04 February 2013

Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation, created in 1936 by Edsel and Henry Ford, supports visionary leaders and organizations on the front lines of social change worldwide.  They believe all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society and have a voice in the decisions that affect them.


  • Strengthen democratic values
  • Reduce poverty and injustice
  • Promote international cooperation
  • Advance human achievement

The foundation believes the best way to achieve these goals is to:
  • Encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located
  • Promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government, and business sectors
  • ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society
The  Ford Foundation's work mainly consists of grants or loans that build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks.

Some quick facts:
  • The foundation receives approximately 40,000 proposals annually, and awards only 1400 grants
  • More than 16.3 billion in grants have been awarded worldwide, to organizations in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia

Programs address eight significant social justice issues:
  • Economic Opportunities and Assets: reducing poverty and establishing economic security
    • Issues: Economic Fairness, Metropolitan Opportunities, Sustainable Development
  • Democracy, Rights and Justice: strengthen democracy and advance human rights for all
    • Issues: Democratic and Accountable Government, Human Rights
  • Education, Creativity, and Free Expression: promoting more equitable education and greater voice and expression
    • Issues: Educational Opportunities and Scholarship, Freedom of Expression, Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights
Priorities/Types of Grant Funding:
  • General/Core Support
  • Project
  • Planning
  • Competition
  • Matching
  • Recoverable
  • Individual
  • Endowment
  • Foundation administered project
  • Program related investment

The website includes a very good section regarding their approach to impact assessment. For more information about The Ford Foundation, please visit their site.

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