Arkansas Community Foundation engages people, connects resources and inspires solutions to build community.
We take seriously our commitment to build community by investing in and tapping the expertise of local leaders throughout Arkansas. Leaders like Billie Platt Neal, Irven Walker and Rubye Graham-Emerson, who are working to build a community center in McGehee where children can come for after-school programs and adults can receive job-skills training. ARCF has supported the McGehee Desha Alumni Community Center through grants to help these residents create new economic opportunities in their town.
Investing in Communities
ARCF Local Offices
We choose to work locally through a network of 27 local affiliate offices to gain an in-depth understanding of our towns and cities while maintaining a statewide perspective on Arkansas’s needs and opportunities.
Each affiliate office has an advisory board of local leaders who advise the Foundation on grantmaking and provide insight into their community’s unique situation. In total, that’s more than 500 local board members!
Targeting Specific Local Needs
Each of Arkansas’s communities is different. The challenges in our Delta region aren’t the same challenges faced in the Ozarks. That’s why we’re working to tailor our grants and initiatives to fit the needs of specific communities.
For example, our Arkansas Delta Endowment for Building Community enables us to dedicate grant money to economic development projects benefitting 26 Delta counties. Meanwhile, in Carroll County in Northwest Arkansas, our local affiliate office is addressing the issue of childhood poverty.
In each of our communities, we strive to work with local people to find local solutions for the most pressing needs.
Aspire Arkansas Indicators Project
Better information leads to better solutions. That’s why we’ve kicked off a major research initiative to gather county-by-county data on 7 indicators of community wellbeing, from economic opportunity to education to environmental stewardship.
Over the next year, we'll be using the Aspire Arkansas report to take a look at how each county is faring on important quality of life issues, and we’ll be able to make grants and build partnerships to address the areas of need we identify.