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 and Dottie King's philanthropy is focused on youth, both in the United States and abroad. In 2000, the couple founded the Thrive Foundation, which supports youth ages 10 to 18. Huge sums have gone to Bob King's alma maters, as well. In 2011, the couple gave some $150 million to Stanford University to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED), 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.
Dottie King grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and majored in child development at the University of Wisconsin. For 15 years, she also led church services at San Mateo County Jail.
YOUTH: King and his wife Dottie, who has a background in child development, founded the Thrive Foundation in 2000, which focuses on disadvantaged youth, aged ten to 18. The foundation states: “Our goal is to be responsive to the needs and challenges of these young people and the caring adults who serve them. Our new work builds on research we funded earlier in our history into the science of thriving, which is defined as ‘a forward, purposeful motion towards achieving one’s full potential.’ In our view, thriving is based on achieving the optimum rather than on the avoidance of negative outcomes. And, at its core is the relationship between the caring adult and the young person."
The foundation partners with "grantee cohorts," and supports them exclusively. The grantee cohorts are supported for two years. Cohort grantees in past years have included: Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, Community Youth Center of San Francisco, Harlem RBI, LA Brotherhood Crusade, Project GRAD, Reality Changers, Wyman's Teen Outreach/Teen Leadership Programs, the Brotherhood/SisterSol, and Friends of the Children.
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: The Kings' 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 poverty through innovation, entrepreneurship and the scaling of businesses. The SEED websites states: "A shared vision was developed with Stanford to launch an institute that would identify and train established entrepreneurs in developing economies, resulting in increased job creation; inspire Stanford students to become more globally engaged leaders; and support critical research focused on poverty alleviation." SEED has expanded to Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, and India.
Part of the reason for the Kings' international interests is that, for at least the past 45 years, the couple has 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.
LINKS: Thrive Foundation Website