King essentials

Meeting
Essential Needs

King Essentials provides grants to high-performing organizations that address fundamental human needs through proven interventions.

Areas of essential need include agriculture, early childhood development, land rights, and primary health care. By investing in such areas, we help people in low-income countries to create the conditions for alleviating extreme poverty.

The initiative identifies organizations that are already delivering significant results and provides them with long-term, flexible support to increase their impact substantially.

In keeping with the mission of King Philanthropies, the program aims to achieve enduring, large-scale change in the lives of the world’s poorest people. Since we launched King Essentials in 2017, funded work by program grantees has improved the lives of several million people across multiple countries.

Methodology

Define priority investment areas—fields of activity that provide an opportunity to achieve substantial impact.

Priority Investment Areas →

Focus on the countries and populations with the highest need.

current focus countries →

Identify organizations whose work aligns with both priority investment areas and focus countries.

Assess organizations across three criteria: essential need, scalable impact, high-performing leadership.

Award a select group of organizations with generous, unrestricted multi-year grants to support scaling of proven interventions.

Portfolio Organizations

BRAC Liberia

BRAC Liberia

Improvements across a rural value chain boost incomes and food security

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Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)

Support for girls’ education helps build a network of African female leaders

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GiveDirectly

GiveDirectly

An evidence-tested cash transfer approach delivers timely relief during a crisis

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Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International

A multi-faceted program improves nutrition during children’s critical early years

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J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia

Rigorous evaluation and trusted advice pave the way for effective policy change

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Landesa

Landesa

Inclusive efforts to secure land rights lay a foundation for rural prosperity

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Last Mile Health

Last Mile Health

Stronger community health workforces bring life-saving care to remote areas

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One Acre Fund

One Acre Fund

Farmer-first programs help clients achieve larger yields and higher profits

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Pratham

Pratham

Evidence and efficiency help drive an early childhood learning program

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Proximity Designs

Proximity Designs

User-focused design unlocks the potential of Myanmar’s smallholder farmers

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Pilot Grants

King Essentials also awards a limited number of smaller grants to support work by promising organizations or to test new approaches to poverty alleviation. These pilot grants fund projects that address essential needs but currently fall short of meeting all of our selection criteria.

Sanku

Sanku

Sanku provides small-scale food fortification in order to address child and maternal malnutrition in Africa. Its “dosifier” technology involves attaching a device to small flour mills that injects doses of premixed micronutrients into maize flour, a major staple crop. A pilot grant from King Philanthropies is enabling Sanku to expand the use of dosifiers across Tanzania, to improve its quality control operation, and to strengthen its organizational capacity.

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J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia

Under guidance from a global team of health and nutrition experts, J-PAL South Asia is implementing a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of distributing micronutrient-fortified rice through the Public Distribution System in a state in India. (The Public Distribution System is an entity run by the Indian government that addresses food insecurity by providing essential commodities to poor citizens.) King Philanthropies is supporting the study in collaboration with the Global Innovation Fund.

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Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty. With support from King Philanthropies, IPA is partnering with Landesa to conduct an impact evaluation of land rights reform in Myanmar. This study, a randomized controlled trial, will evaluate the effects of government land allocation on food security and a sense of agency among previously landless families.

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