November 20, 2019

The Bernard Osher Foundation in California recently awarded $25,000 to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas to increase activity in fundraising and membership.

“Course fees and membership fees cover about 55 percent of the annual budget… There are 124 institutes around the country. Grant funds such as this provide opportunities for OLLI to expand its programs in unique ways to reach a broader demographic of lifelong learners in Northwest Arkansas,” Josh Raney, director of OLLI, stated in an interview.

This is the third renewal of the Osher capacity-building grant. The institute received the first grant in 2017, its 10th year at the university. The initial grant was pivotal in the institute experiencing a 10% growth in members that year and milestones with regard to fundraising. To receive an opportunity for a fourth year renewal of the grant, OLLI is striving to grow to 635 members and increase the level of philanthropy by June 30, 2020.

Memberships are annual and provide a variety of benefits such as discounted course fees and tickets to UA theatre and music performances. To join, new and renewing members can enroll online at the OLLI website or in person at 211 E. Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701. Gifts can be made online or by cash or check made to OLLI – University of Arkansas with OLLI Giving Fund written on the memo line. For more information about matching gifts or planned gifts, contact Josh Raney, 479-575-3541 or

OLLI is a volunteer-driven service organization. It provides learning opportunities and social activities to adults. Activities such as hikes, games, classes, field trips, book clubs and much more help OLLI’s participants enjoy a happy and productive lifestyle. The Spring 2020 course catalog will be available early next year and published as an insert of the NWA Democrat Gazette on Jan. 19, 2020. Learn more on the OLLI website.