Assets Down, But Walton Foundation Is Still No. 1

(Click here for the list of nonprofit organizations.)

Although it has lost half its assets between 1999 and 2000, the Walton Family Foundation Inc. of Bentonville once again tops the list of largest nonprofit organizations in Arkansas with nearly $450 million in assets.

The foundation had $448.9 million in assets for 2000, the most recent year for which tax records were available. For its calendar year 1999, it reported $987 million in assets.

The foundation's only spokesperson is its top executive, Buddy Philpot, who was unavailable for comment last week.

Although its assets fell, the Walton Foundation's income skyrocketed.

It jumped 77.2 percent from $137.9 million in 1999 to $244.4 million in 2000.

The Walton Family Foundation supports reform in education with an emphasis on primary and secondary education.

Information for Arkansas Business' list of nonprofit organizations, ranked by assets, was taken from the organizations' most recent IRS 990 forms available, either for the 2000 or 2001 year. The Internal Revenue Service permits a one-year extension on filing 990 forms.

The list does not include hospitals and private universities, which are included in other lists Arkansas Business publishes each year.

Nonprofit organizations associated with former Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller dominated the list with a total of $340.3 million in assets.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Founda-tion came in at No. 4 on the list with $143.3 million in assets. Winthrop Rockefeller Trust landed in the No. 7 spot with $107.5 million in assets, and Winrock International was No. 8 with $89.6 million in assets.

Once again, the only nonprofit organization to post negative revenue was the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation of Little Rock, which reported a $21.9 million loss for 2001. In 2000, the foundation reported a $4.5 million loss.

"In simplest terms, the financial markets were down, and the vast majority of our assets are marketable securities," said Andrea Dobson, the foundation's chief financial and operations officer.

She said the foundation keeps its assets in the current market value.

"So whether we sold them or not, we reflect losses in the value, and that's exactly what you're seeing," Dobson said.

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's investment return was a $14.4 million loss, and it approved grants of $8.4 million in 2001.

The foundation's mission is to award grants for economic development; education; and economic, racial and social justice.

She said the board of directors has a "very long-term" perspective and recognizes that the market has been slumping.

"It's expected that you have those ups and downs," Dobson said.

But the foundation's assets have skyrocketed since the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust funded it over the last 28 years with $39 million.

That money has grown to $143.3 million, while the foundation has given away $62 million, she said.

Also on the list, the George W. Donaghey Foundation of Little Rock, which provides funds for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, saw its assets jump 90 percent from $30.8 million to $58.4 million this year. The rise in assets helped push it from No. 12 on last year's list to No. 11 this year.

The Razorback Foundation of Fayetteville also saw a 59 percent jump in assets from $37.7 million in 1999 to $60.1 million in 2000, while the University of Arkansas Foundation Inc. of Fayetteville reported its assets climbed from $335.2 million in 2000 to $381.2 million in 2001. The 14 percent jump kept the foundation in the No. 2 spot on the list.

Largest Nonprofits*
Ranked by Annual Revenue
(in millions)

1 — Walton Family Foundation Inc. — $244.4

2 — University of Arkansas Foundation Inc. — $103.8

3 — Winrock International — $55.8

4 — Razorback Foundation Inc. — $36.6

5 — The Schmieding Foundation Inc. — $24.5

6 — George W. Donaghey Foundation — $16.3

7 — Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation Inc. — $12.8

8 — William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation — $10.1

9 — Arkansas Community Foundation — $6.8

10 — Winthrop Rockefeller Trust — $4.3

11 — Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Inc. — $4.2

12 — Harvey & Bernice Jones Center for Families Inc. — $3.6

13 — Arkansas State University Foundation Inc. — $3.5

14 — Communitycare Foundation Inc. — $2.7

15 — Windgate Charitable Foundation — $2.5

16 — Westark Community College Foundation Inc. — $2.3

17 — Heifer International Foundation — $1.8

18 — Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund — $1.8

19 — Arkansas Arts Center Foundation — $1.7

20 — Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation — -$21.9

*Those with assets above $20 million. Source: IRS 990 forms, the organizations.