Apply for a Grant
To determine if your grant proposal is consistent with WRF’s focus, review our Mission and Vision and Moving the Needle strategic plan goals. Click here to view an extended version of the five-year strategic plan.
To receive a grant, your organization must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- You are a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization OR a government agency, school, college, or university
- The initiative that you are proposing directly or significantly has an impact within the state of Arkansas
We do NOT make grants to:
- Support capital expenditures (construction, major renovations, equipment, or supplies)
- Provide operating support to cover budget shortfalls
- Support fundraising campaigns
- Support basic scientific research
- Support endowments
- Support initiatives that do not directly or significantly have an impact within the state of Arkansas
Who Should Apply
Tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of Arkansans are eligible to apply for funding. Government agencies, schools, colleges, and universities seeking funding that will be specifically earmarked for charitable purposes are also eligible. The Foundation makes grants in Arkansas and, on a limited basis, to regional or national organizations doing work in Arkansas.
You may want to review our recent grantees to learn more about what we fund.
Priority Issues for WRF
Moving The Needle (MTN) is a multi-year strategic plan that builds on WRF’s nearly 40-year history of grantmaking. Under MTN, WRF has the following strategic goals:
- Reduce the number of Arkansas families living below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
- Increase high school, vocational, and college graduation rates in the state.
- Increase educational attainment and economic mobility in select communities in Arkansas.
- Show that strategic support and good grantmaking practices can help select grantees achieve MTN goals within the parameters of their missions.
The ambitious MTN agenda requires WRF to focus on a few goals and, in collaboration with other public and private donors, devote resources strategically to a mix of research, advocacy, and direct service projects. While we encourage new ideas, unsolicited proposals will be considered only if they are securely aligned with the strategies and goals of MTN.
In addition to the guidelines listed above, MTN and WRF’s grantmaking will be guided by the following principles:
- WRF will focus its efforts on people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity.
- WRF will be held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness.
- WRF will use its resources to understand the problems contributing to poverty in Arkansas and develop long-term, system-focused solutions to those problems.
The Foundation accepts online application submissions. The application begins with a short eligibility quiz. If basic eligibility is met, the applicant will be given the opportunity to complete the application and attach a line item project budget, an organization budget, and a board of directors list. By creating a user ID and password, the applicant may save a partial application and return at a later time to complete the application and submit it to WRF. While the online application process is intended to be user-friendly, applicants may contact WRF Program Staff at 501-376-6854 for clarification.
Click here to apply
Click here to retrieve a saved application
Click here to download the budget form for one-year grant applications (Excel spreadsheet: .xls)
Click here to download the budget form for multi-year grant applications (Excel spreadsheet: .xls)
Click here to preview the application
Applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. An initial review by WRF program staff determines fit with the Foundation’s vision, mission, and funding priorities. The review and selection process takes an average of six to twelve months from the time the completed application and related documents are received. Grant seekers are encouraged to begin the application process at least twelve months before the proposed funding would go into effect.
Organizations whose applications receive favorable initial review may be invited to submit more detailed proposals and can receive guidance in the subsequent proposal preparation process from WRF program staff. Funding recommendations are presented to the WRF Board of Directors at their quarterly meetings, in March, June, September, and December. All funding decisions are made by the WRF Board, which may decide to award all, none, or some portion of the requested funds.