Walmart Foundation Grants $500K to UNCF to Strengthen HBCUs

August (2017)— UNCF today announced a $500,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation that will provide funding and technical assistance to selected UNCF-member institutions. This grant will help these institutions with accreditation efforts and support a summer professional development conference geared toward institutional advancement.

Over the last decade, the Walmart Foundation has granted more than $4 million to UNCF, which includes today’s announcement of $500,000 to support UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), a network-wide initiative that helps strengthen member colleges and universities. Through the Walmart Foundation’s support of ICB, funds and technical assistance can help institutions in areas such as accreditation reaffirmation, enrollment management, fundraising or any area where unforeseen technical assistance may be needed.

“Once again, the Walmart Foundation has made a significant investment in UNCF’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which in turn results in an investment in America’s future workforce and economic development,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “Through the continued investment in UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building, which supports our member HBCUs, Walmart is ensuring that our institutions are given the proper tools to function, to train and equip faculty and staff, and to best serve the students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.”

For 2017, 12 UNCF-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were selected to participate.

The five institutions selected for reaffirmation readiness reviews are preparing for the customary 10-year review required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), their regional accrediting body. Each will receive a $20,000 grant, in addition to technical assistance from content-area experts, to better prepare the institutions to maintain full accreditation upon completion of their review.

The seven selected institutions for the five-year interim readiness reviews are preparing their Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and other reports due to SACSCOC five years prior to the reaffirmation process. Each will receive a $10,000 mini grant and technical assistance from content-area experts. For historically low-resource institutions like HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, programs that provide assistance and support during the reaffirmation of accreditation process are instrumental.

“At the Walmart Foundation, we recognize the tremendous support that UNFC provides to its member institutions to remain competitive options for students to realize their potential,” said Karrie Dennison, senior director, Walmart Foundation. “That’s why, we’ve made investments in UNCF that support their efforts to strengthen member colleges and universities. The $500,000 grant announced today is a natural next step in our continued support.” As a result of targeted implementation activities, anticipated outcomes include improved fiscal operations and processes, improved staff competencies and capacities, timely report submission and full compliance with the accrediting body. Taken together, these help to ensure that an institution is providing a quality education and has sufficient facilities, faculty, staff and other resources to accomplish its mission. Since the beginning of the Walmart Foundation’s support of ICB, the entire network of UNCF’s 37 member HBCUs have received grants to assist in various areas of the accreditation process. Last year, Walmart Foundation’s grant provided support for eight UNCF-member HBCUs.

In addition, the grant will support the 2017 UNCF ICB Institute, to be held July 12-13 in Atlanta, which is geared toward UNCF-member institution staff who work in institutional advancement and institutional effectiveness. The goal of this two-day institute is to equip attendees with the necessary strategies for using data to achieve their fundraising and other institutional goals.


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