Individual giving announced this year in Arkansas seems scarce in comparison to last year. But the reason for that may be the silent capital campaign being conducted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. That campaign, which will go public at the end of January, has raised about $130 million in pledges. Factoring in the roughly $35 million UAMS raises annually, and considering that public campaign goals are usually twice the silently pledged dollars, UAMS could be seeking $300 million in the next four years to make campus-wide improvements. That would be the school’s largest comprehensive philanthropic undertaking.
The recent rise in the stock market may make UAMS’ task easier. But the shaky market of 2005 meant that Arkansas’s private and independent foundations didn’t advance their assets much during the year, according to data on tax returns filed for that year, the most recent available figures. Grants and gifts reflected that situation, though the total giving might be helped along by the Walton Family Foundation’s upping its giving from $101 million in 2004 to $150 million in 2005, depending on where those dollars went. (The 2005 figure is an estimate provided by a foundation spokesman.)
Foundation grants to Arkansas organizations hit at least $400 million in 2005, and education, as ever, was the big winner — especially privatized public education, with millions of dollars going into scholarship programs and charter schools, largely from foundations in Northwest Arkansas with ties to Wal-Mart.
The philanthropic picture for 2006 may be dominated by the $40.5 million gift the Winthrop Rockefeller Trust approved last year to be paid over 4 years to operate the Winthrop Rockefeller Center on Petit Jean, now leased by the University of Arkansas. The center occupies the former headquarters of Winrock Enterprises offers university programming and meeting facilities.
There were several significant donations in 2005, especially from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas and the Waltons. Reynolds, whose beneficence in Arkansas derives from the fact that Donrey Media was based in Fort Smith, made the single largest gift in 2005, $10 million to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for the Reynolds Center on Aging (it also gave $1 million to the Stephens Spine Institute). Reynolds pledged $7 million to Camp Aldersgate, which has programs for children with disabilities, and recently announced it would donate $7.3 million to the Arkansas Children’s Discovery Network, which will coordinate science exhibits and programs in museums across the state.
The Walton Family Foundation gave tens of millions of dollars to alternative education programs nationally, including $6.9 million to the Children’s Educational Opportunity (CEO) Foundation in Bentonville, which promotes private scholarship programs for students in K-12. But other Walton giving in Arkansas went to public entities, like the Arkansas Department of Education, the U of A and the University of the Ozarks, and public school foundations.
The Arkansas Community Foundation bucked the tread-water trend by increasing its assets from $68.4 million in June 2004 to $84.7 million in June 2005. The foundation, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, will post assets of $104 million for June 2006, president and CEO Pat Lile said. (See sidebar.)
Despite the sluggish asset growth, the Tyson Foundation in Springdale nearly doubled its giving, from $558,000 in 2004 to $1.4 million in ’05, and the Windgate Foundation in Fayetteville, which will spend down its funds, awarded nearly $20 million in grants in 2005, $7 million more than the year previous.
Still, individual giving is higher than foundation giving, according to Giving USA and other philanthropic research sources. Arkansas again ranked only behind Mississippi to win the No. 2 spot in the Catalogue for Philanthropy’s “Generosity Index,” which weighs giving against income using IRS data. The CFP calculated that Arkansas was 46th in average income and 5th in giving. By some estimates, Arkansas’s generosity can be chalked up to church donations, said to account for 35 percent of individual philanthropy.
In 2005, two historic natural disasters on the national front and the wrap-up of the University of Arkansas’s capital campaign at home soaked up philanthropy dollars. Some amount of donor fatigue could be expected. But this year’s giving is up, independent fund-raiser Cyndee Van Winkle says, and it’s wiser also.
“We are seeing people in business and the marketplace being somewhat greedy and practicing unethical business practices,” van Winkle said, “and so it makes donors a little bit uneasy about giving.” Potential donors have also been made leery by reports on questionable spending by foundations. USA Today reported this summer on five non-profits that purport to grant the wishes of sick children but spend most — or even all — of their contributions on staff and fund-raising. At home, Heifer International has had to field questions on its administrative costs in recent years.
Unethical practices aren’t pervasive, van Winkle said. “I would say the vast majority [of the non-profits] I work with or hear about are doing very well in holding down fund-raising costs. … But what we hear about are the odd few that aren’t doing that well.”
UAMS will have to win a few hearts to meet its capital campaign goal. Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson said last week “it would be terrific” if the school’s goal could rise to $360 million based on dollars received silently. The campaign will run through 2010.
Since donors usually designate where their gifts should be spent, Wilson said he can’t guarantee the dollars will be shared evenly across the UAMS campus, or even go to where the needs are greatest.
UAMS needs $75 million to finish out floors in the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, its new $177 million, 174-bed hospital going up just south of the Ward Tower and the new Psychiatric Research Institute. Those buildings and the new campus dorm are being built with a $266 million bond issue. Patient revenues will pay off the bonds. The campaign will also seek funds for endowed chairs, faculty, programs and research.
Karen and John Flake announced in September a gift of $1 million to Arkansas Children’s Hospital to help establish a satellite campus in Northwest Arkansas. UAMS has also announced its desire to send third- and fourth-year medical students to Northwest Arkansas so it can increase the medical and pharmaceutical student body. Wilson said UAMS won’t be able to move forward with its plan without the support of the legislature, and hopes to raise $3 million from Northwest Arkansas supporters.
What follows is a compilation of the notable gifts of 2005: grants approaching or in excess of $1 million from the Walton Family and Donald W. Reynolds foundations, and grants of $100,000 or more from other sources.
FOUNDATION GIFTS, GRANTS
The Walton Family Foundation
(2004; ’05 return not filed)
1st in assets
$6.9 million to the Children’s Educational Opportunity (CEO) Foundation; $1.8 million to the Arkansas Department of Education; $1.5 million each to John Brown University and the University of the Ozarks; $1.4 million to Harding University in Searcy; $1.3 million to Teach for America-Arkansas; $1.1 million to the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation Inc.; $982,000 to the Peel House Foundation; $908,450 to Rogers Public Schools; $776,000 to the Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Assoc.; $755,128 to the University of Arkansas Foundation. Estimated total giving for calendar year 2005: $151 million.
The Willard and Pat Walker Foundation Inc.
13th in assets
$4.5 million to the UA University House and for scholarships; $5 million to the building fund at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; $2 million endowment to UAMS and $878,626 for the UAMS capital campaign; $1.99 million to Ouachita Baptist University; $1 million to the Circle of Life, Springdale; $750,000 to the Razorback Foundation building fund; $600,000 to Seven Hills, Fayetteville; $500,000 to the Walton Arts Center endowment; $355,679 to the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation; two gifts totaling $340,000 to the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund; $330,000 to Arkansas Children’s Hospital; $250,000 each to the Harvey and Bernice Jones Center for Families and for scholarships to John Brown University; $150,000 for scholarships to Hendrix College; $144,000 for scholarships to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Total giving in 2005: $20,404,063.
The Windgate Foundation
8th in assets
Three grants totaling $4.1 million to University of Arkansas Foundation for the College of Education and Health Professions; $3.5 million to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; three grants totaling $1.4 million to John Brown University; $100,000 each to the Arkansas Arts Center and the Benton County Sunshine Schools. Total giving in 2005: $19,394,794.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Trust
3rd in assets
Two grants totaling $2.3 million to the University of Arkansas for the Winthrop Rockefeller Center; $946,604 to Winrock International; $797,000 to the Rockefeller Foundation; $600,000 to the Arkansas Audubon Society; $400,000 each to Philander Smith College, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas Foundation for the Arkansas Centers for Health Improvement. Total giving in 2005: $6,029,976.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
2nd in assets
The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, $2.7 million for three math skill grants; $500,000 to the Arkansas Community Foundation; $420,697 to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra; $198,495 to FTN Associates for water resource study; $250,246 to Arkansas Educational Television Authority; $246,089 to the National Conference for Community and Justice, Arkansas region; $182,700 to JANM Life Interrupted Digital Catalogue; $162,810 to Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families to support study on crystal methamphetamine’s impact on child welfare system; $110,000 to the Arkansas Humanities Council for classroom projects; $105,000 to Capital Resource Corp. for economic development plan; $105,000 to the Arkansas Delta Byways for preservation-based revitalization strategies in Arkansas Delta communities; $104,512 to Arkansas Advocates for study on child welfare. Total giving in 2005: $5,635,345.
Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation
7th in assets
$3.1 million to the Arkansas Community Foundation, $740,000 to Northeast Arkansas Higher Education Charitable Fund. Estimated national giving for 2005: $2.8 million.
34th in assets
$3.8 million to the University of Arkansas Foundation. Total giving: $3,853,320.
9th in assets
$1.3 million in shares of Murphy Oil stock to Hendrix College. Total giving in 2005: $1,937,880.
Robert D. & Barbara Nabholz Charitable Trust
25th in assets
$1.3 million to St. Joseph School in Conway; $150,000 to Carelink; $100,000 to the University of Central Arkansas Foundation. Total giving in 2004: $1,686,666.
10th in assets
$1.3 million to “colleges, universities and vocational schools” for scholarships. Total giving: $1,437,808.
Walter Hussman Foundation
24th in assets
$147,963 to the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock. Total giving in 2005: $1,314,271.
The Schmieding Foundation
11th in assets
$908,229 to UAMS in several grants; $100,000 pledge to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Total giving in 2005: $1,200,681.
14th in assets
$243,750 to the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock; $100,000 each to Hendrix College, the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation and the Jefferson Foundation in Pine Bluff. Total giving in 2005: $1,155,850.
Stella B. Smith Charitable Trust (2004)
15th in assets
$118,000 to the University of Arkansas. Total giving in 2004: $771,782.
5th in assets
$139,246 to Arkadelphia Public Schools. Total giving: $540,832.
Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation
46th in assets
$200,000 to the University of Arkansas School of Law. Total giving: $535,538.
The Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas
$11.2 million to UAMS for the Center on Aging and the Stephens Spine Institute; $7.3 million to Arkansas Children’s Discovery Network; $7 million pledged to Camp Aldersgate; $3.4 million to the Warren, Ark., YMCA; $1.8 million for Capital Resource Corp., $1.5 million for the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Total giving nationally in 2005: $84,264,376.
J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa
$2 million to Hendrix College; $1.5 million to Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas; $1 million to Harding University. Total giving nationally in 2005: $48,037,521.
$500,000 to $1 million
Charles Morgan gave $1.6 million to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Karen and John Flake gave $1 million each to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Mount St. Mary Academy.
Bill and Margaret Clark donated more than $1 million to create an oncology department chair at UAMS.
Nell and Don Spears gave $1 million to UAMS for the Psychiatric Research Institute being built.
Hayden and Mary Jo McIlroy pledged $1 million to establish an endowed professorship for the benefit of UA’s J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the Walton Arts Center.
Clete and Tammy Brewer of Rogers endowed a fellowship at the UA’s Sam M. Walton College with a gift of $500,000.
$100,000 to $499,000
Family of the late Garland and Flora Autrey Anthony funded a $450,000 carillon to Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Pamela and Bobby Nichols of Newport pledged $240,000 to endow a scholarship for the UA’s Walton College.
University of Arkansas alumni Larry and Janett Crain Little Rock gave $100,000 to the UA’s Sam M. Walton College of Business.