Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Winding Down, Will Close in 2017

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jun. 16, 2014 12:00 am  

After committing more than $1.8 billion to nonprofits since 1994, including hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations in Arkansas, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas is set to shut down at the end of 2017.

Steve Anderson, president of the foundation, said last week that the organization always had an end date in mind.

“The foundation was never designed to last into perpetuity like a lot of the foundations are,” Anderson said.

The foundation is now working on distributing the approximately $160 million it has remaining under management, Anderson said.

It also is evaluating all the nonprofits that it supported over the years, and the highest performing ones might receive “additional funding to enhance their programs and try to strengthen them before we’re gone from the scene,” Anderson said. “The goal is to make sure the organizations that we’ve funded are strong, and if that requires some additional funding, that will be considered.”

He said the foundation’s staff is making site visits to evaluate the status of the programs and the condition of the buildings that the foundation funded.

“There’s been some disappointment that we’re not going to be around to consider new projects,” Anderson said. “But I think people understand our idea is to be able to provide maximum support for the organizations that we’re funding now, and it will be up to someone else in the future to pick up the slack and continue to support these organizations.”

Millions of dollars of the Reynolds Foundations’ gifts have gone to organizations in Arkansas. Buildings from the University of Arkansas’ football stadium in Fayetteville to the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County bear the Donald W. Reynolds name.

The Reynolds Foundation has given the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock more than $87 million since 1996, making it the largest single cumulative donor in the history of the medical school, said Lance Burchett, vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

The foundation has financially supported a number of projects at UAMS, from the Schmeiding Home Caregiver Training Program for the elderly to money for buildings. “Had it not been for the generosity of the Reynolds Foundation, many of the programs … would not be here,” said Dr. Jeanne Wei, chairman of the Reynolds Department of Geriatrics and director of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.

The foundation provided a $28.8 million grant for the Institute on Aging building.

Wei said the initial four floors of the Institute on Aging building were opened in 2001 and the second four floors were added later and opened in 2012.



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