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

June 4, 2012
Part of More Than $500 Million in Total Giving for the Year

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 underperfoming;
  • 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 primarly 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.