SUPPORTING WORK THAT TARGETS VITAL HUMAN NEEDS
While economic development in countries such as China and India has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the past few decades, extreme poverty remains a persistent challenge in many parts of the globe. Extreme poverty—defined as the condition of subsisting on $1.90 or less per day—afflicts nearly 10 percent of the world’s population. Most people in this group reside in Sub-Saharan Africa or in parts of Asia – 644M, or nearly 84% of the world’s extreme poor. In addition, more than three-quarters of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas where access to basic services and training are severely limited.
Reducing malnutrition and improving rural livelihoods
Finding and funding proven interventions
*Photos courtesy Gabriel Diamond
Our King Essentials grantmaking program focuses on improving the lives and prospects of the world’s poorest people residing in rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Each year, King Philanthropies selects a small number of high caliber nonprofit organizations and provides them with long-term, multi-year, general operating support. Our grants align with our mission of alleviating extreme poverty through magnifying the impact of high-performing leaders and organizations. We also take into consideration the factors that shape extreme poverty, including climate change.
Within a specific geography, we select grantees by focusing on these core elements:
- Essential Human Need: Addressing a critical human need, such as undernutrition for young children in the first 1000 days.
- Proven Intervention: Ensuring both a rigorous impact evaluation (so we know it works) and a track record of scaling and partnering.
- Strategic Leadership: Embodying the seven essentials as codified in Engine of Impact: Mission, Strategy, Impact Evaluation, Insight and Courage, Funding, Talent, and Board Governance.
At King Philanthropies, we seek to foster collaboration across organizations working in the same areas because we believe multiple organizations can achieve more when they work together. We think of it as bringing together different elements to weave a rich tapestry. In fact, Bob King sums it up best with “1 + 1 = 3”.
Please note, at this time, we are unable to accept unsolicited proposals or meeting requests given the small size of our staff.
Our portfolio is focused on high-impact interventions for alleviating extreme poverty. Some examples of these interventions are below. To date, King Essentials grants have affected the lives of over 450,000 people.
Agriculture and Food Security
The majority of the world’s poor depend on farming for their main livelihood and to feed their families. Despite the technological advances in many parts of the world, rural subsistence farmers suffer from low productivity, lack of financing, and inadequate market access. We fund organizations that enable smallholder farmers to increase their yields through agricultural training, improved inputs, and access to financing to reduce food insecurity and increase incomes.
Clear, secure land rights are a critical precursor for families to feel confident investing in their land. Across the globe, millions of poor people, particularly women, are denied secure access to their land, making agricultural investment less commonplace and impeding agricultural productivity. We fund organizations that support the development and implementation of land rights policies, laws, and regulations at the national and local level.
Adequate nutrition in early childhood is necessary for proper cognitive, emotional, and physical development. Not only is malnutrition a leading cause of death in children under 5, it also has serious consequences for a child’s future health, learning, and earning potential. In short, malnutrition is both a maker and marker of poverty. We fund organizations that target the complex root causes of malnutrition, using interventions such as micronutrient provision, diarrhea treatment, and exclusive breastfeeding promotion during the first thousand days.
Primary Health Care
Many of the world’s extreme poor still die of preventable and treatable diseases because they live out of reach of traditional health systems. We fund organizations that provide primary health care services to those who need it most, utilizing community health workers to reach people in the most remote areas, all the while partnering with ministries of health to effectively scale programs.
Early Childhood Development
Early childhood is the single most critical period of development. Children in poverty often lack access to the resources necessary for healthy brain development, putting them at a lifelong disadvantage. We fund organizations that support early childhood development by embedding proven elements such as literacy/numeracy education and engagement with mothers’ groups.