Our employees around the world are directly involved in their communities, volunteering their time, talent, and expertise to countless nonprofit organizations. This is a commitment shared by our founders, Henry Kravis and George Roberts, both of whom are actively involved in positively contributing to their communities through their engagement with several leading nonprofits.
In 2006, Mr. Kravis added to his philanthropic endeavors with the creation of the Kravis Prize. Administered by Claremont McKenna College, the Kravis Prize identifies extraordinary leaders in the nonprofit sector, celebrates their accomplishments, and shares their best practices with others. Since 2006, recipients of the Kravis Prize have impacted approximately 560 million people in 74 countries on 5 continents. The award not only celebrates the recipients who are making a difference in communities around the world, but empowers them with a $250,000 donation to the nonprofit of their choice. Recent recipients include Vicky Colbert, founder of the Escuela Nueva Foundation and Sakena Yacoobi, founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Kravis Prize recipients’ work has spanned geographies from Colombia to Jordan and across issues ranging from literacy rates to providing resources for refugees.
Mr. Roberts focuses much of his philanthropy on creating jobs and development opportunities for people who have the greatest difficulty finding work. As such, he is founder and chairman of the board of directors of REDF, a San Francisco-based venture philanthropy organization that provides equity-like grants and business assistance to a portfolio of nonprofits in California to start and expand social enterprises — nonprofit-operated businesses selling goods and services demanded by the marketplace while intentionally employing young people and adults who would otherwise face bleak employment prospects.
In 2011, KKR began working with REDF to introduce nonprofits as potential providers of source materials and services for our firm and private equity portfolio companies where appropriate. The pilot program kicked off in late 2011 with the sourcing of materials for KKR’s own firm meeting.
Our founders have exemplified service and philanthropy, but KKR’s involvement in local communities does not end there. From ongoing volunteer commitments to engagements as board members or advisors, KKR employees donate thousands of hours to community projects and organizations across the world each year. While volunteerism has long been part of KKR’s culture, in 2012 the firm will launch a more formal volunteer initiative designed to support and build on efforts already underway by employees.
In addition to their time, KKR and our employees also dedicate financial resources to philanthropic endeavors. Encouraging a culture of giving back is core to our values and we are beginning to incorporate philanthropic activities into our operations. For example, when flooding in Thailand affected one of our portfolio companies, MMI, and its employees, KKR employees wanted to help. Through a voluntary donation program, KKR employees across our offices contributed thousands of dollars to help the MMI employees whose lives were impacted by the flooding.
In 2013, KKR launched an employee matching gift program and defined more explicitly the firm’s strategic philanthropic priorities to expand and enhance our strong culture of charitable giving.