Non-profit

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Website:

www.wrfoundation.org/%20

Location:

LITTLE ROCK, AR

Tax ID:

71-0285871

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $3,991,446
Expenses: $7,233,428
Assets: $157,147,472

Formation:

1963

Type:

Private Foundation

President:

Sherece West-Scantlebury

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation was created by Winthrop Rockefeller, the youngest son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who served two two-year terms as governor of Arkansas between 1967 and 1971. The foundation primarily funds social service programs in Arkansas.

While Winthrop Rockefeller had served as a Republican, the Foundation vows to advance left-of-center notions of “equity” [1] and is led by Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, a former chair of the board of the left-of-center National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. [2]

Winthrop Rockefeller

Winthrop Rockefeller was the son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. In World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of major, and fighting in the battles of Guam, Leyte, and Okinawa with the 77th Infantry. He was the only one of Rockefeller, Jr.’s sons to serve in combat during the war. [3]

In 1953, Winthrop Rockefeller moved to Arkansas and bought 927 acres in Morillon which he turned into a cattle ranch he called Winrock Farms. In 1955, he was appointed to head the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, which he headed for nine years, claiming that his work attracted 600 factories and 90,000 jobs to the state. In 1966, he was elected governor of Arkansas as a Republican, and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas states that the election “was one where black voters cast the deciding vote” because they were opposed to the segregationist practices of the Democratic Party. Rockefeller served two two-year terms as governor but lost in 1970 to Democrat Dale Bumpers. [4]

Winthrop Paul Rockefeller

Winthrop “Win” Paul Rockefeller was the only child of Winthrop Rockefeller. In 1996 he won a special election for lieutenant governor as a Republican and subsequently served two four-year terms as lieutenant governor, leaving office in January 2005 after his term limit expired. [5]

Winthrop Paul Rockefeller’s son, Winthrop “Win” Paul Rockefeller Jr., and his widow, Lisenne Rockefeller, are Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation trustees. [6]

Winrock International and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

In 1973, after Winthrop Rockefeller’s death, his estate dedicated the land of Winrock Farms into the Winrock International Research and Training Center to teach “venturesome and innovative” farming practices. In 1985, this center merged with two other agricultural nonprofits created by the Rockefeller family to form Winrock International, a nonprofit that aids farmers around the world. [7]

In 2005, Winthrop Rockefeller’s home in Morillon, Arkansas was turned into the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, a conference center for nonprofits and a supporting organization of the University of Arkansas System. [8]

In 1982 the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Family Fund issued grants that created Peace Links, an organization that advocated for women to lobby for unilateral nuclear disarmament. The organization’s founder, Betty Bumpers, wife of then-U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers (D-AR), told the New York Times the group’s goal was “to tap into every women’s organization across the country, from garden clubs to church groups, and have them put nuclear awareness on their agenda.” Among the women working with the group were former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; Sharon Percy Rockefeller, wife of then-U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV); and Teresa Heinz, at the time the wife of then-U.S. Sen. John Heinz (R-PA). [9]

Southern Bancorp

In 1986 the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the state of Arkansas provided capital to create a bank now known as Southern Bancorp, a community development financial institution that provides loans to poor people and women and minority-owned businesses. As of 2022, Southern Bancorp is a B Corporation with $2 billion in assets and 55 bank branches. [10]

Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury

Since 2007, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has been headed by Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, who was previously the president of the Carrier and Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation and a program officer at the left-leaning Annie E. Casey Foundation. [11]

From 2013 until 2017, West-Scantlebury was chair of the board of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). [12] In 2013, NCRP issued a report that commended the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation for being “an exemplar of social justice philanthropy in its goals and strategies.” [13]

In a 2018 interview, West-Scantlebury said, “I was born with a social justice heart—it is in my DNA” and that “we must change the policies and systems that negatively impact the 70 percent of Arkansans who work in jobs that do not pay a livable wage to support their families.” [14]

Funding Priorities

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation declares that its mission is to advance “social, racial, and ethnic equity,” “educational equity,” and “economic equity.” The foundation says it wants a state where “All Arkansans can achieve widely shared prosperity because everyone erns a living wage, participates in a thriving economy, and is able to build generational wealth.” The foundation says the people it supports are “ALICE,” an acronym for “Asset-Limited Income Constrained Employed.” [15]

Micah Fellows Program

In 2020, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Methodist Foundation of Arkansas announced the “Micah Fellows Program” to train ministers and employees of faith-based charities to “participate in media, advocacy, and narrative training” and “have access to microgrants for regional projects focused on economic inclusion and justice.” The program began with 20 fellows in 2021. [16]

Grantmaking

In 2019, the three largest grants made by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation were to ForwARd Arkansas ($1.2 million), the Arkansas Community Foundation ($1.1 million), and Capacity for Change ($300,000). [17]

References

  1. “Economic Equity,” https://www.wrfoundation.org/economic-equity/ (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  2. “Five Foundation Leaders Join National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,” press release from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, September 27, 2017. ^
  3. John Kirk, “The Prelude to Winthrop Rockefeller’s Rise in Arkansas,” Arkansas Times, March 7, 2022.  This article is excerpted from Kirk’s biography, Winthrop Rockefeller:  From New Yorker to Arkansawyer. ^
  4. “Winthrop Rockefeller,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas,  https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/winthrop-rockefeller-122/ (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  5. Steve Barnes, “Lt. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller of Arkansas Dies at 57,” New York Times, July 17, 2006. ^
  6. Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation:  Our People, https://www.wrfoundation.org/the-people/ (accessed August 22, 2022) ^
  7. “Winrock History,” https://winrock.org/winrock-history/ (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  8. “Our History,” Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, https://rockefellerinstitute.org/about/our-history/  (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  9. Barbara Gamarkeian, “Politician Wives and “Peace Links,’, New York Times, May 26, 1982. ^
  10. Southern Bancorp, “Our Story,” https://banksouthern.com/about/ (accessed August 19, 2022). David Falum, “Banking on The Delta’s Economic Life,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, December 19, 2004. ^
  11. Nicole Lewis, “Leaving Katrina Behind for A New Effort To Aid Poor People,” Chronicle of Philanthropy, May 31, 2007. ^
  12. “Five Foundation Leaders Join National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,” press release from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, September 27, 2017. ^
  13. Lisa Ranghelli, “NCRP Assessment of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation,” https://wrfoundation-media.s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/files/ncrp-assessment-of-wrf-31-8789.pdf (accessed August 19, 2022). ^
  14. Lim Meyer-Webb, “Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation,” Inviting Arkansas, June 1, 2018, https://www.invitingarkansas.com/featured/winthrop-rockefeller-foundation/ (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  15. “Economic Equity,” https://www.wrfoundation.org/economic-equity/ (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  16. “Micah Fellows Program,” https://www.micahfellowsprogram.org/home/#about (accessed August 19, 2022) ^
  17. 2019 Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Form 990. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Anne Bartley
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1963

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form PF $3,991,446 $7,233,428 $157,147,472 $2,633,512 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Dec Form PF $4,960,697 $7,521,294 $146,819,862 $3,105,912 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form PF $10,791,796 $8,561,136 $134,221,394 $3,789,001 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $9,597,539 $7,476,337 $145,227,366 $3,501,110 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $13,725,409 $7,466,114 $147,122,064 $3,390,803 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $9,796,270 $6,149,876 $132,822,483 $2,475,521 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $9,055,028 $7,119,813 $125,737,289 $4,325,354 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

    225 West Markham Street
    LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201