grantee?

The King Essentials team conducts proactive and rigorous due diligence to select grantees that align with the mission and methodology of this initiative. For that reason, we cannot accept unsolicited grant proposals.

What does King Essentials look for in a prospective grantee?

We award grants to organizations that meet three criteria:

Essential Human Need: Does the organization pursue work that aligns with one of our priority investment categories?

Proven Intervention: Does the organization have a base of compelling impact evidence for its work, as well as a track record of successfully scaling its operations?

High-Performing Leadership: Does the organization embody the seven essential elements of excellence in the social sector (as outlined in the book Engine of Impact)?
To learn more about King Essentials and its methodology, please click here.

Which types of programs does King Essentials fund?

Through a rigorous strategic planning process, we have identified several priority investment categories, including agriculture and food security, early childhood development, girls’ education, and land rights. For a complete list of these categories, and for more information on our planning process, please visit our Priority Investment Categories page.

In which countries does King Essentials work?

King Essentials focuses its grantmaking in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and particularly in countries with high rates of extreme poverty. We commit to making grants in a given country only after analyzing the specific challenges and opportunities that affect poverty alleviation efforts in that country. For a list of countries where we work, please visit our Current Focus Countries page.

How does King Essentials structure its grants?

We fund organizations that are ready to achieve impact at scale in a particular investment category and in a particular country. To enable these organizations to pursue that goal, we typically commit to awarding multi-year, unrestricted grants.

I have an idea for a new enterprise. Would King Essentials consider my enterprise for its portfolio?

We do not fund early-stage ventures. When we established King Essentials, we determined that a healthy ecosystem for funding new and emerging organizations was already in place within the social sector. Funders like Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Echoing Green, and the Mulago Foundation (to name just a few) do excellent work in that part of the sector. At the same time, we identified a funding gap for mezzanine-stage ventures—for organizations with a proven model that are seeking capital to scale their impact. King Philanthropies focuses on this niche. Our portfolio therefore includes only organizations that have been operating for several years. In most cases, these organizations have undergone rigorous third-party impact evaluation and have scaled to a point where they reach hundreds of thousands of people.

Does King Essentials support only nonprofit organizations?

The majority of our portfolio consists of nonprofit organizations. However, if we encounter a for-profit enterprise that is achieving extraordinary impact, we will consider funding it. In general, we are impact-first funders and remain flexible as to how we deploy our capital. As long as an organization can demonstrate an ability to achieve impact at scale in poverty alleviation, we are agnostic about its corporate structure or revenue model.

How does King Essentials ensure that funded interventions are able to maximize their impact?

Across our portfolio, we aim to support interventions that reach their target population at an average cost per person of $10. Because our portfolio spans different countries, different investment categories, and different types of intervention, we do not expect to meet that standard in all cases. But we focus our grantmaking on organizations that are able to scale their operations efficiently.

Global Scholars

Which U.S. universities participate in the Global Scholars program?

In 2012, we launched the King Scholars program at Dartmouth College; in 2017, we launched the King-Morgridge Scholars program at University of Wisconsin–Madison; and in 2018, we launched the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program at Stanford University. To learn more about the Global Scholars initiative as a whole, click here.

How can I apply to become a Global Scholar?

We rely on our partner institutions to manage our Global Scholars programs. To learn more about becoming a King Scholar at Dartmouth College, please click here. To learn more about becoming a King-Morgridge Scholar at University of Wisconsin–Madison, please click here. To learn more about becoming a Knight-Hennessey Scholar at Stanford University, please click here.

Who are the current and past Global Scholars?

Global Scholars come from a large and growing array of countries. To see a map of those countries, click here. To learn more about the backgrounds and the perspectives of both current Global Scholars and Global Scholars alumni, please visit Meet Our Scholars.

What are Global Scholars graduates doing now?

Global Scholars alumni live and work in communities all around the world. They are attending graduate school, engaging in social impact projects, and building their professional skills in a variety of organizational settings. To learn more about our alumni, please visit Meet Our Scholars.

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