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Our Network

Arkansas

Arkansas AFN is a regional chapter of grantmakers who advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility. 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.

We’re Still Hurting! From the ER to the Courtroom: How Medical Bills and Court Costs Trap People in Debt Cycles

Image of brief coverA virtual event hosted in partnership with Hope and Arkansas Community Institute, to draw attention to the issues of medical and court costs on Arkansas individuals earning lower incomes.

How We Work

  • Inform: Arkansas AFN members learn from one another and stakeholders as they seek solutions to local challenges. The chapter hosts issue-based programming and calls-to-action that reflect research and philanthropic thought leadership that highlights actionable roles for philanthropy. While focusing on a variety of topics, the chapter gathers local leaders and national experts together to share data and ideas, promote innovative approaches, and help establish common language to build collaboration.
  • Influence: Arkansas AFN engages funders and public/private stakeholders in frank, issue-based discussions that influence policy and foster systemic change. Members seek opportunities to accelerate economic prosperity while also reducing racial, ethnic, and gender wealth gaps. Members provide an insightful Southern voice to inform national and local conversations on topics including access to capital for women of color, reduction of debt, financial coaching, Arkansas tax reform, and banking the unbanked.
  • Connect: Arkansas AFN members support peer-to-peer learning and cross-sector collaboration. Members identify and leverage replicable and scalable high-impact strategies and innovative approaches to connect and inform influential funders of actionable investments.
  • Build: Arkansas AFN works to increase the number of grantmakers and resources focused on strategies that help low and moderate income people build and protect assets. Members leverage one another’s interests and networks to actively identify additional funders willing to co-invest in the South.

Regional Focus Areas

  • Bank On Arkansas+

  • ALICE Action Agenda

  • Access to Capital for Women

Upcoming Events

July 13, 2022: Women Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Collaborative Meeting
Join us for the initial meeting to help form a Women’s ESO collaborative, hosted by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas in partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Asset Funders Network, and the Venture Center. LEARN MORE

CLICK HERE for information and resources from our past events.

Arkansas AFN in the News

CLICK HERE for a collection of news on AR AFN and our partners

Upcoming Events

Contact

Are you a Arkansas grantmaker interested in joining this chapter? Contact us to learn more.

 

Abby Hughes Holsclaw, abby@assetfunders.org

Steering Committee

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Rev. Cory Anderson

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Bryn Bagwell
Bryn Bagwell

Communities Unlimited

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Jordan Bates-Rogers

Arkansas Access to Justice

Elizabeth Brister

Entergy Charitable Foundation

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Kim Davis

Walton Family Foundation

Sydney Diavua

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Justin Fletcher

Excellerate Foundation

Janie Ginocchio

Southern Bancorp Community Partners

Robbye Good

Hope Enterprise Corporation

Anna Beth Gorman

Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

Sarah Kinser

Arkansas Community Foundation

Lena Hayes

Baptist Health Foundation

Mollie Palmer

Heart of Arkansas United Way

Hillis Schild

Arvest Bank

Grant Wallace

Arkansas State Treasurer's Office

Abby Hughes Holsclaw

Senior Director

AFN Staff

Learn more about ALICE in Arkansas
Learn more about ALICE in Arkansas
Learn more about Bank On Arkansas+
Learn more about Bank On Arkansas+

Chapter Highlights

 A Conversation with Bill Bynum

On January 31, 2022, we were joined by Bill Bynum, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE and Anthony Young, Executive Director of Southern Bancorp Community Partners, for a conversation on supporting the financial health of families and small businesses during an ongoing pandemic. Watch the recording and for more information, contact Kara Wilkins at kara@assetfunders.org.

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State of AR Relief Act logo

Arkansas AFN led a campaign for an Arkansas Low Income Tax Credit as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s special session call focused on tax reform. Arkansas AFN coordinated stakeholders and narrative change around ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) Arkansans. The historical effort resulted in the enactment of a low income tax credit and lower wage tax reform on December 9, 2021. It will ultimately impact over 800,000 Arkansas taxpayers who make more than $23,000 but less than $82,000. The average ALICE household with two dependents will see more than $200 in benefit from the tax package.

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ALICE in AR Logo

It’s Time to Focus on ALICE

On November 4, the Arkansas Asset Funders Network hosted more than fifty business leaders to become champions for ALICE and join a network that seeks to identify opportunities, reduce barriers, and support the upward mobility of working Arkansans. ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) is our neighbors, friends, family, and employees as well as a critical income-earning population.  Learn more and watch the recording

WATCH: Tamika Edwards, special advisor to the CEO of Central Arkansas Water, discusses the ALICE initiative and how it aims to help low-income workers with upward income mobility.

WATCH: President and CEO of Entergy Arkansas and ALICE Champion Laura Landreaux, invite business leaders to join the ALICE network.

Picture from the meeting

Bank On Arkansas+ 3rd Annual Summit

On October 7, 2021, Bank On Arkansas+ held the virtual summit Supporting Financial Recovery in the Midst of a Pandemic: How do we support programs that provide financial relief for Arkansans and build efforts for long term policy changes in our state?  Learn more and watch the event

Bank On AR+

Arkansas Economic Recovery Strategy

At the behest of the Governor’s Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force, Bank On Arkansas+ participated in a listening session led by Heartland Forward to provide AR AFN recommendations on the Entrepreneurship and Small Business strategy. Together they created a series of recommendations for an economic recovery strategy for Arkansas as we come out of COVID-19. READ THE RECOMMENDATIONS

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Child Tax Credit Webinar

On June 29, 2021, Bank On Arkansas+ co-hosted a webinar to help attendees learn more about the upcoming Child Tax Credit and how Arkansas families can access various tools, such as a certified Bank On account, to receive their monthly payment.  LEARN MORE

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Delta Owned: A Virtual Site Visit

As part of Arkansas AFN’s commitment to driving advancing access to capital to for minority owned small businesses in Arkansas, two AFN members — the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Communities Unlimited — partnered to launch Delta Owned. Delta Owned provides small grant capital to help micro-businesses and sole proprietors in the Delta region of Arkansas who have not been able to access state and federal COVID-19 relief dollars. We invite you to take a virtual tour of Delta Owned to learn more about the approach.

Meeting the Entrepreneurs | Made in America

Watch the second and third episodes in a series of four documentaries produced by GoDaddy, featuring the work of AR AFN member Communities Unlimited.
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The videos are an effective commentary on entrepreneurship and its potential to close the racial wealth gap, and to generate more good jobs in communities long ignored.
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These are truly stories about “equity” and what entrepreneurship means to families of color and how business ownership helps immigrant families integrate into our economy. They tell the story of why life style businesses are so important to our economy and also to combat inequality.
  • Episode 2: Sequoia Williams – That’s So You Boutique in Little Rock, AR
  • Episode 3: Consuelo Rosales – Consuelo’s Cleaning Services – Jonesboro, AR
Accelerating Ideas into Action: Sept. 13-15, 2022 is SOLD OUTLearn More
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