BREAKING GROUND: A Walton Foundation grant helped build a new biking/hiking trail in Bella Vista.

Besides other announced gifts, the state’s top grantmaking foundations revealed total grantmaking for 2016 on their 990 nonprofit tax returns. What follows is an overview of those foundations, their total assets and grant totals.

The Walton Family Foundation

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The Walton Family Foundation, headquartered in Bentonville, makes grants in three major areas: K-12 education, including public charter school startups; environmental causes; and “home region” gifts, which go largely to the Delta and Northwest Arkansas.

The foundation now has assets approaching $4 billion — $3,783,627,318 to be precise — and made $439.1 million in grants. Of those grants, $48.6 million went to “home region” projects, benefiting Northwest Arkansas and the Delta; $190.9 million went to K-12 education; $83.2 million went to environmental concerns, especially ocean conservation; and $131.7 million to “special projects” across the country. The foundation has committed over $1 billion over five years to its education reform program.


The largest grant to an Arkansas nonprofit reported on the foundation’s 2016 990 tax return was $10.8 million for the Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Association Inc., reflecting the third-generation Walton family’s interest in biking and hiking trails in the region. The foundation provided another $10.2 million grant to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville. Other multimillion-dollar grants went to eStem Charter Schools Inc. ($4.9 million), Arkansas Children’s Hospital ($3 million), Camp War Eagle ($5.9 million), the University of Arkansas ($2.3 million), KIPP Delta schools ($2 million), the Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation ($4.9 million), the Northwest Arkansas Council Foundation ($2.1 million), and TheatreSquared ($2.1 million). The foundation gives millions to charter school education.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals except those from public charter school developers. (For more information, go to


The Walton Charitable Support Foundation

The Walton family’s charitable support foundation supports the Arkansas Community Foundation and several universities.

In 2016, the foundation had total assets of $675.9 million. Its total grantmaking of $38.8 million included a grant of $31.8 million to the ACF, grants of $2.4 million each to John Brown University in Siloam Springs and the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, and $2 million to Harding University in Searcy.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited requests.


The Arkansas Community Foundation

The ACF primarily manages funds for donors wishing to make charitable gifts without having to establish and run a foundation. Most grants are donor-directed. The ACF also awards grants directly from its own foundation. Nonprofits may apply for grants directly to the foundation for its Giving Tree grants, which support a broad range of causes; Arkansas Black Hall of Fame grants, which serve African-American and other minority communities; Arkansas Delta Endowment for Building Community grants; and Bridge Fund grants for education and the promotion of the study of Arkansas history. It has 27 affiliates across Arkansas.

For 2016, the ACF had total assets of $278.9 million and oversaw grants totaling $16.9 million.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation Inc.

Windgate, in Siloam Springs, makes grants to institutions that teach art and contemporary crafts and to Christian higher education, primarily John Brown University. Windgate is second only to the Walton Family Foundation in grants made to Arkansas institutions.

At the end of 2016, Windgate had total assets of $235.5 million and its 2016 grants totaled $54.8 million. Its multimillion-dollar grants went to UA Little Rock (several grants totaling $9.9 million, the lion’s share for the new visual arts building that will open next year); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville ($5 million); John Brown University ($3.1 million); and the Arkansas Arts Center ($2 million for its expansion and renovation and another $200,000 for salaries and operating expenses).

The Windgate 2016 tax report also reports grants approved for 2017 payout: $15 million to the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education; $5 million for the Arkansas Arts Center; $10 million for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; $2 million for Hendrix College; and nearly $2 million for UA Little Rock.

Deadlines to submit grant proposals are March 1, July 1 and Oct. 1. Requests should be sent to Windgate Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 826, Siloam Springs, AR, 72761-0826. Call 479-524-9829 for more information.

The Endeavor Foundation


This Springdale foundation was created with proceeds from the sales of two hospitals. The foundation’s mission is to ensure “that all residents of Northwest Arkansas are mentally and physically healthy, safe, and economically and socially stable.”

For 2016, the foundation reported total assets of $156 million and $9.3 million in grants. Its largest grant was $2 million for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The foundation initiates its grantmaking.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

The WRF, in Little Rock, created by the Winthrop Rockefeller Trust, makes grants to charities that work to reduce poverty, increase educational opportunities and graduation rates, and improve economic mobility in Arkansas, all part of its Move the Needle plan. It has been instrumental in the creation of several nonprofits that benefit life in Arkansas, including the Arkansas Community Foundation and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. For 2016, the foundation reported total assets of $129.7 million and grants totaling $3.5 million. Among the grants were several worth more than $1 million to the ACF, and $500,000 to Uplift America. Nonprofits and schools in Arkansas may apply; find instructions at

The 2016 990 form for the Winthrop Rockefeller Trust, which supports the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, was unavailable at press time. In 2015, the foundation reported net assets of $112.2 million and grants of $5.8 million. Of that total, $5.6 million went to operations for the Rockefeller Institute.

The Ross Foundation

This Arkadelphia foundation, established by Jane and Esther Ross, makes health and education grants primarily in Clark County.

For 2016, the foundation reported $95.7 million in fair market value and $359,391 in cash grants. Its major grant recipient is the Arkadelphia Promise program, which awards college scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Arkadelphia; the program received a grant of $351,684 in 2016.

Information on how to apply for a grant is on the foundation’s website,

The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation

The Frueauff Foundation, named for its founder, a New York lawyer, awards grants in the areas of education, human services and health in several states. Information on how to apply for a grant can be found at

For 2016, the foundation reported $108 million in net assets and $4.8 million in grants.

The Jones Trust

Created by Northwest Arkansas trucking magnate Harvey and Bernice Jones of Springdale, the Jones Trust supports the Jones Family Center and the Center for Nonprofits.

For 2016, the trust reported total assets of $59.6 million and grantmaking of $655,364, all of which went to the Jones Family Center.

The Jones Trust directs its giving.

The Murphy Foundation

The Murphy Foundation of El Dorado, founded in 1959, which provides scholarships to every college-bound high school senior in El Dorado, as well as gifts to nonprofits working in a variety of areas and schools, provided $1.3 million in 2016 to the El Dorado Festivals and Events nonprofit to create the Murphy Arts District, which launched this year with a concert by big-name entertainers like Brad Paisley, Smokey Robinson and Ludacris.

For 2016, the foundation reported $46.2 million in total assets and a total of $3 million in grants, including $554,428 in scholarship gifts.

The Schmieding Foundation

Founded in 1999 in Springdale, the Schmieding Foundation funds the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education and numerous other charities benefiting children and adults in Washington, Benton and Pulaski counties. For 2016, the foundation had assets of $36.8 million and paid $4.4 million in grants. Its major gift in 2016 was $768,794 to the UAMS Foundation. The foundation takes grant requests; deadlines are March 31 and Sept. 15. For more information, call 479-751-8639.

The Pat and Willard Walker Charitable Foundation

The Walker Foundation was founded in 2004 in Fayetteville and funds charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational projects. Find application information at

The 2016 990 was not available at press time. In 2015, the foundation reported net assets of $35.3 million and made grants totaling $3.5 million. Its major gifts in 2015 included $1.5 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, $726,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and $402,000 to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The Horace C. Cabe Foundation

The founder of the Gurdon Lumber Co. established this foundation in 1992. The foundation prefers to fund capital projects with specific needs within a defined time frame. The foundation board of directors initiates grants, but all inquiries are provided to the board; contact the foundation at 903-794-2223.

For 2016, the foundation reported $31.4 million in total assets and $1.5 million in grants. The foundation’s six-figure grants went again to Wildwood Park for the Arts ($175,000) and the Baptist Health Foundation ($161,700).

The Tyson Family Foundation Inc.

The late Tyson Foods CEO Don Tyson established the family foundation in 1970. It provides funds to the Jones Trust in Springdale and scholarship grants to colleges and universities. For 2016, the foundation reported assets of $25.8 million and grants of $3 million, including $1.4 million for scholarships. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

This Las Vegas-headquartered foundation, created by the founder of Donrey Media Group to benefit projects in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma, is spending down its corpus and making its final grants. Its fair market value in 2016 was $37.2 million and $24.5 million in charitable cash grants. Its 2016 giving in Arkansas included two grants worth $9.4 million to replicate the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program throughout Arkansas; $1 million to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville; $500,000 to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith; $250,000 to the University of Arkansas Foundation; $250,000 for the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation Inc.; and $100,000 to renovate the pool and cabana at the YMCA of Warren and Bradley County Inc.

Stella Boyle Smith Charitable Trust

The late Stella Boyle Smith’s long-time support for the arts carries on through the trust she created.

In 2016, the trust reported total assets of $16.4 million and grants of $466,816. Larger gifts from the trust went to the Sculpture at the River Market nonprofit; Carti Foundation; the University of Arkansas Foundation; the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which Smith helped found; and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.