Walton Family Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Walton Family Foundation supports K-12 education with over $100 million each year. Its education funding is directed at the charter school movement, urban school districts and innovations that contribute to K-12 student success.

IP TAKE: The Walton Family Foundation invests in the charter school movement in the U.S., urban school districts and research and intervention in K-12 student success. This funder partners with established organizations that are aligned with their funding initiatives.

PROFILE: The Walton Family Foundation was founded in 1987 by Sam Walton, one of the founders of the Walmart retail chain, and his wife, Helen. The Foundation is based in Bentonville, Arkansas and its board of directors is run by the Waltons’ descendants. Its aim is to address “tough social and environmental problems with urgency and a long-term approach to create access to opportunity for people and communities.” It maintains three philanthropic initiatives: improving K-12 education, protecting environmental resources and investment in Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta areas.

The Walton Family Foundation supports K-12 education reform with over $100 million yearly through four separate initiatives. The foundation invests in school districts in key cities across the U.S. where it is most likely to have the greatest impact. It also supports the charter school movement, focusing on securing facilities for established charter school networks and informing parents about educational choice. Among its key grantees in this area are the Charter School Growth Fund, a nonprofit that helps successful charter schools expand into networks; the KIPP Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Knowledge is Power Program charter school network and Education Reform Now, and advocacy group for America’s public school children. Walton’s innovation initiative supports organizations that create and implement programs that contribute to school and student success. Its research and intervention initiative supports university and private research organizations that conduct rigorous quantitative research that supports and informs the foundations other education initiatives.  

The work of the foundation and some of its past grantees can be further explored on the impact section of the foundation’s website. This funder generally supports only well-established organizations that are aligned with its initiatives.

The Walton Family Foundation accepts proposals only from charter school developers that meet the requirements of their startup grant program guidelines. Other applicants should send a letter of inquiry to the foundation’s mailing address. For organizations that receive proposal invitations, the foundation provides links to its grant proposal form, a budget template and a guide for creating performance measures on its grant proposals page.  


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Walton Family Foundation

Attn: Letter of Inquiry

P.O. Box 2030

Bentonville, AR 72712