Walmart Foundation Grants $500K to UNCF to Strengthen HBCUs

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231

Funds will provide technical assistance to support institutional accreditation efforts

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.



About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. Walmart has stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate. We are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit

About UNCF
UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF.