Last Updated:

April 11, 2023

The Walmart Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?

The Walmart Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you are likely constantly on the hunt for new funding opportunities that align with your organization and programs. You’re not alone!

While there’s no shortage of funding opportunities out there, it can still be challenging to narrow down which ones are a good fit for you. This is where Instrumentl can help!

The Walmart Foundation is a big name in philanthropy, and it’s quite possible that you have considered applying for one of their funding opportunities. Before you do that, let us walk you through the Walmart Foundation’s mission and their past giving trends so we can help you determine whether you should apply for a Walmart Foundation grant.

As you progress through this article, you will be asked to score yourself and your organization based on defined scoring criteria. At the end of the article, you will have a funder score that will reflect your fit to the Walmart Foundation.

If you’re a good fit, we will give you two solid action steps to take before you submit a request.

If not, don’t stress! We will help you identify a list of similar funders that may better fit your nonprofit’s needs.

Let’s get started!

The Walmart Foundation: Mission and Background


The Walmart Foundation’s approach to philanthropy is rooted in the company’s mission to create opportunities so that people can live better. Through’s philanthropic investments, the Walmart Foundation works to make systematic changes to complex economic, social, and environmental challenges. 

The Walmart Foundation focuses on these priority areas:

  • Creating opportunity
  • Advancing sustainability
  • Strengthening community
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Walmart Foundation Mission and Background

Scoring Criterion #1

Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit’s mission aligns with the Walmart Foundation.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when there is little to no understanding of the alignment between you and the Walmart Foundation
+2 Add this when there is a distant alignment between you and the Walmart Foundation - e.g. Foundation supports a broader funding category.
+3 Add this where there is an evident close alignment between you and the Walmart Foundation.

The Walmart Foundation: How to Apply and Active Grants


The Walmart Foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry for several programs, including:

  • Retail opportunity: The Foundation is focused on supporting research on best practices to build mobility in the retail sector, investing in innovative approaches to training, and engaging and collaborating with other employers to help improve the ecosystem.
  • Healthier Food for All: strives to improve access and availability to healthy food and nutrition education programs. The company focuses on funding organizations that have the capacity to administer sub-grants and build network capacity to scale proven strategies and test innovative approaches. To be eligible for funds, programs must support underserved populations and food-insecure households.

The Walmart Foundation accepts open applications for 2 programs:

  • Local Community Support: Walmart’s US stores and clubs award local cash grants ranging from $250 to $5,000. These grants are designed to address the unique needs of the communities in which Walmart operates. A variety of organizations receive funding each year, including animal shelters, organizations serving the elderly, and community clean-up projects.
  • Northwest Arkansas Grant: Arkansas has been home to Walmart since 1962 when Sam Walton opened his first store there. For that reason, the Northwest Arkansas Giving Program awards funds to eligible nonprofit organizations that operate within the region and whose work directly relates to specific focus areas.

Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from active opportunities.

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The Walmart Foundation also has a request for proposals for the Center for Racial Equity. The Center supports Black entrepreneurs with existing businesses that supply goods and services to the retail industry. The goal of the Center is to help increase readiness and earnings in order to enable entrepreneurs to grow and strengthen their companies.

It’s important to determine if your nonprofit is a good fit for any of the funding programs offered through the Walmart Foundation before you begin the application process.

If you aren’t yet sure, that’s fine! In the next few sections, we will introduce you to some valuable funder insights that will help you assess your fit with the Walmart Foundation.

The Walmart Foundation: Interesting Funder Insights


You can discover whether your nonprofit is a good fit for a Walmart Foundation grant opportunity by reviewing some key data in their 990.

Reviewing a foundation’s 990 can be overwhelming—there is a lot of information, and it can be difficult to sift through what is relevant and meaningful. But don’t worry! Instrumentl analyzes the data in the 990 forms and breaks it down into digestible pieces that you can review and understand. Phew!

Here are 3 key things that Instrumentl’s 990 tool can show you to help you determine if your nonprofit and programs are a good match for the Walmart Foundation’s funding priorities.

#1 General Giving Trends

Let’s take a look at the Walmart Foundation’s giving trends; past giving is a great indicator of future giving.

Instrumentl pulls the Foundation’s key giving statistics from their 990 forms and displays them in easy-to-read bar graphs. As shown, the Walmart Foundation only has 990 data for the year 2020, which makes it hard to compare giving trends year over year.

However, we can see that in 2020, the Foundation awarded In $125,251,281 in grant funds.

Walmart Foundation Key Financial Stats

Instrumentl also shows you data such as the giving average and median award amount, and the number of grants the funder awarded in a certain year. Looking at the graph below, we can see that the Walmart Foundation awarded 666 grants in 2020.

Walmart Foundation Key Financial Stats

#2 Funding by NTEE Codes

The fact that the Walmart Foundation donated more than $125 million in grant funds is impressive—and might sound promising. But it doesn’t tell you anything about whether or not the Foundation might support your project. So, how do you find that out? Let us tell you!

As we already discussed, the Walmart Foundation focuses their giving on the following priority areas:

  • Creating opportunity
  • Advancing sustainability
  • Strengthening community
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

By using Instrumentl’s funding by NTEE Code tool, you can take a deeper dive into exactly how the Foundation allocates grant funds to subtopics that fall under each priority area.

As you can see, the Foundation’s giving is split very unequally between their priority areas and the subtopics within them, which provides you with important information about whether your program aligns with the Foundation's giving trends.

To evaluate if your project might be a good fit, identify the NTEE code that it will fall under, and review the total dollar amount, average grant amount, and total grant count in that subtopic.

Remember—you won’t find this information on the Foundation’s website; it’s only available through Instrumentl!

Instrumentl NTEE Code Tool

For example, looking at the table above, you can see that the Walmart Foundation has awarded “International, Foreign Affairs & National Security” programs the highest total dollar amount ($22,234,480), but has only funded 25 of those programs.

Comparatively, the Foundation has awarded “Education” programs only $12.7 million but has awarded 111 grants in that subtopic. This data leads us to believe that education programs are of importance to the Foundation but that the award amounts will likely be smaller.

Another important piece of information you can glean from this data is the average grant award. If you look at the “Food, Agriculture & Nutrition” category, you can see that the average grant award is $3,000.

Here’s something you might have missed: the NTEE code categories all include subcategories that you can also explore. There are some dramatic differences between the category-level average and the actual amount awarded in these subcategories, which can be misleading.

For example, look at the “human services” category. The average grant amount listed is $3,000. However, when you look at the subcategories, the grant amounts range drastically. If you look at the “management and technical assistance” category, you’ll see that the grant amount awarded was $1.5 million!

Instrumentl NTEE Code Tool

You’d never guess that management & technical assistance would receive such large funding amounts from the Walmart Foundation. Without these valuable insights, you might grossly underestimate the potential that a grant from this Foundation holds for your organization. You can discover more insights into NTEE code subcategories and their grant amounts by creating your free Instrumentl account today!

Scoring Criterion #2

Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the Walmart Foundation’s funding for your niche is what you desire.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when Walmart Foundation's funding for your niche lies below your desired amount.
+1 Add this when Walmart Foundation's funding for your niche is around your desired amount.
+2 Add this when Walmart Foundation's funding for your niche is greater than your desired amount.

#3 Openness to New Grantees and Their Average Grant Amounts

It’s important to analyze the number of new grantees that are awarded grants by a Foundation versus repeat grantees. This data will indicate to you if a Foundation is open to awarding new organizations and projects or if they prefer to fund the same initiatives over and over.

Instrumentl can help you with this with its Openness to New Grantees features.

You can see in the chart below that there were 666 grants awarded by the Walmart Foundation in 2020. According to the data pulled from the 990, all of the grant awards from 2020 were to new grantees —this is good news!

For new grantees, the median grant amount was $7,500, and the maximum grant amount was $4,059,743.

Openness to New Grantees

This data indicates that it is worth a shot if you have never applied for funding from the Walmart Foundation before.

#4 Bonus Tip! Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees

Geographic distribution of past grantees is important information to analyze when you are determining if your organization may be a good fit for a specific Foundation. Some Foundations have a very specific geographic focus, such as areas where their facilities are located or where their employees live, etc.

In 2020, the Walmart Foundation awarded grants to many states throughout the US, as represented in the map below.

States shaded in white have historically not been awarded grants by the Walmart Foundation. Looking at the map below, these include New Mexico, Nevada, the Dakotas, Vermont, and others.

States shaded in light purple are sparsely represented. In the case of the Walmart Foundation, these include states like Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Florida and the Carolinas.

States in dark purple are the most represented in terms of funding awards from the Walmart Foundation. In the US, Arkansas is the only dark purple state, having 385 grants awarded in 2020.

Remember—location is only one of the many variables that should be considered when determining whether your organization is a good fit for the Walmart Foundation.

Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees

Scoring Criterion #3

Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether or not your nonprofit’s state has been represented.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when your state isn't historically represented - shaded in white - among past grantees.
+1 Add this when your state is sparsely represented - shaded in light purple - among past grantees.
+2 Add this when your state is represented more heavily - shaded in darker purple - among past grantees.
+3 Add this when your state is represented most heavily - shaded in darkest purple - among past grantees.

The Walmart Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees

Key Person

By now, you should feel confident about whether or not the Walmart Foundation and your nonprofit organization are a good fit. If you aren’t a good fit, don’t worry! We have a list of foundations similar to Walmart’s that may better align with your organization.

If you are a good fit, we advise you to do two more things before submitting a grant application to the Walmart Foundation. Keep reading to find out your next two action items.

Action Item #1: Get in Touch with Walmart Foundation’s Key Contacts

Even though the Walmart Foundation’s grants are not invitation-only, it is still important to connect with key people at the foundation to build a relationship. Through these connections, you can build visibility for your nonprofit and the work that you do, thus increasing the likelihood that you will get funded.

Instrumentl’s “Key People” report includes a list of employees at the Walmart Foundation and their roles with the Foundation. From this list, you can determine who to reach out to first.

Walmart Foundation Key Contacts

The three director-level positions may be a good initial contact for your networking efforts.

There are several ways to consider conducting your outreach. You can craft a compelling case for support to pitch to the Foundation’s employees. You could also consider inviting them to your organization’s next fundraising or community event to get them more directly involved with your work.

No matter what approach you take, you now have a list of the right people at your fingertips to get in touch with.

Action Item #2: Contact Walmart Foundation’s Past Grantees

There’s no one more qualified to give you advice and insight about how to get funded by the Walmart Foundation than organizations who have been funded in the past!

Walmart Foundation Past Grantees

Instrumentl’s past grantees feature helps you find organizations like yours that have previously received funding from the Walmart Foundation. You can even narrow your search by state, award amount, or funding purpose to find organizations with asks similar to yours.

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Foundations Similar to The Walmart Foundation


By now, you should feel confident about whether or not the Walmart Foundation is a good fit for your nonprofit. If not, don’t stress! It’s good that you figured it out now before you invested the time and effort to submit a grant proposal.

Here are some other grantmakers and foundations that support causes similar to the Walmart Foundation’s to help you continue your search for funding:

  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Caterpillar Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Ford Motor Company Fund
  • Aldi Cares Community Grants
  • AT&T Foundation
  • UPS Foundation
  • GE Foundation
  • State Farm Companies Foundation

Wrapping Up: Next Steps to Take from Here

Next Steps

The Walmart Foundation’s grantmaking has made significant impacts on strengthening communities across the United States. With a focus on causes such as healthy food, building inclusive communities, and creating opportunities for black-owned businesses, the Foundation’s giving programs are a good fit for many nonprofit organizations.

However, before you spend the time applying for funds from the Foundation, it’s important to determine if your nonprofit is a good fit.

By now, you should have added up the points from the scoring criterion throughout this article. Below, you can look at the breakdown we provide and see where your score falls.

  • Great fit: 7 - 8
  • Good fit: 5 - 6
  • Bad fit: <= 2

Again, if you are not a good fit for the Walmart Foundation, don’t stress! We provided you with a list of similar foundations that you can research and determine if one is a better match. Create your free Instrumentl account to get instantly matched with hundreds of relevant grant opportunities and gain access to funders’ 990 data.

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