In February 2012, the Foundation and nearly 20 other funders from across the US embarked on the initial "Why Arkansas?" Tour. Ripe for Reform: Arkansas as a Model for Social Change–commissioned by WRF from the Arkansas Public Policy Panel–served as inspiration for the tour. The publication revealed five factors that make Arkansas an ideal place for philanthropic investment:
During the initial "Why Arkansas?" Tour, participants discussed how funders, intermediary organizations, and large coalitions in Arkansas are successfully advancing education reform, building communities, bolstering civic engagement, and increasing prosperity statewide. Participants learned that lessons and strategies developed in Arkansas–with the right investment–could be adopted by communities and states in the South, the Midwest, and across the nation.
The first tour generated such energy that WRF and its core Arkansas nonprofit and philanthropic partners–Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Community Foundation, Arkansas Public Policy Panel, and Southern Bancorp–established a broader "Why Arkansas?" Campaign to:
WRF and its core partners have also hosted funders tours specific to education and immigrant integration.
Learn more about the "Why Arkansas?" Campaign by viewing the resources below.