The Walton Family Foundation
made $454.4 million in grants last year, according to the 2016 annual report
it released last week, showering $190.9 million on K-12 education — more than half on "high-quality schools" (charter schools) — alone. The largest single grant, $22.9 million, went to the Charter Fund Inc. (also supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Teach for America received $15 million.
The total was a significant jump from the foundation's 2015 giving of $373 million. Grants to projects in the "home region" (gifts to stimulate the economy in Arkansas) were up by more than $10 million, with a total of $48.6 million in 2016 compared to $35 million in 2015.
Northwest Arkansas received the bulk of the "home region" grants: $41.5 million. Another $6.5 went to the Delta region and $600,000 went to Arkansas education. The Bentonville Bella Vista Trailblazers Association Inc. got $10.8 million, which is why Northwest Arkansas is cyclist heaven. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art also came away with $1.8 million and several NW Arkansas cities got big bucks, except Fayetteville, which got a measly $314,771, though the Walton Arts Center Council Inc. got nearly $2 million.
Grants of $1 million or more in the "special projects" category went to such Arkansas institutions as Academics Plus Charter School Inc. in Maumelle ($1 million), Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation ($3 million), Benton County ($2.4 million), Camp War Eagle (nearly $6 million), the Economics Arkansas Foundation ($2 million), e-STEM Public Charter Schools Inc. (nearly $5 million), the University of Arkansas ($2.2 million), the University of Arkansas Foundation ($1.7 million), and the University of the Ozarks ($10 million).
Here's a factoid for the Hillary haters: The Walton family also gave $1,020,000 to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. "Special project" grants totaled $131.7 million.
The annual report, which did not include the foundation's assets, also showed the foundation give a total of $83.2 million to environmental causes, including $13 million to the Environmental Defense Fund and $4.3 million to the Nature Conservancy.