NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Founder of Peninsula Capital (venture investments); founder and former president of R. Eliot King & Associates
FUNDING AREAS: Youth, Global Development, Higher Education.
OVERVIEW: Bob King's philanthropy is laser-focused on youth, both in the United States and abroad. In 2000, King and his wife Dottie founded the Thrive Foundation, which supports youth ages ten to 18. King has also given huge sums to his alma maters. In 2011, the Kings gave some $150 million to Stanford University to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, and they've given over $35 million to establish and support the King Scholar Leadership Program at Dartmouth, which provides scholarships to students from developing nations.
BACKGROUND: Robert "Bob" E. King received his B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College, and got his M.B.A. from Stanford University. King is a founder and former president of R. Eliot King & Associates, an investment management company. King is also the founder of Peninsula Capital, a venture investment vehicle that invests in U.S. and international companies. He has served on the board of the Village Enterprise Fund, an organization established to help create microenterprises in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
YOUTH: King and his wife Dottie founded the Thrive Foundation in 2000, which focuses on disadvantaged youth, aged ten to 18. Dottie has a background in child development, which evidently comes into play. Recently, Thrive has changed its strategy, and is now exclusively supporting eight grantees through 2016. One grantee is Friends of the Children, a nationwide organization that aims to "break the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring." Another organization is Youth Guidance in Chicago, which "implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and life." In the past, Thrive has also supported outfits such as World Vision USA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Girl Scouts: Northern California.
HIGHER EDUCATION & GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: King's higher education philanthropy intersects with what one would consider global development work. In 2011, the Kings gave Stanford University some $150 million to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). SEED's aim is to alleviate global povety through innovation, entrepreneurship and the scaling of businesses. Part of the reason for King's international interests is that, for at least the past forty years, King and Dottie have hosted Stanford international students. The couple has also created the King Scholar Leadership Program, which provides scholarships to students attending Dartmouth. More than $35 million has gone toward this program. Apart from this work, the couple has given at least $1 million to Fuller Theological Seminary, and has supported the University of Wisconsin at Madison, from which Dottie graduated.
LOOKING FORWARD: Between Stanford and Dartmouth, King has doled out at least $185 million. Given the couple's concentrations in philanthropy, and their other priorities through the Thrive Foundation, King seems likely to remain laser-focused on the same select areas.