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How We Operate

Our strategic approach to philanthropy

The foundation’s philanthropic approach draws from our mission, vision and five values, which guide everything we do. This approach informs our grantmaking strategies, how we grow our talent, how we partner with others and how we use our voice.

Principles of Strategic Philanthropy at the Walton Family Foundation

  • Creating and refining strategies to influence systems-level change

In close concert with our Board and Program Committee members, our staff develops detailed program strategies and theories of change that aspire for long-term, sustainable improvements on system-wide problems. We hold ourselves accountable to the goals that are at the heart of our strategies.

  • Using data for decision-making and ongoing learning

We actively seek and track data and conduct systematic evaluations to monitor our progress, test our strategic hypotheses and stay the course or correct as relevant.

  • Working with partners to achieve shared goals

We seek a diverse set of partners, some of whom align perfectly with our goals, while others may not align completely, in order to advance and inform the work that we are doing.

  • Collaborating proactively

Sharing our strategies and perspectives with others and inviting input allows us to explore opportunities for collaboration and identify new ideas to inform our approaches going forward. There is no way to influence systems-level change without proactive collaboration.

  • Encouraging transparency internally and externally

It is important to us to be transparent about the problems we are solving for, what we typically fund, and the process and values that drive this decision-making, as well as what we are learning and how that will impact our work going forward.