Nearly forty years ago, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation began making grants with the explicit mission of improving the lives of Arkansans. Since that time, the Foundation has developed a more targeted approach that focuses our resources on three substantive areas:
- Economic Development
- Economic, Racial, and Social Justice
In 2008, the WRF Board of Directors adopted Moving the Needle, a strategic plan that further refined our mission to include four specific goals that would guide our work through the year 2013. Moving the Needle (MTN) will form strategic alliances and collaborations with others in the philanthropic, civic, and business sectors to accomplish these four objectives:
Reduce the number of Arkansas families living below 200% of the federal poverty line. This will be achieved with targeted funding of policy advocacy, workforce development, financial literacy, and asset development initiatives. Key to this objective is working with policymakers, business leaders, donors, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to set targets for reducing poverty in Arkansas.
Increase high school, vocational, and college graduation rates in the state. This will include funding initiatives to create a culture of high aspiration and educational achievement, reduce the achievement gap, and decrease both dropout rates and levels of post-secondary remediation. WRF will be working closely with educational partners who are fully engaged in the MTN campaign.
Increase educational attainment and economic mobility in select communities in Arkansas. These communities will demonstrate that poverty can be reduced locally when communities embrace change. WRF will support such efforts by providing technical assistance and increasing funding for civic engagement, policy advocacy, and community organizing on behalf of people and communities that have the least wealth and opportunity. Integral to this effort will be a public awareness campaign highlighting stories that reflect both challenges and solutions.
Show that strategic support and good grantmaking practices can help select grantees achieve MTN goals within the parameters of their missions. This means that our grants may include general operating support, multi-year funding commitments, and other recognized best practices that improve the sustainability and effectiveness of grantees.