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Walton Family Foundation COVID Relief Fund Evaluation Final Report

June 13, 2022

In March 2020, the Walton Family Foundation established an emergency grant fund to quickly deploy resources to grantees and communities in response to the significant and evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $35 million fund was designed to support organizations across all three of WFF's Program Areas (Education, Environment, and Home Region).The Foundation's Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department (SLED) and Public Profit, an evaluation and strategy firm, conducted a retrospective evaluation to learn more about the experience of the emergency grantmaking process and the impact of the COVID Relief Fund grants on grantees and communities. 

Northwest Arkansas Housing Policy Landscape Assessment Phase One Report

September 9, 2021

In 2020, a team led by Smart Growth America assessed policies that affect the supply and price of housing in Northwest Arkansas and analyzed current capacity and market conditions for a wider range of housing types and price points. Two subsequent reports detail these findings and include recommended changes in policy and practice that could help the region successfully address these challenges. The reports build on Our Housing Future, a call to action published by the Walton Family Foundation in 2019, which found that "housing is becoming increasingly inaccessible to the region's workers, families and seniors." Over the course of the assessment, the research team conducted interviews, analyzed zoning codes and development processes, tested current and future growth projections and developed an understanding of the financial impacts of public and private investments as they relate to housing affordability.

Northwest Arkansas Housing Policy Landscape Assessment Phase Two Report

September 9, 2021

In 2020, a team led by Smart Growth America assessed policies that affect the supply and price of housing in Northwest Arkansas and analyzed current capacity and market conditions for a wider range of housing types and price points. Two subsequent reports detail these findings and include recommended changes in policy and practice that could help the region successfully address these challenges. The reports build on Our Housing Future, a call to action published by the Walton Family Foundation in 2019, which found that "housing is becoming increasingly inaccessible to the region's workers, families and seniors." Over the course of the assessment, the research team conducted interviews, analyzed zoning codes and development processes, tested current and future growth projections and developed an understanding of the financial impacts of public and private investments as they relate to housing affordability.

Water & Climate: The Opportunity Before Us

July 28, 2021

For the last couple of decades, climate change has been a large, amorphous, existential threat to everything we hold dear. In more recent years, the threat has become increasingly clear and present in the lives of most Americans, who see the reality of the challenge reflected back at us in the most basic ingredient for life: water.Through water, many Americans experience the reality of climate change almost daily. Flooding, drought, record-breaking storms and even wildfires – each in their own way makes the presence of climate change and its impact on both water and everyday life inescapable.The Walton Family Foundation has a longstanding and deep commitment to protecting rivers, lakes and oceans. Our response to the water and climate challenges we face involves building broad coalitions around commonsense ideas.

Millennials, Generation Z, and Northwest Arkansas

June 23, 2021

During the Summer of 2020 and Spring of 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic and protests around racial justice, The Walton Family Foundation embarked upon a study of what young Americans thought about their own futures: their prospects for success, what they want out of life, and what they fear will stand in their way. As part of the Walton Family Foundation's work in its home region, Northwest Arkansas, they also sought to understand how Generation Z and Millennials talk about where they want to live and why - in their own words. During May 2021, they commissioned three focus group discussions with teenagers aged 13 through 18 living in Northwest Arkansas to cover these topics.This report synthesizes the findings of those original nationwide research efforts with the focus groups to better illuminate what kinds of communities Millennials and Generation Zers - particularly those in Northwest Arkansas - seek to create.

Strengthening the Philanthropic Evaluation Field: The Walton Family Foundation’s Initial Exploration

April 28, 2021

In early 2021, the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) Strategy, Learning and Evaluation Department (SLED) undertook a team-based process of identifying areas of the larger philanthropic evaluation field that WFF can (1) support; (2) learn from; and (3) provide some level of leadership to as it develops and strengthens over time. With input from 18 leaders from the philanthropic evaluation field (see the acknowledgements for a list), WFF explored a wide array of topics, identifying two priority areas (below) to focus on in depth, along with other contextual issues and field needs.

Millennials and Generation Z: Agents of Change

February 9, 2021

During the Summer of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and protests around racial justice, The Walton Family Foundation embarked upon a study of what young Americans thought about their own futures: their prospects for success, what they want out of life, and what they fear will stand in their way.At the conclusion of that work, a question remained: why, in the face of so many obstacles, do young Americans feel so optimistic about the future? Do they believe the world will change for the better, and if so, who do they think will drive that change? How do they think change will be made?To better understand Generation Z and Millennials in their own words, this research effort surveyed a diverse and representative sample of 1,000 members of Generation Z (ages 13–23) and 1,000 Millennials (ages 24–39) across the United States. The survey was conducted January 12-22, 2021 and tracked the results of key questions from the Summer 2020 study as well as introduced new topics about who and what can effectively create change. This survey also covered key issues such as education, the environment, and the communities Millennials and Gen Zers hope to create.

The Walton Family Foundation 2018 Annual Report

April 8, 2019

The Walton Family Foundation 2018 Annual Report.

Walton Family Foundation 2016 Annual Report

January 1, 2017

Annual Report 2016

Northwest Arkansas Quality of Life Survey Report

February 1, 2016

Northwest Arkansas residents were recently asked to share their perceptions of satisfaction with life in the region. In the survey of over 1,000 residents in Benton and Washington counties, 95% reported being "very happy" or "fairly happy" with aspects of Northwest Arkansas life directly impacted by foundation investments in downtowns, cultural amenities, and the Razorback Regional Greenway trail system. The survey was commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation evaluation unit and was designed to gauge the extent to which residents are satisfied with life in the region and view Northwest Arkansas as a great place to live. The survey was first conducted in 2012 and then again in 2015 with the support of The Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University. The follow-up was conducted to determine if levels of satisfaction with the region's livability have changed over the past three years. Northwest Arkansas cultural amenities supported by foundation investments have seen positive shifts in usage since the 2012 survey. At Crystal Bridges alone, the number of residents who reported visiting the museum is up 21 percentage points. The increase in attendance at Crystal Bridges by Hispanic residents outpaces the overall attendance growth with an increase of 32 percentage points. The Walton Family Foundation's strategic focus on creating a regional sense of place is reflected in survey results with 69% of Northwest Arkansas residents reporting accessing trails in the last 12 months. Additionally, over one-third of residents reported an increase in visits to downtowns over the last year. The results of the quality of life survey will help the Walton Family Foundation and other regional organizations make strategic decisions moving forward. For example, residents expressed concern about the affordability of early childhood education and the need for more transportation options. These areas of concern present opportunities for the foundation as well as other entities that have a goal of improving quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to the initiatives backed by the foundation, there were other key learnings from the survey. A low crime rate, civic engagement and feelings of acceptance by the community were included as factors that lead to a happy life in Northwest Arkansas, and why people want to stay in the community.

Walton Family Foundation 2015 Annual Report

January 1, 2016

2015 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report: The Walton Family Foundation

April 2, 2015

In this 2014 Annual Report, we see that The Walton Family Foundation moved forward with even greater intensity, focus and commitment to expanding opportunity for more people. Over the past two decades, our annual grant making has increased more than sevenfold from $50 million to over $375 million last year. We collaborated with more than 1,900 partners on initiatives across the U.S. and the world.If you could travel with me to our grantee communities, you would see schools that are providing transformative educational opportunities and preparing students for success in college and careers. You would see a riverbed that once was barren, now showing visible increases in vegetation thanks to a historic "pulse flow." And you would see a father teaching his son to ride a bike on a new greenway trail, linking families and nature.