Walton Family Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?

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Published:

February 22, 2023

Last Updated:

March 8, 2023

The Walton Family Foundation is a family-led foundation whose philanthropic efforts focus on solving complex social and environmental problems.

At first glance, it may sound like the Walton Family Foundation is a good-fit funder for your organization or project. However, before you invest your time into drafting a grant proposal, it’s important to determine if applying for support from this foundation is a high-ROI opportunity for you.

You might be wondering—How do I do that? We will show you!

As you read through this article, we will share with you some valuable insights into the Walton Family Foundation and their giving trends. You will use these funder insights to score yourself on several criteria that will help you determine whether the Walton Family Foundation is a good-fit funder for you.

Our goal is to help you make sure you are only spending your valuable time and efforts on high-ROI funding opportunities.

Let’s get started!

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Prospects in 7 Easy Steps

Walton Family Foundation: Mission and Background

Goal

The Pittsburgh-based Walton Family Foundation does not have a robust online presence—in fact, they don’t even have a website! Fortunately, we were able to glean some key information about their mission, background, and areas of focus using NTEE codes from Instrumentl.

We will go into more detail regarding these NTEE codes later in the article—for now, we are simply using them to learn more about the Walton Family Foundation’s giving focus.

According to their NTEE codes, the foundation tends to allocate the largest amount of money to projects in the Arts, Culture & Humanities, with $45,000 in grant funds being awarded in this category in 2020.

The foundation also supports Crime & Legal-Related projects as their second most-funded focus area.

Geographically, the foundation awards grant funds to organizations located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

You might be asking, “why is this information important?’ Let us tell you! It’s important to look at mission alignment when you are assessing if a funder is a potentially good fit for your organization or your project. If your mission doesn’t align with the funder’s, it likely isn’t going to be a high-ROI opportunity for you.

The insights we shared above are just a sneak peek; however, keep reading and we will dive into them in much more detail!

Criterion #1: Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit's mission aligns with the Walton Family Foundation.

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

Walton Family Foundation: Interesting Funder Insights

Insight

You can discover if the Walton Family Foundation is a good-fit funder for your organization by reviewing some key data from their 990 forms.

990 forms are a great source of information about potential funders, but they are difficult to read! Their layout is confusing, their font is hard to read, and the insights they provide are not super intuitive or reader-friendly. Here’s where Instrumentl can help you!

Instrumentl analyzes the data from 990 forms and breaks it down into easily digestible, reader-friendly graphs and charts. These insights can help you determine if your project is a good fit for a specific funder so that you can ensure you are only spending time on high-ROI opportunities.

Keep reading to learn the three key pieces of data that Instrumentl will provide you to help you determine if the Walton Family Foundation is a good fit.

General Giving Trends

The first key piece of data that Instrumentl will show is the foundation’s past giving trends. This is super important—past giving is the single best indicator of future giving!

Take a look at the bar graph below. You can see that the Walton Family Foundation’s total giving amount has had some minor fluctuations since 2017 but has remained relatively steady.

In 2017, the foundation granted $58,555 in grants. This amount jumped to $70,000 in 2018, and dropped slightly to $65,000 in 2020. Overall, there has been a 6% increase in total giving over the last three years. This is good news!

Walton Family Foundation General Giving Trends

An upward-sloping trend in total giving is a positive indicator that the foundation’s total giving will likely continue to increase in coming years. Hooray!

Criterion #2: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the Walton Family Foundation’s positive giving trend for the last 3 years.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this since the Walton Family Foundation has had an increasing giving trend for the last 3 years.

Total giving isn’t the only funding insight that we should review, however. We also need to look at the number of grants awarded by the foundation each year.

Walton Family Foundation Number of Grants

As you can see above, the Walton Family Foundation’s number of grants were relatively steady from 2017 to 2018. However, in 2020, the total number of grants awarded dropped to just two! This is a significant decrease.

However, the implications for this trend are not very straightforward and should be considered in relation to the total giving trend we already discussed.

Since the Walton Family Foundation’s total giving has increased, and their total number of grant awards has decreased, we can infer that the grants awarded have likely significantly increased in size.

Let’s see if this inference is correct by reviewing the foundation’s giving average trend.

Walton Family Foundation Giving Average and Median

The above graph shows us that the foundation’s average grant award remained steady between 2017 and 2018. However, as we suspected, the average grant amount skyrocketed between 2018 and 2020—experiencing a 220% increase!

Again, this information is important to think about in relation to the total giving and number of grants trends that we reviewed. Overall, the Walton Family Foundation’s giving amount has increased, as has their average grant amount. However, their number of grants has decreased significantly.

This leads us to believe that the foundation is being much more stringent in terms of choosing which organizations they contribute to; since they are contributing to fewer nonprofits but their total giving amount has not decreased, the grant amounts are significantly larger.

Criterion #3: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the increase in the average grant amount given by the Walton Family Foundation’s for the past 3 years.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when the average grant amount awarded by the Walton Family Foundation has increased for the past 3 years.

Keep in mind—these are just a few of the metrics we will review relating to the Walton Family Foundation’s giving trends. We have some even more important metrics coming up next, so keep reading!

Funding by NTEE Codes 

Ok, here we go—let’s talk about NTEE codes. Instrumentl’s funding by NTEE code breakdown is by far the most important piece of information to consider when evaluating funder fit.

Most funders tend to unequally divide their giving between different funding areas. Reviewing this data will give you insights about projects that are similar to yours, how many are funded, and what their average funding amount is.

Walton Family Foundation NTEE Code Details

The above table shows you that Arts, Culture & Humanities is the category that receives the highest allocation of funds from the Walton Family Foundation at $85,000; this category also has the highest average grant amount of $40,000.

Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines is the category with both the lowest total funding and lowest average grant amount, at $500 each.

It’s also important to review the NTEE subcategories that can be accessed by clicking the “+” sign next to each category name; taking the NTEE Code data at face value can be misleading, as it doesn’t show the variability across funding amounts in related subcategories. Check out the table below to see what we mean by this.

Walton Family Foundation NTEE Code Details

Look at the NTEE Code Education. The total giving amount is $12,000 and the average grant amount is listed at $2,000. However, if you look at the subcategories, you can see that the subcategory Scholarships & Student Financial Aid has a $2,000 average grant amount.

Criterion #4: Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the Walton Family Foundation’s funding for your niche is what you desire.

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

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Openness to New Grantees and Their Average Grant Amounts

Another important element to consider is the Walton Family Foundation’s openness to new grantees and how their average grant amounts compare to those of repeat grantees.

This information will help you determine if it is worth your time and energy to conduct outreach to the foundation. While there is no hard-and-fast rule about ratios of new to repeat grantees, we have found that a 40/60 split is a pretty good indicator for success.

Instrumentl’s 990 tool makes it easy to find information about a foundation’s openness to new grantees. Take a look at the bar graph below.

Walton Family Foundation Openness to New Grantees

You can see that over the last 3 years, only 16% of the foundation’s awards have gone to new grantees.

However, if you look at the data from 2017, 2018, and 2020, you can see that the amount of funding awarded to new grantees is growing.

In 2017, only 12.5% of funds were awarded to new grantees. In 2018, that number grew to 25%. And, in 2020, the foundation’s grants were split 50%-50% between new and repeat grantees—this is a good indicator that the foundation is open to partnering with new organizations on funding projects!

Criterion #5: If you are a new grantee, add the Walton Family Foundation’s proportion of giving to new grantees to your funder score.

If you are a repeat grantee, add the Walton Family Foundation’s proportion of giving to repeat grantees to your funder score.

Score Explanation
.16 Add this when you are a new grantee for the Walton Family Foundation.
.84 Add this when you are a repeat grantee for the Walton Family Foundation.

Bonus Tip: Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees 

We have a bonus tip for you!

Another factor to consider when evaluating funder fit is the geographic distribution of past grantees. While this is only one piece of data to consider among all of the items we’ve reviewed today, it can lend some insight into whether your project will be funded.

Walton Family Foundation Past Grantees

As you can see in the above map, the Walton Family Foundation’s giving is largely concentrated in a specific region of the United States, encompassing 9 states.

States shaded in white, such as California, Texas, Washington, and the Dakotas have never received funding from the Walton Family Foundation.

Light purple states are sparsely represented. This means that these states have received awards, but in low amounts. For example, West Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina are all light purple and have received only one grant award each.

More heavily represented states, such as Pennsylvania and New York in the above map, are in darker purple. Pennsylvania has received 5 grant awards, and New York has received 5.

Lastly, the most heavily represented states are in the darkest purple. For the Walton Family Foundation, these state are Ohio, with 13 awards, and Virginia, with 12 awards.

For our last criteria, we are going to ask you to score yourself on whether your state has been awarded funding from the Walton Family Foundation.

Criterion #6: Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether your organization’s state has been historically 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.

Walton Family Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees

Team

By now, you should have an idea of whether the Walton Family Foundation is a good fit for your project.

If the answer is “yes”, we’re going to give you two action items to add to your to-do list.

Item #1: Get in Touch with the Walton Family Foundation’s Key People 

To catch the eye of any foundation, you need to begin networking with the foundation’s key people right away.

This can be tricky—you can’t approach just anyone. You need to make sure that your outreach is targeted to the foundation’s decision-makers. This is where Instrumentl can help you with its “Key People'' report.

Walton Family Foundation Key People

From this list, you can determine who to reach out to first. You also need to determine your outreach strategy—you could invite key people to a community event, send them a direct mail solicitation, or even reach out to them via phone or email.

This is where action item #2 comes in—keep reading!

Item #2: Contact the Walton Family Foundation’s Past Grantees

There is no one more qualified to give you insider tips—including successful ways to conduct outreach—than past grantees.

Walton Family Foundation Past Grantees

Using Instrumentl’s past grantees feature, you can identify organizations who have successfully received funds from the Walton Family Foundation in the past, even narrowing your search by grant size or category. Once you’ve found a few organizations that have grants that align with your needs, you can reach out to them for advice.

Don’t forget to create your free Instrumentl account today to get more insights about past grantees!

Foundations Similar to the Walton Family Foundation

Nonprofit Organization

If you’ve come to the conclusion that the Walton Family Foundation is not a great fit for your project, don’t stress. Here’s a list of similar foundations that may work better for your organization.

  • Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • Windgate Charitable Foundation
  • Arkansas Community Foundation
  • Charles A. Frueauff Foundation
  • Endeavor Foundation
  • The Murphy Foundation
  • The Ross Foundation
  • Tyson Foundation, Inc.

Wrapping Up: Walton Family Foundation and You

Checklist

It is so important to evaluate if a funder is a good fit for your project before you invest your valuable time and resources into submitting a grant proposal or request for funding. By now, you should have a pretty good idea if the Walton Family Foundation is a good match for you.

Let’s make a final determination on funder fit together by adding up all of your scores from the criteria listed throughout this article. Once your scores are added up, please round them to the nearest 10th.

  • Great fit: 8.5 - 11
  • Good fit: 3.8 - 7.8
  • Bad fit: <= 0.8

If the Walton Family Foundation is a good (or great) fit for you, that’s wonderful news! You have two specific action items that we listed above to take care of to help you get on your way to potentially submitting a proposal.

If they are not a good fit, don’t fret! You can begin your research on the similar foundations that we provided to keep you moving on our journey to find funding for your project.

And don’t forget—start your free Instrumentl trial today to get instantly matched to hundreds of relevant grant opportunities! Use Instrumentl to review 990 data from any potential funders to ensure that you are reserving your efforts for opportunities with a high ROI.

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