Walton Family Foundation Inc.
The Walton Family Foundation has been described as a "quiet" fund, preferring to operate under the national radar. But its impact has been anything but quiet. Founded in 1987 by Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and his wife Alice, the foundation in 2011 gave away more than $500 million including $21 million in Arkansas.
The Walton Family Foundation is second only to the Bill Gates Foundation in terms of giving to schools. Its philanthropic focus areas are:
• Systematic education reform in K-12
• Freshwater and marine conservation
• Quality of life initiatives in its home region
The $500 million-plus it invested in domestic and international projects in 2011 focused on creating cultural, educational and economic opportunities. In its home region of Arkansas, those gifts included $8.2 million for educational reform, $7.8 million for schools in Benton and Washington counties and $5.3 million for education and economic and community development in the Arkansas Delta including parts of Mississippi.
The foundation's philanthropic endeavors in Arkansas reflect the specific interests of the Walton family, focusing primarily on:
• Education reform in Arkansas
• Northwest Arkansas
• The Delta Region of Arkansas and Mississippi
The Walton Family Foundation is operated by the three children of Sam Walton. While its overall focus is education reform, the foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to conservative organizations such as the Cato Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and Americans for Tax Reform.
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