Walton Family Foundation Invests Nearly $21.5 Million In Home Region Initiatives in 2011

Jun 04, 2012, 14:08 ET from Walton Family Foundation

Walton Family Foundation Invests Nearly $21.5 Million In Home Region Initiatives in 2011

Part of More Than $500 Million in Total Giving for the Year

BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Walton Family Foundation announced investments totaling nearly $21.5 million in initiatives within the foundation's home region in 2011. Grants went to programs that measurably improve the quality of life in northwest Arkansas, throughout the state of Arkansas, and in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta region. These investments were part of more than $500 million in grant making by the foundation in 2011.

"The home region will always have significant meaning to the Walton family and the foundation," said Rob Brothers, Director of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Focus Area. "Our motivation to support programs and projects that build better communities stems from a history of thoughtful giving that continues to be driven by the philanthropic desires of the Walton family."  

The foundation invested in three home region initiatives, seeking to create cultural, educational and economic opportunities. They include:

Arkansas Education Reform - $8,269,055
The foundation, which has been a long-time supporter of education reform initiatives on a national level, continues to invest in education reform in the state of Arkansas. Programs funded work to improve accountability, transparency, choice and incentives in the state's schools. The foundation worked with grantees to:

  • Promote and support academically and financially successful independent and open-enrollment public charter schools, and encourage the closure of those that are underperforming;
  • Invest in organizations that can leverage continued policy support and advancement of educational accountability and choice policy; and
  • Assist traditional school districts in complying with state accountability policies.

Northwest Arkansas - $7,849,127
Strong historical significance and family ties influence the foundation's commitment to enhance the quality of life for residents in Benton and Washington counties of northwest Arkansas. Grants in 2011 supported community, economic and educational initiatives that make the area an even better place to work and raise a family. Investments were focused on the following primary quality-of-life drivers:

  • Efforts to improve education by investing in independent public charter schools, traditional school districts and preschool programs;
  • Economic development and infrastructure;
  • Fine arts, culture and natural amenities;
  • Diversity outreach; and
  • Environmental programs.

Delta Region of Arkansas and Mississippi - $5,366,917
The foundation has supported the Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi for more than 20 years. Giving in this region continues to primarily support economic development and community-based strategies that help sustain progress and enhance educational opportunities for children and adults.

Work in the Delta region focused on the following strategies:

  • Improving education in independent public charter schools and traditional school districts;
  • Economic development;
  • Community development; and
  • Leadership development and civic engagement.

For a full list of 2011 home region grantees, click here.  For a full list of foundation grantees in 2011, click here.

About the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Focus Area
The Walton family has a special commitment to the communities and timeless values that helped launch one of the best-known American success stories. Because of this generation-spanning interest, the foundation invests in programs that measurably improve the quality of life by creating cultural, educational, and economic opportunities in northwest Arkansas, throughout the state of Arkansas, and in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta region. In 2011, the foundation invested nearly $21.5 million in home region initiatives. For more information, visit the foundation at http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org or http://facebook.com/waltonfamilyfoundation.

About the Walton Family Foundation
When Sam and Helen Walton launched their modest retail business in 1962, one of their goals was to increase opportunity and improve the lives of others along the way. This guiding principle has played a pivotal role in the phenomenal growth of their small enterprise into a global retail leader. This principle also drives the philanthropic mission of the Walton Family Foundation.

Today the foundation is more focused than ever on sustaining the Walton's timeless small-town values and deep commitment to making life better for individuals and communities alike. By working with grantees and collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, the foundation is dedicated to making a positive difference in three focus areas:

During 2011, the foundation invested more than $500 million in domestic and international projects that addressed significant social and environmental issues, and sought to create exciting new opportunities. The foundation continues to implement and expand grant making to fund a positive difference in many diverse communities – and in the lives of the people who call them home.  For more information, visit www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org or http://facebook.com/waltonfamilyfoundation.

SOURCE Walton Family Foundation