Walton Family charity honors Don Munro with $800,000 gift

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,805 views 

The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation board granted $800,000 to the Don Munro Building Community Endowment at Arkansas Community Foundation.

The grant honors Munro’s 30 years of service on the board of the ACF.

“Don Munro’s dedication to positive change through philanthropy helped create a powerful network of community support that reverberates throughout our state,” said Alice L. Walton. “His work through the Charitable Support Foundation and Arkansas Community Foundation will elevate the nonprofit community for decades to come.”

“Don has been pivotal in the growth and impact of the Community Foundation. He served 10 years on the state board with three of those as board chair. He was instrumental in creating our statewide affiliate network that includes the Hot Springs Area Community Foundation,” said Heather Larkin, President and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation. “Don has been our biggest advocate for building community through local philanthropy.”

In 1992, the Arkansas Community Foundation board of directors created the Don Munro Building Community Endowment to be a lasting honorarium for his work championing community philanthropy. The endowment supports the Foundation’s work to build communities statewide, especially through the affiliate network.

With their own grantmaking power, affiliates have executive directors and local advisory boards to help understand the unique challenges and opportunities for their cities and towns.

Don Munro.

“Playing any role in a major philanthropic organization that is committed to educational and societal betterment is its own reward,” Munro said. “Association with the absolute integrity demonstrated by the Walton Family and their associates is beyond one’s aspirations. I have been honored to work with the Walton Charitable Support Foundation and am humbled that my board service would be recognized through this gift to the Arkansas Community Foundation. I am thrilled this commitment to building stronger communities will continue for both foundations.”

Munro served on the board of the Walton Charitable Support Foundation for 28 years as the Community Foundation’s appointee. During that time, Munro advocated and supported philanthropic grants across the state including an $18 million grant in 1999. This launched the Community Foundation’s local impact to a new level, taking the number of affiliates from eight to 24.

Munro led Munro & Co., a domestic shoe manufacturer located in Hot Springs, beginning in 1959. It is the largest shoe manufacturer in the U.S.

Munro founded the Hot Springs Giving Circle with Dorothy Morris whom he met at the local Philanthropy Roundtable. Together, they helped establish the Hot Springs Cultural Alliance, which helps support the Hot Springs Arts Festival and Documentary Film Festival, among others.