Engaging the Community and Paying it Forward: A Few Words from Jim King


We recently sat down with former East Bay Community Foundation Board Director and Chair, Jim King, to discuss his upbringing, community ties, and how EBCF is building better lives for all who call the East Bay home.



When you think about your family and upbringing, what inspired you to give back to your community?

Growing up, my parents were not particularly philanthropic, though I remember my father giving money to homeless people from time to time and saying, “It’s good to help those in need.” My personal involvement began as an undergraduate student at Stanford [University], through a group called Stanford Today and Tomorrow. After graduation, I joined the Peace Corps which, while not specifically philanthropic, allowed me to help those in need. Recognizing the important role that Stanford played in my life, I became involved with volunteer fundraising efforts through the university to help the next generation of students. I was a scholarship student, who also worked and took out loans, and I feel a responsibility to “pay it forward.”


Why did you first decide to do some of your own philanthropy through a community foundation? Why did you choose to work with EBCF? 

In becoming a CFP (over 30 years ago), I learned about the role of philanthropy in Financial Planning and Wealth Management and became familiar with the array of tools available, such as Donor Advised Funds, Supporting Organizations and Private Foundations. Sometime thereafter, I learned about community foundations and their role in the world of philanthropy. At the time, one of my clients was on the EBCF board and he recruited me to join in 1998.


Can you describe a time when working with a community foundation helped a client of yours? What did they like about working with EBCF; how was it fulfilling? 

My clients have greatly enjoyed and benefited from their involvement with EBCF by bringing families together to share family values and philanthropic activities. I’ve worked with the team at EBCF to draw up family charters that my clients can use to guide their philanthropic activities and meet their charitable goals. Seeing how EBCF has had an impact on my clients continues to be a rewarding experience.


How do you describe the East Bay Community Foundation? What do you tell others about us? 

I describe EBCF as a philanthropic home for people who are both fortunate enough to benefit from the services that EBCF offers, and open to engaging with their community to build better lives for those most in need.


We thank Jim for his generosity and partnership. To learn more about the ways that you can get involved with EBCF, please email us at development@eastbaycf.org.

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