How We Work

 Our approach to philanthropy centers on changing systems and policies to solve problems over the long term and expand power and access for marginalized communities. 

We work with multiple sectors —public, private, and nonprofit—to support the leadership, policies, movements and cultural changes that are required to achieve widespread equity and prosperity in Arkansas. 

We use our tools and resources in grantmaking and capacity building, strategic communications, strategic partnerships, convenings, and program- and mission- related investments.


Eligibility Guidelines

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) will prioritize funding requests that do the following:

•  Have an explicit commitment to educational, economic, social, ethnic, and racial equity.

•  Have an explicit strategy to disrupt the status quo, address the root causes of inequity, and eliminate policies and practices that perpetuate barriers to equity.

•  Prioritize community-led initiatives, movement building, public policy and advocacy, innovation, and systems disruption as the strategies for change.

•  Prioritize and engage people most impacted to lead the process of defining root causes of inequity and developing innovative solutions.

•  Have a 2-Gen approach that equally and intentionally creates opportunities for and address the needs of both children and the adults in their lives together— whole-family strategies.

•  Create or build upon existing partnerships or coalitions because no one organization or sector will achieve equity alone.

•  Are innovative, strategic, and future-focused to inspire and support creative problem solving to make Arkansas better for everyone.

•  Are able to monitor, assess, and document the impact of the change(s) being sought, strategies being used, and the progress being made.

The criteria above will determine alignment with WRF’s vision, mission, and core principles and priorities. Grant seekers are required to address these requirements as they apply for funding.

Limitations and Restrictions

WRF grants and program-related investments are limited to initiatives that directly or significantly impact the state of Arkansas, and are primarily provided to organizations located in Arkansas.

If your initiative is not led by a nonprofit, government agency, school, college, or university, WRF will require a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor acts as a guardian of grant funds, retains discretion and control over the use of grant funds, and ensures that the funds are used for 501(c)(3) purposes. 

The fiscal sponsor and organization’s missions should be in alignment. Please note that WRF requires organizations to adhere to lobbying limits established by the federal government for organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation. 

Please refer to the information provided at for a detailed description of regulations and requirements for nonprofits engaged in public policy and advocacy strategies for change. 

WRF will generally not:

• Fund individuals

• Support capital expenditures (construction, major renovations, equipment, or supplies)

• Provide operating support to cover budget shortfalls

• Support fundraising campaigns

• Support basic scientific research

• Support endowments

• Support initiatives that do not directly or significantly have an impact within the state of Arkansas