King Philanthropies’ Top 10 Themes of 2018

1. Inspiration

We feel called to love our neighbors. In a rapidly shrinking world, we see our neighbors as living all over the globe. Every life matters equally. We seek to direct our resources – with generosity, kindness and hard-headed acuity – to achieve the most impact for those who need it most. This year, we were especially inspired by Bishop Michael Curry’s reflections in The Power of Love.

2. Bold mission 

We established King Philanthropies in 2016 with a very intentional mission: to alleviate extreme poverty by magnifying the impact of high-performing leaders and organizations.

Nearly 700 million people currently live on $1.90/day. Most of those in extreme poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, so that is King Philanthropies’ geographic focus. Our goals are inherently ambitious because the needs in this world are immense.

3. Exciting early results

We are off to an amazing start! For example, our King Essentials program had an impact on more than 265,000 lives in 2018bringing our cumulative total to 450,000 lives since the inception of King Essentials in 2016.

New smallholder farmers from Landesa Myanmar Ayeyarwady Yeh Leh Gi Beneficiaries

Photo: Landesa

4. Proven interventions

Our King Essentials initiative funds high performing organizations with proven interventions that address fundamental human needs of those in extreme poverty. In 2018, King Essentials launched new grants in Liberia and India and continued its support of grantees in Myanmar.

5. New math

Our initiatives are designed to remain faithful to Bob’s favorite equation, 1 + 1 = 3, by continuing to foster collaborative relationships that generate outsized impact. Our King Essentials grants are structured to facilitate and recognize collaboration.

To take one example, Landesa and Proximity Designs are partnering to provide credit to farmers with newly-tenured land rights, helping them to receive small loans through Proximity Finance, a subsidiary of Proximity Designs. By working together, Landesa and Proximity Designs are able to provide more value to these farmers than either organization could on its own – a classic example of 1+1=3.

6. Job creation

When we established Stanford Seed in partnership with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) our hope was to help end the cycle of global poverty through job creation by fostering new entrepreneurial ventures and scaling existing enterprises.

Interest in Seed’s high-impact approach continues to grow, as demonstrated by the 1,749 entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who applied for the 2019 program (up from 955 in 2017) with the intent of transforming their organizations through access to the GSB’s general management training, coaching, and networking support. In 2018, Seed also completed its first India cohort and its first inclusion of participants from Southern Africa.

Seed hosted multiple events on the Stanford GSB campus, including the 2018 Africa Business Forum and a speech by World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim with Q&A led by Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

2018 Africa Business Forum and a speech by World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim with Q&A led by Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

In recognition of the power of the network, Seed brought together nearly half of all past Seed participants in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2018 Seed Transformation Network Summit, a three-day program of continued learning and networking.

2018 Seed transformation network

7. Developing future leaders

Our Global Scholars Program is built on the simple idea that poverty alleviation can be best achieved by those who have direct experience of it. We, therefore, aim to train and equip a new generation of strong and ethical leaders who know poverty firsthand and are dedicated to solving its root issues. With the benefit of a world-class college education and leadership training, these Scholars will be prepared to employ game-changing solutions to alleviate poverty across the globe.

The total number of scholars in the King Philanthropies family reached 90 this year!

In 2018, our second cohort of four King Scholars graduated from Dartmouth College (bringing our Dartmouth alumni to six) while six new King Scholars entered Dartmouth to begin their undergraduate educations.

Bob & Dottie celebrate the graduation of King Scholar from Dartmouth College

And, our second cohort of six King-Morgridge Scholars entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue their undergraduate degrees.

Celebrating our second cohort of six King-Morgridge Scholars entering the University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue their undergraduate degrees

In autumn 2018, we also welcomed the very first cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars to Stanford University where they will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree.

8. Weaving a rich fabric

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. For example, in November, Dr. Raj Panjabi, founder of Last Mile Health, a King Essentials grantee, and Kim Starkey Jonker, CEO of King Philanthropies, spoke to an audience at Stanford about excellence in the social sector. Audience members included King Scholars visiting from Dartmouth and Knight-Hennessy Scholars from Stanford.

In November, Dr. Raj Panjabi, founder of Last Mile Health, a King Essentials grantee, and Kim Starkey Jonker, CEO of King Philanthropies, spoke at Stanford about excellence in the social sector.

9. Driving social sector excellence

Engine of Impact achieved significant traction in 2018! Co-authored by our CEO, Kim Starkey Jonker, and Bill Meehan, Engine of Impact equips social sector leaders, board members, and donors to achieve more impact.

Engine of Impact achieved significant traction in 2018! Co-authored by our CEO, Kim Starkey Jonker, and Bill Meehan

10. Extraordinary teamwork

We have assembled an extraordinary team! Thank you to Kim Starkey, Ed Diener, Beverly Watson, Cindy Chen, Devin Bruckner, Samra Adeni, Maya DiRado, Christiana Lee, and Masako Esparragoza!

King Philanthropies Team

Our ambitions for King Philanthropies and our hopes for the organizations, entrepreneurs, and scholars we support remain as high as ever. We look forward to making even greater impact in 2019.

With warmest wishes,
Bob and Dottie King

All numbers are from most recent estimates from the World Bank, published in 2018, based on 2015 data.

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