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Ford Foundation

Manager: Cheryl Mirer
Priority: Open


Established in 1936 in MI.

The foundation was created by the late Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company, with an initial gift of $25,000. Edsel's father, Henry, was the founder of the Ford Motor Company. The foundation operated as a local philanthropy in the state of Michigan until 1950, when it expanded to become a national and international foundation. Since its inception, it has been an independent, nonprofit, non-governmental organization and has provided more than $16 billion in grants and loans worldwide. These funds derive from an investment portfolio that began with gifts and bequests of Ford Motor Company stock by Henry and Edsel Ford. The foundation no longer owns Ford Motor Company stock, and its diversified portfolio is managed to provide a perpetual source of support for the foundation's programs and operations. The foundation is headquartered in New York and has 10 overseas offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The trustees of the foundation set policy and delegate authority to the president and senior staff for the foundation's grant making and operation. Grantmakers explore opportunities to pursue the foundation's goals, formulate strategies and recommend proposals for funding. The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy's Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement.


agriculture, AIDS, civil rights, economics, economic development, education, environment, social sciences, rural development, reproductive health, law, international economic development,


No support for programs for which substantial support from government or other sources is readily available, or for religious sectarian activities.

No grants for construction or maintenance of buildings, undergraduate scholarships, or for purely personal or local needs. The vast majority of foundation grants go to organizations. Historically, the foundation has provided a very limited number of fellowship opportunities for individuals, focusing on advanced degrees in areas of interest to the foundation. When available, recipients are selected by universities and other organizations that receive grants from the foundation to support fellowships.


Total giving: $560,335,883

Qualifying distributions: $682,832,765

Giving activities include:

$558,468,518 for 2745 grants (high: $8,320,000; low: $5,000)

$1,867,365 employee matching gifts

$3,647,699 for foundation-administered programs

$21,167,832 for 9 loans/program-related investments


  • $2,200,000 to National Employment Law Project, New York, NY, in 2014. For general support to promote policies and programs that create good jobs, strengthen upward mobility, enforce worker rights and improve programs for the unemployed
  • $1,350,000 to PICO National Network, Oakland, CA, in 2014. For general support for faith-based racial and economic justice organizing and program support for civic engagement efforts
  • $1,300,000 to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, New York, NY, in 2014. To transform promise of equality into reality for black Americans and core support for Political Participation Program and activities to support leadership transition
  • $1,225,000 to Center for Responsible Lending, Durham, NC, in 2014. For general support to promote fair and affordable access to consumer and mortgage credit for low income households
  • $1,000,000 to Minnesota Public Radio, Saint Paul, MN, in 2014. For Marketplace public radio program's Wealth and Poverty Desk to produce and distribute original reporting and analysis on economic disparity and inequity in the United States
  • $1,000,000 to Rights and Resources Institute, Washington, DC, in 2014. For general support to promote global commitment and action toward policy, market and legal reforms that secure local communities' and indigenous people's rights to own, control and benefit from natural resources
  • $900,000 to Communities Foundation of Texas, Dallas, TX, in 2014. For grantmaking and activities of Educate Texas Rio Grande Valley Collective Impact Action Plan to transform poorest region in Texas by focusing on college readiness and success