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
- 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
Narrative change & leveraging grass top voices
Are you a Arkansas grantmaker interested in joining this chapter? Contact us to learn more.
Abby Hughes Holsclaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Entergy Charitable Foundation
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Southern Bancorp Community Partners
Hope Enterprise Corporation
Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Board Treasurer)
Arkansas Community Foundation
Baptist Health Foundation
Heart of Arkansas United Way
Learn about Bank On Arkansas+
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
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
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.
A feature publication exploring the barriers women face and offers funders and financial institutions recommend for action. READ THE FEATURE
Press coverage of the report on ArkansasBusiness.com: Report Says Women Face Barriers to Capital, Stifling Business Growth
Arkansas Democratic Gazette, Support for Women or read it here
On October 22, 2020, Arkansas AFN and Bank On Arkansas+ hosted a virtual summit designed to discuss the economic impacts of COVID-19 on families, small businesses, and communities. Attendees heard from national and local panelists and speakers who shared emerging lessons, tools, and resources to help support Arkansans as they navigate their own financial health and wellbeing during an unprecedented time.
Meeting the Entrepreneurs | Made in America
- Episode 2: Sequoia Williams – That’s So You Boutique in Little Rock, AR
- Episode 3: Consuelo Rosales – Consuelo’s Cleaning Services – Jonesboro, AR