A Letter from Our Founders
ALLEVIATING EXTREME POVERTY
Top 10 Themes of 2019
1. Three million lives reached over the past three years!
Since we established King Philanthropies in 2016, we have made a meaningful difference in the lives of more than 3 million people who live in extreme poverty in countries such as Myanmar, India, Liberia, and Tanzania.
2. Bold strategic planning for the future
We devoted much of 2019 to a very fruitful planning process, in which we aligned on a very big Objective for the future and a strategy to get us there. We seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of 100 million people over the next 15 years! Join us for this exciting journey!
3. Building our excellent board and team
As part of our efforts to lay the organizational groundwork for our exciting future, King Philanthropies added three new Board members in 2019: Rico Rosales, Emily Liggett and John Brandon. We are thrilled to have built an excellent board to govern King Philanthropies.
We are also grateful for our talented, dedicated team at King Philanthropies.
4. Launch of the King Center for Global Development at Stanford
In May of 2019, the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development changed its name and relaunched as the Stanford King Center on Global Development.
Formed as a partnership between the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and Stanford Seed, the King Center is a transformative hub where scholars and students from across the university come together to pursue innovative, data-driven approaches to improving the lives of the world’s poor. Read more in the official announcement from Stanford University.
5. SEED continues to grow, equipping entrepreneurs to scale their businesses
In 2011, we launched Stanford Seed in partnership with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Our vision was to “solve poverty by job creation”; we sought to create jobs in developing countries by equipping entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and social enterprises. Seed continued to expand in 2019, now working on the ground in Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, and India, with more locations to come. To date, 628 CEOs from 19 countries have completed Seed Transformation Program to help them boost profits, launch new products, and expand their workforces with helpful follow-on coaching by experienced business executives. In addition, Stanford students from 14 academic programs have volunteered over 25,000 hours with Seed entrepreneurs since the program’s launch. Learn more about Seed’s innovative model and impact to date here.
6. King Essentials in Africa: expansion to Tanzania, continuing in Liberia
Our King Essentials grants support high-performing nonprofit organizations that achieve measurable results on the ground, often working collaboratively with one another. We scale proven interventions with track records for outstanding performance. This summer, King Essentials expanded to Tanzania and welcomed a wonderful new cohort of organizations working there: CAMFED, One Acre Fund, Landesa and Sanku. Our King Essentials work in Liberia continued, with cohort organizations of Last Mile Health, BRAC, Landesa and GiveDirectly.
7. King Essentials in Asia: continuing in India, follow-on funding in Myanmar
Our grants to J-PAL and Pratham continue to flourish in India. We were delighted to see Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee win the Nobel Prize in 2019! (Consider checking out this Stanford Graduate School of Business case study describing our 2018 decision-making process in choosing to make grants to J-PAL and Pratham).Following a wonderful site visit to Myanmar by our team, this fall we committed follow-on funding to Landesa and Proximity Designs for the next five years. In total, our unrestricted support to these two exemplary organizations in Myanmar will span eight years of continuous funding. More unrestricted multi-year support is much needed in the philanthropic sector!
8. Developing future leaders: our extraordinary Global Scholars
In 2019, our Global Scholars community grew to over 170 amazing students! At an undergraduate level, there are a total of 52 King Scholars at Dartmouth and King-Morgridge Scholars at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, plus 6 alumni. At a graduate level, there are 119 Knight Hennessy Scholars for which we have supported the King Global Leadership Program. Hailing from 25 countries, our scholars are passionate about future careers in which they will play leadership roles in poverty alleviation in their home countries.
To learn more about our exceptional scholars, check out Global Scholars on Air, a new podcast series highlighting their lives and journeys.
9. Promoting excellence in the social sector
We continue to believe in focusing as a way to increase our impact, and we prioritize measurable results. Whenever we can, we share best practices and learnings with others. Our CEO, Kim Starkey Jonker, continues to share Engine of Impact with others in the social sector, and she recently launched a column in Forbes on leadership and high-performance in the social sector.
10. Addressing climate change as we look to the future
Climate change is a defining issue of our time. The world’s poorest are the most vulnerable to – and disproportionately affected by – higher temperatures, warming oceans, rising sea levels, and an increasing number of extreme weather events. As John Sterman (MIT) explains, “The confluence of climate change and poverty reduction, especially in the developing world, is critically important. The developing nations will be hit hardest by climate change, while having contributed the least to the problem. Unless we cut global emissions dramatically, and soon, the billions of people in these nations are at high risk of having their journey to development and well-being cut tragically short.” Many of our grants to date have had an impact on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and we are in the process of intentionally exploring ways that we might do more within the context of our work addressing extreme poverty. There’s no time to wait!