Elsewhere online
April 26, 2016

Charity Galas Bloom in Ark. Due to Walmart's Reach

Nonprofit groups and fundraising events have proliferated in Northwest Arkansas with the influx of consumer-goods suppliers setting up shop close to Walmart's Bentonville headquarters, The Wall Street Journal writes.

About 2,500 nonprofits operate in the region, and top Walmart executives are popular draws for galas where suppliers hope to mix giving and networking, according to the newspaper. “You want Walmart to know you are here,” said Cameron Smith, head of a local company that recruits vendors to move into the area.

Walmart donated $79 million to Arkansas causes last year, a company spokeswoman said. Sarah Heimer, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas, credited the retail giant with establishing a culture of local giving. "There is this expectation that if you are going to be here you are going to contribute in some way,” she said.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about home-state giving by the Walton Family Foundation led by the heirs of Walmart's founding couple.