We are using this year to craft a new strategic plan that will guide the Foundation’s investments over the next five to ten years. Progress we have made toward our mission to improve the lives of all Arkansans throughout the Moving the Needle strategic plan will not stop just because we need time to think. We know that to planning properly will require the bulk of our time and attention over the next year. Although we will not provide many grants between now and September 2018, we will maintain momentum toward achieving the Foundation's mission.

Read a letter from our President and CEO to learn more about the Foundation’s decade of difference. If you have additional questions, please contact Meredith Morrison at

Apply for a Grant

1.    Review our Mission and Moving the Needle strategic plan goals
2.    Complete and submit the online Letter of Intent
3.    Letter of Intent Review and Invitation to Complete a Full Application
4.    Application review and approval


1. Review our Mission and Moving the Needle strategic plan goals

To determine if your proposal is consistent with WRF’s focus, review our Mission and Vision and Moving the Needle strategic plan goals. Click here to learn more about the Foundation's 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:

  • Individuals
  • 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 (PDF available here) 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. Through MTN, WRF has the following strategic goals:

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 initiatives. 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 is 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.

2. Complete and submit the online Letter of Intent

The Foundation accepts online Letter of Intent (LOI) submissions. The LOI begins with a short eligibility quiz. If basic eligibility is met, the applicant will be given the opportunity to complete the LOI. By creating a user ID and password, the applicant may save a partial LOI and return at a later time to complete the LOI and submit it to WRF. Please save your user ID and password as you will continue to need them in other steps of the grant application process and if your proposal is approved.

While the online LOI process is intended to be user-friendly, applicants may contact WRF Program Staff at 501-376-6854 for clarification. 

Complete an LOI 
Retrieve a saved LOI

3. Letter of Intent Review and Invitiation to Complete a Full Application

LOIs 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. Organizations whose LOIs receive favorable initial review may be invited to submit a full application and can receive guidance in the subsequent proposal preparation process from WRF program staff. The full application will be accessible online. A link will be provided if your organization is invited to move forward. As part of the full application, the applicant may be asked to submit a line item project budget, an organizational budget, and audited financial statements. The forms for a project budget are below.

Download the budget form for one-year grant applications (Excel spreadsheet: .xls)
Download the budget form for multi-year grant applications (Excel spreadsheet: .xls)


4. Application Review and Approval

Funding recommendations developed from the grant application 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.

The review and selection process takes an average of six to twelve months from the time the completed LOI and related documents are received. Grant seekers are encouraged to begin the application process at least six to twelve months before the proposed funding would go into effect.