The Walton Family Foundation and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which is located in Las Vegas but contributes to Arkansas projects, hung the star at the top of philanthropy's tree in 2009, investing a total of around $47 million in various charitable causes in the state. As usual, the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences received the greater share of philanthropic dollars.
While tax forms are the greatest source of information on charitable giving (and 2009 is the most recent year available), some contributions are announced; what follows is a list of significant gifts made public in 2010, followed by foundation grants gleaned from tax forms. Undoubtedly, some significant giving was overlooked in our review.
(Gifts $250,000 and above)
J.B. Hunt Transport Services gave $5 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital to fund the second floor of the new South Wing of the hospital, scheduled for completion in 2012.
Leland and Betty Tollett pledged $3 million to the Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to establish the Retinal and Ocular Genetics Center, which will be named for them.
The Tyson Family Foundation and the Tyson Foods Foundation donated $2.5 million to the University of Arkansas to build a child development center at Fayetteville. The center will be named for Jean Tyson, mother of Tyson Foods chair John Tyson.
The estate of Cinda Hallman, a 1966 alumna of Southern Arkansas University, gave $1.96 million to Southern Arkansas University to support scholarships for women seeking degrees in science and technology.
The Willard and Pat Walker Foundation gave $1 million to the U of A's Access Arkansas scholarship program.
Kristen and Cliff Lee gave $1 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital to endow a chair in pediatric hematology/oncology to honor Dr. Robert Saylors, who treated their son Jaxon for cancer when he was an infant. Jaxon is now 9.
An anonymous donor gave $1 million to UAMS to establish an endowment for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Research Institute and Myeloma Institute of Research and Therapy.
An anonymous donor gave $1 million to UAMS to support a major research initiative in the field of multiple myeloma within the Myeloma Institute.
The Judd Hill Foundation gave $1 million to the Jonesboro Area Health Education Center (AHEC).
The Kellogg Foundation gave the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service a $750,000 grant to fund the center's operations over the next five years.
An anonymous donor has given Arkansas Baptist College $500,000 in honor of Scott Ford, former CEO of Alltel Communications.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation gave the Mid-Delta Consortium for schools $400,000.
Anonymous donors gave two $250,000 gifts to UAMS, one in honor of Frances Ernareeth (Reese) Adkins Barnes, to the Major and Ruth Nodini Endowed Chair in Neurology. The funds will go to UAMS' programs for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and multiple sclerosis; Barnes died of ALS.
Alumni Ron (B.S.I.E. 1958) and Betty Morris (B.A. 1959) of Dallas, who received their degrees from the U of A, gave $500,000 to the U of A to create a scholarship fund for graduates of high schools in Marion and Baxter counties and another fund for students from Arkansas.
Alumni Rev. Thomas Richards (B.A. 1953) and his wife, Corinne, of Alamogordo, N.M., have funded a charitable gift annuity of $350,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for students in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences of the U of A.
The Tyson Foods Foundation gave $250,000 to the Fulbright College at the U of A to fund its Lemke Journalism Project.
The Ottenheimer Brothers Foundation donated $250,000 to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for exterior improvements to UALR's main library.
(With a few exceptions, only gifts above $500,000 are listed.)
The Walton Family Foundation gave a total of $9.2 million in grants for "Arkansas Education Reform," including $4.6 million to Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, $1.5 million to the University of Central Arkansas Foundation, $673,738 to the Bentonville Child Care and Development Center and $500,000 to Lighthouse Academies. It gave a total of $1 million to charter schools in Central Arkansas for the "initiatives," including the gift to Lighthouse Academies. (The foundation gave a separate gift of $400,000 to Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School as part of its $134 million in grants for "Systemic K-12 Education Reform.")
The Walton foundation also gave the University of Arkansas $689,992 in three grants for educational research and evaluation. Total giving to the U of A was $995,370.
The foundation gave $11.9 million in grants to Northwest Arkansas organizations, including $3.4 million to Camp War Eagle, $1 million to the Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation Inc., $1 million to the Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Association Inc. and $1 million to the Walton Arts Center Inc. It also gave to four cities: $571,860 to Bentonville, $561,748 to Rogers, $313,775 to Siloam Springs, and $20,000 to Farmington. The Peel House Foundation received $647,223.
In the Delta region of Arkansas and Mississippi, the Walton foundation gave $6.1 million, including $1.6 million to the Foundation of the Mid-South, $1.3 million to four KIPP schools, $1.962 to Southern Bancorp Capital Partners and $1 million to Teach for America-Arkansas.
A list of the foundation's grants can be found online at the waltonfamilyfoundation.org.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation ($328 million in all grants) gave $19.5 million to entities in Arkansas. That included $7 million to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for the Health Sciences building; $3.4 million to the Baxter County Library Foundation, part of a $9.8 million pledge made in 2008; $1.5 million to Catholic High School to establish the John V. Schlereth Scholarship Fund; $1.4 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital; $1.3 million to the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, part of a $13.5 million pledge made in 2008; and $1 million to the Children's Museum of Discovery, part of a $7 million pledge made in 2006. The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation received $802,075 for the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Business Plan Competition; UAMS received $671,859 as part of a $2.3 million pledge; the Boy Scouts of America (Quapaw Area Council), received $620,100.
The Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation gave $2.8 million to the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute, $1.8 million to the University of the Ozarks, $1 million to Washington Regional Foundation, $500,000 to Hendrix College, and two challenge grants worth $250,000 each to the Razorback Foundation.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Trust gave $3.2 million to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in Morrilton, part of the University of Arkansas system, in 2009.
The Windgate Foundation's largest beneficiary was John Brown University in Siloam Springs, which received 11 grants worth $2.4 million.
The Schmeiding Foundation, though not in the top 15 foundations in assets this year, gave $1.3 million in grants, including a total of $970,000 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.