State's Largest Foundations Still Gaining Assets

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Jul. 2, 2007 12:00 am  

Click here for page 1 of the list of largest nonprofits. Click here for page 2.

Click here to get a spreadsheet version of the list.

The largest nonprofit organizations in Arkansas -- primarily grant-making foundations -- generally saw their total assets increase in the most recently reported fiscal years.

In some cases, those numbers are a year and a half old, as many nonprofits won't file their 2006 calendar year reports with the Internal Revenue Service until the deadline for extensions in August. Others end their fiscal years in mid-year, so their IRS 990 forms for the year that ended in 2006 are readily available.

The wealthiest nonprofit in Arkansas remains the Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, which had assets of more than $890 million at the end of 2005. That was up from $608.9 million a year earlier. The foundation established by the family of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and supported by Wal-Mart stock supports various education reform efforts.

The Wal-Mart Foundation, also based in Bentonville, is not among the 25 largest in the state when ranked by assets ($19.74 million at the end of the fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2006). However, its revenue that year of $147.3 million was second only to the Walton Foundation, and its 3,200-page 990 form lists the thousands of small grants the foundation made while increasing its assets by less than $1 million.

The William J. Clinton Foundation of Little Rock, which operates the Clinton Presidential Library as well as various worldwide initiatives, moved from No. 6 by assets in 2004 to No. 5 in 2005.

The 25 foundations on the list are among more than 2,321 reporting charitable nonprofits in the state as of 2004, according to statistics compiled by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations and Arkansas Coalition for Excellence. ACE reported that 271 foundations had more than $2.3 billion in assets as of 2004 and made almost $290 million in grants.

National Numbers
Charitable giving in the United States hit a record high of $295.02 billion in 2006, according to Giving USA 2007.

Overall giving grew by 4.2 percent (1 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised figure of $283.05 billion in 2005.

Despite concerns about a decrease in contributions in 2006 because of disaster relief campaigns in previous years, giving held up very well.

"It is impressive that giving continued to rise in 2006, especially following the unprecedented levels of disaster giving in 2005," Richard T. Jolly, chairman of the Giving USA Foundation, said in a news release.

If disaster gifts, primarily for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, are excluded from the 2005 total, giving in 2006 looks even stronger, rising 6.6 percent (3.2 percent after inflation). Although the large gifts make headlines, they represent only about 1.3 percent of total giving, said George C. Ruotolo Jr., chairman of Giving Institute. "About 65 percent of households with incomes lower than $100,000 give to charity," he said.



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