Campaigns & Initiatives

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:

  1. Small Scale
  2. Political Climate
  3. History and Momentum
  4. Cornerstone Organizations
  5. National Leadership

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 FamiliesArkansas Community FoundationArkansas Public Policy Panel, and Southern Bancorp–established a broader "Why Arkansas?" Campaign to:

  1. Attract resources to the state that will continue to transform the quality of life for all Arkansans
  2. Increase recognition of Arkansas as a national model for what is possible given the right investments from in-state and out-of-state sources 

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.

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Why is Arkansas a Place of Change?: Five Factors that Make Arkansas a Leader in Policy Change

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Ripe for Reform: Arkansas as a Model for Social Change

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Aspire Arkansas Community Indicators Report

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WRF 2011 Annual Report - Why Arkansas: The Case for Change

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Video: Clinton School of Public Service Public Program