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.
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
Are you a Arkansas grantmaker interested in joining this chapter? Contact us to learn more.
Abby Hughes Holsclaw, email@example.com
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Arkansas Access to Justice
Entergy Charitable Foundation
Walton Family Foundation
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Southern Bancorp Community Partners
Hope Enterprise Corporation
Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
Arkansas Community Foundation
Baptist Health Foundation
Heart of Arkansas United Way
Arkansas State Treasurer's Office
Women Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Collaborative Meeting
On July 13, 2022, the initial meeting was held to 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. The purpose was to bring together organizations that provide support for women entrepreneurs and explore our shared interests to accelerate the growth of women owned businesses in Arkansas. LEARN MORE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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
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.
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