Portrait of Jim King

Jim King has learned a lot about money during his career as a financial advisor. Having just retired after running J.P. King Advisors for 40 years, one of his most important lessons is that “some money is for now, some is for later, and some is for others.” This commitment to helping others has been a driving force in Jim’s life, and it has served his clients extremely well for decades.  

Jim has had a lifelong commitment to giving back, having been a Peace Corps Volunteer and through services on a host of boards of directors over the years, including the EBCF board from 1998 to 2007. He is also a longtime member of EBCF’s Professional Advisors Leadership Council (PALC), which helps professional financial advisors support their clients.  

As a Certified Financial Planner CFPR and Registered Investment Advisor, Jim has tried to go beyond his clients’ financial requirements to understand what matters most to them. “I’ve focused on asking deeper questions,” he said. “What are their values? What’s important to them? What do they believe?”  

It takes a special advisor who sets out to meet the financial, emotional, and existential needs of their clients, but having studied Buddhism when living in Japan many years ago, Jim notes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” When a client expresses an interest in their community, Jim helps them better understand how philanthropic planning fits into a comprehensive financial plan. As Jim notes, “It’s not about maximizing profit, it’s about having a complete and fulfilling life.” 

Jim has introduced many of his clients to staff at EBCF to help them achieve this. Jim is a strong believer in the power of community foundations working directly with donors to help them realize their philanthropic goals – an approach he refers to as “active philanthropy.” 

As Jim notes, “You get on-the-ground advice directly from staff at EBCF who understand what’s going on in the local community and who know where the real needs are. Then, you partner with them to have impact. And if you want to have local impact, a community foundation like EBCF is your best bet.” Jim and his family have had a Donor Advised Fund at EBCF since 1998. 

Jim has taken his approach to active philanthropy even further. A resident of Alamo, Jim’s son and grandkids live in Oakland, and he feels a deep connection to the greater East Bay region.  

He wanted to find a creative way to help small donors support an innovative enterprise in Oakland called ICA.Fund (formerly Inner City Advisors), on whose board he has served since 2014. ICA.Fund works with local entrepreneurs – primarily women and people of color – to provide pro bono business counseling, training, and financial support. These companies are usually not eligible for bank loans yet, and the support they receive from ICA.Fund is designed to help them become mature businesses.  

Because the ICA.Fund Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EGF) requires a minimum $100,000 investment, Jim arranged to create a separate Donor Advised Fund at EBCF that can invest in EGF. Any EBCF donor can now contribute to this DAF, which Jim matches 1:1. Jim also pays the fund’s maintenance costs. It’s just another way that he feels he can give back to his community.  

It’s that kind of creativity – Jim’s interest in doing something new, and EBCF’s flexibility in providing a tool to make it happen – that defines the partnership. It also sums up what Jim brings to the next chapter in his philanthropy. When he speaks to his fellow advisors and his financial clients, he has one key message, or “nugget,” as he calls it – “Don’t think too small. Think bigger than you think you can think.”  

Learn more about impact investing on our investment strategy page.