Arkansas AFN is a regional chapter of grantmakers who invest in opportunities for low and middle income individuals and families to build economic well-being. Members include private, public, corporate, and community foundations, public-sector funders, and financial institutions who want to help Arkansans secure economic stability, for now and for years to come. Arkansas AFN connects funders and their peers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Together they share promising programs and smart strategies, gather knowledge to make their grantmaking more effective, and work to increase investments in asset building.
Arkansas AFN was launched in 2016 as a regional affiliate of national AFN by a core group of funders including the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Entergy Charitable Foundation, the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis-Little Rock Branch. Membership is open to funders who invest in a range of initiatives that build assets for Arkansas, from early childhood education, college access, or workforce development to health, financial capacity, or micro-enterprise. Arkansas AFN members meet regularly and host events to share ideas. Grantmakers investing in Arkansas should contact Abby Hughes Holsclaw if interested in joining this chapter.
How We Work
- Educate: Arkansas AFN members learn from one another and other stakeholders as they seek solutions to local challenges. The chapter hosts forums on a variety of topics, gathering local leaders and national experts together to share data and ideas.
- Elevate: Arkansas AFN highlights promising practices, key issues, and innovations in the field through funder-only dialogues as well as other convenings. Members provide an insightful Southern voice to inform national conversations on topics including Children’s Savings Accounts, financial coaching, Arkansas tax reform, and banking the unbanked.
- Influence: Arkansas AFN engages key stakeholders in the benefits of expanding access to opportunities to build assets. The chapter is working to raise the visibility of asset-building strategies within the broader community of foundations, public-sector funders, and financial institutions.
- Grow: Arkansas AFN works to increase the number of grantmakers and resources focused on economic well-being. Members leverage one another’s interests and investments and actively look for additional funders willing to invest in the South.
Learn about Bank On Arkansas+
Are you a Arkansas grantmaker interested in joining this chapter? Contact us to learn more.
Abby Hughes Holsclaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Health & Wealth Symposium
On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the Arkansas Asset Funders Network (AR AFN) in partnership with the Derek Lewis Foundation, convened 80 community stakeholders, business leaders, government officials, nonprofit leaders, and philanthropists for the Health and Wealth Symposium convened at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Symposium featured new research from Dr. Eddie Ochoa with the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences exploring health care cost-related hardships for Arkansas’s working families with young children. Dr. Ray Bignall with Nationwide Children’s Hospital unpacked how health is tied to one’s economic well being and highlighted Nationwide’s investment in individual and community infrastructure to promote both health and wealth. Inspiring, emotional TED-style Talks from leaders in their respective fields explored personal stories of health and wealth challenges and triumphs related to inequality, education, employment, community development, policy, and housing. Attendees interactively explored the complex intersection of health and wealth and examined the role of philanthropy, government, business, and nonprofit leaders play in promoting the integration of health and wealth strategies.
A special initiative and work of the AR AFN is Bank On Arkansas+.
In response to the financial threats that the unbanked and underbanked face, cities and towns across the country have adopted the Bank On model. In Arkansas, the Arkansas AFN recognized the benefits resulting from the Bank On model initiative and seeded the first-ever statewide Bank On Arkansas+ Coalition.
Learn more about Arkansas AFN and the Bank On AR+ initiative here.
March 27, 2018
On Tuesday, March 27, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and the Arkansas Asset Funders Network joined forces to host a funders-only pre-release luncheon to celebrate the release of the benchmark report: Economic Indicators for Women in Arkansas: State, Region, and County. This private event offered grantmakers the opportunity to hear first hand about the economic capacity and explore the future trajectory of Arkansas women. The report was generously funded by the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation.
Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, lead researcher for the study, shared the exclusive findings about the status of women across the state through the lens of various economic indicators such as poverty level, health insurance, education, earnings, wealth attainment, and more. As a result, funders explored the study’s implications for future grantmaking and openly discuss opportunities before philanthropy to help make Arkansas economically secure for all Arkansans — especially women.
Dr. Sarah Beth Estes, Professor of Sociology at University of Arkansas, Little Rock & Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Board Member
Tjuana Byrd, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas President
Tamika Edwards, Director of Government Affairs, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Dr. Margaret Ellibee, Chancellor of University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech
Attendees discussed the need for philanthropy to:
- Identify quick wins that show progress and build momentum
- Be committed to the long-term, sustainable solutions
- Not shelf the data… rather, follow it!
- Embrace collaboration for greater impact
- Be courageous — be willing to fund innovation
You can view the report here on the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’s website.