The Pine Bluff Rotary Club met Tuesday at the Pine Bluff Country Club with guest speaker Ashley Coldiron from the Arkansas Community Foundation.


The Arkansas Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes smart giving to improve communities. The Community Foundation offers tools (financial, grantmaking, and informational) to help Arkansans protect, grow and direct their charitable dollars as they learn more about community needs.


“The purpose of the organization is to let you know the challenges your community is facing and also to let you know how we can fix them,” said Coldiron, chief development officer of the Arkansas Community Foundation.


By making grants and sharing knowledge, the foundation supports charitable programs that work for Arkansas and partners with others to create new initiatives that address the gaps. Since 1976, the foundation has provided more than $179 million in grants and partnered with thousands of Arkansans to help improve the neighborhoods, towns and the entire state.


The Arkansas Community Foundation has 28 affiliate offices across Arkansas. The Pine Bluff office was established in 1987 and has since gained over $5 million in endowments. This allows Pine Bluff to give grants back to the city every year to assist with improving the community.


Coldiron said that the top two reasons people choose the foundation are: ease and investment. She says that each individual involved in the foundation is highly active in his/her community.


“It blows my mind each time I hear the impact the Arkansas Community Foundation has on our community. We’re so happy to have an entity that has such an impact on the community,” said Dr. Carolyn Blakely, the former chairwoman of the Arkansas Community Foundation.


For more information about the foundation visit www.arcf.org.