Generations of Generosity: Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter Honorees
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves
Forty years ago, a group of visionary Arkansans chartered the Arkansas Community Foundation. More than $310 million has been gifted to the foundation, and while more than $156 million has been granted to nonprofit organizations – transforming lives and communities – assets top $285 million. ArkansasGives, a one-day online giving campaign, is a project of the foundation. In its second year, the initiative has helped more than 600 nonprofit organizations and raised $4.6 million from more than 18,500 donors. For these accomplishments and more, the foundation is being honored with the President’s Award.
Heather Larkin, president & CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation, touts the recent accomplishments of ArkansasGives and the logistics that make is so popular.
The foundation provides services to donors so they can choose which organizations they would like to support, says Heather. “We help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs and support the causes they care about.”
ArkansasGives was a leap of faith for the foundation, but has proven well worth the risk. “We saw the potential – as did several of our sponsors. This event positively impacted more charities across our state than any event in history. In the first year, more than $2 million went to nonprofits across the state, and in the second year, more than $4 million. We were dreaming big but still dumbfounded by the success. We give full credit to our sponsors, the work of nonprofits and Arkansans who responded to the fun, competitive spirit and dug deep to give to the charities they cared about most.”
Witnessing the transformative change that the foundation’s partners help create is the most rewarding part about its mission, Heather says. “By working with individuals and organizations who care about the future of Arkansas, and meeting the needs that so many of our communities face, we have been pleased to experience growth and improvement across our communities for over 40 years.”
Arkansans are generous people, notes Heather. “Research by the late Dr. Tom Bruce indicated that Arkansas is among the most generous states in the U.S. While there is much need, the people of our state, even those with the least, respond enthusiastically with their resources and their time and talent to make our communities better.”
Philosophy to live by:
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
For “the generosity of Arkansans – it’s truly overwhelming. We see it every day and never fail to be awed by how Arkansans respond when asked.”
“Grow the love.” – ArkansasGives 2017 slogan