Foundation Assumes New Name and Expanded Mission
ROGERS, Ark. Officials with the Northwest Arkansas Community Foundation
announced today a name change and expanded mission for the charitable
The 13-year old organization is now known as the Endeavor Foundation, and the group will
take a more active role in identifying and addressing problems instead of
solely managing charitable funds for individuals and corporations.
Anita Scism, Endeavor Foundation president, said the group’s first initiative under
the new name would be an effort to improve healthy living by improving access
to nutritious food and physical activity. The group plans to launch the
campaign in 2012.
“What you will find is that we will be more proactive in identifying the needs of our
community,” Scism told a crowd of about 70 on Tuesday at the Crossland
Construction offices in Rogers. “We want to help, and we want to develop
She made the comments at an event held to launch the foundation’s new name and
“communications initiative,” which was developed by two firms working together,
The Roan Group of Washington, D.C., and DOXA Design Group of Fayetteville.
“We love the word Endeavor because it is all about getting things done, making things
happen, striving,” according to a five-minute video presentation played during
Alan Dranow, director of brand communications for Walmart and a member of Endeavor’s
Board of Directors, said he favored the name change. “For one reason, I had a
lot of trouble remembering the name of the organization every time a meeting
came up,” he told the crowd, adding the new name will be easier to recall.
Dranow said The Roan Group and DOXA had created strong brand identities for the Georgetown
Business Improvement District in Washington, D.C., and for the Walton Arts
Center in Fayetteville.
Endeavor Foundation stewards $150 million for over 100 Northwest Arkansas individuals,
families, and nonprofits. They pool their resources to multiply the impact of
The foundation was established in 1998 as the Community Foundation of
Bentonville/Bella Vista. The name was first changed in 1999 when the group
expanded its programs to cover programs in Benton, Washington, Carroll, and
Madison counties. The foundation and its donors have made over 3,000 grants totaling $63 million.
Scism said the newly named Endeavor Foundation will raise money for the healthy living
initiative and may get help from some of the funds it already manages.
“Our mission is to make Northwest Arkansas the role model for healthy living in Arkansas
and the U.S. While we’re currently the 8th unhealthiest state in the
nation, by working together, we can make a difference in the long-term health
of our residents,” she said.
Endeavor will partner with the Northwest Arkansas Council to implement the “community
vitality” component of the Greater Northwest Arkansas Development Strategy, a
strategic plan to help create jobs and market the region nationally, Scism
said. Formed in 1990, the council is a private, nonprofit organization
consisting of about 100 area business and civic leaders whose goal is to work
together to benefit the region.
Scism said Northwest Arkansas has experienced tremendous growth in wealth and
opportunities, but the area is also home to the state’s largest poverty
population. “In contrast to the prosperity is a sizable homeless population of
almost 1,200. And we have far too many families with little or no access to
healthy and affordable food.”