The Walton Family Foundation released its 990 tax return today for 2006. Its assets, $1.38 billion, were only about $60 million higher than the year previous. The non-profit world has been speculating whether the late Helen Walton’s wealth ― she was worth $16 billion ― will be added to the foundation, which would make it the second richest in the United States. Next year’s tax return should clear that up.
The foundation ― by far the largest in Arkansas ― paid out $188.9 million in grants in 2006. It amazes other grant-makers with its volume: Only 33 grants of the estimated 750 awarded were $1 million or more (the largest was $13.8 million to the Children’s Scholarship Fund, a private school voucher program). Several are only three figures, the smallest being a $400 gift to the Northeast Benton County Volunteer Fire Department. Giving away Walton money is tough work.