Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Ford Foundation
1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018
Ford Foundation


A global philanthropic organization focused on the advancement of human welfare.

Supported Causes

  • Sustainable development
    (Climate change responses for strengthening rural communities, expanding community rights over natural resources)
  • Accountable and democratic government
    (Promotion of effective, transparent and accountable forms of government, electoral reform, democratic participation, political participation, philanthropy initiatives)
  • Metropolitan opportunity
    (Promotion of metropolitan land use and innovation, just cities, connecting people with opportunities, expanding access to quality housing facilities)
  • Economic equity
    (Improving livelihood opportunities for impoverished households, building economic security, increasing access to financial services, promotion of next-generation workforce strategies and the promotion of economic stability)
  • Gender, sexuality and reproductive justice
    (Sexuality research, reducing HIV/Aids discrimination, promotion of right to sexual health and reproductive rights, advancing lesbian gay bisexual transsexual rights, protection of women’s rights)
  • Human rights
    (Promotion of minority rights and racial justice, protection of migrant/immigrant rights, strengthening global human rights, reforming criminal justice and civil justice systems)
  • Freedom of expression
    (Media rights/accessibility, advancement of public service media, media/justice, religion in the public sphere, support for diverse arts spaces)
  • Scholarships and educational opportunities
    (Transformation of secondary education, improved learning time, social justice and higher education)

The Ford Foundation issues grants to individuals and organizations. The foundation offers fellowships to individuals for the purposes of advanced study, and it offers grants to organizations seeking to advance human knowledge, democratic values and general creative achievements. Grants are available in the following categories:

  • Program-related investments
  • Foundation-administered projects
  • Individual grants: Ford Foundation Fellowships Program; Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program.
  • Endowments
  • Recoverable grants
  • Competition grants
  • Matching grants
  • Project grants
  • Planning grants
  • General grants
The procedure for applying for grant applications can be found at the Ford Foundation website . The 3-step process requires organizations to review the initiatives that are related to their project proposal, read the grant application guide, and submit a grant enquiry.


Since its founding, the Ford Foundation has provided charitable assistance to tens of thousands of grantees. A brief sampling of the grantees includes the following:

  • Pedagogichesky Poisk (Russia/Eastern Europe, 2007), $15,000 – Support for the organization’s School for Foster-Parents to provide psychological and pedagogical assistance for children and families at risk.
  • 100,000 Strong Foundation (China, 2013/14), $1.75 million  – General support for strengthening U.S-China relations by deepening Americans’ understanding of China and to ensure that underserved communities have access to study-abroad opportunities in China.
  • 100Reporters (USA, 2014), $200,000 –  A media and justice initiative with an eye to media and content development.
  • 21st Century Education Development Research Institute (China, 2006), $109,160 – Educational development initiatives.
  • 25 to Life, LLC (USA, 2010) $150,000 – Support for JustFilm’s post-production costs and outreach for a documentary on the changing landscape of HIV and AIDS among young African Americans.
  • 9to5 (Global, 2009), $250,000 – National Association of Working Women protecting women’s rights with technical assistance and capacity.
  • A Better Balance (USA, 2014), $500,000 – Support for improvement of job quality by way of advocacy, reform and litigation.

The Foundation's History

On 15 January 1936 Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford established the Ford Foundation with a $25,000 gift. It initially operated in Michigan, USA, and upon the deaths of both Henry and Edsel in the 1940s, the Foundation became the largest philanthropic organization in the world.

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