Ford Foundation Grants Support Social Justice Non-Profits

| July 26, 2013 | 6 Comments

Ford Foundation GrantsOriginally founded by Edsel Ford, the Ford Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. Although it once held 90% of the shares of Ford Motor Company following Henry Ford’s death in 1947, it sold off ownership of the automotive business by the mid seventies and no longer has any direct affiliation with the former manufacturing business which shares its name. The foundation calls New York City home and operates ten additional international field offices.

Ford Foundation holds an endowment of almost $11 billion and from that issues between $400 to $500 million in grants annually. Over the years it has made some high-profile grants offering significant support to public broadcasting including the funding that helped to create Sesame Street. It assisted with the creation of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. It started supporting the fight against AIDS in 1987 and continues that work today with grant support of around $30 million annually.

While it has occasionally supported Fellowship Programs, the foundation very rarely award grants to individuals. Instead it offers the vast majority of its grant making to organizations aligned with its core areas of focus. Grant awards range from several thousand up to millions of dollars in funding and total around 1,400 annual grants. The Ford Foundation’s current campaign focuses on eight major social justice issues. These are democratic and accountable government, economic fairness, educational opportunity, freedom of expression, human rights, metropolitan opportunity, sexuality and reproductive rights and sustainable development.

To apply for a Ford Foundation Grant, you should first review the Ford Foundation issues on the foundation website and familiarize yourself with the initiatives most aligned to your organization’s work. You should also read the foundation’s grant application PDF. If you feel your organization performs work consistent with that of the foundation, please submit a grant inquiry via the foundation website to start the grants process. You should note that while the foundation welcomes unsolicited inquires, due to the high number of requests received each year and its obligations to current grant programs that less than 1% of applications typically receive grant funding through this process.

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Category: International Grants, Non Profit Organization Grants

About the Author ()

Kipp is the Contributing Editor for, covering sources of potential funding in the world of grants. His mission is to assist people like you by locating and sharing private, non-profit and government grants. Got a question or a tip on a neat grant? Connect with him now at Facebook Twitter

Comments (6)

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  1. Sam Daves says:

    I have been working for 18 years in an adult community. I am asking for support in following my real passion. Women, human rights and social justice. I am just requesting that you support my movement.

    • Kipp Shives says:

      Sam, we’d love to support your movement. Where are you planning to start your non-profit? I can come up with a few foundations depending on where that is that might help you fund that type of work. Send me an email to follow up, please.

  2. Dear Grants Guys, We are running grass root level NGO for the purpose of Education, Health, Hygiene, Livelihood and Rehabilitation in the our community. We want work this project under your Foundation Banner that we can meet and develop one for those who are poor and needy. For 15 years we developed something like this program for the better future of the underprivileged community. Our Prayer is for you to consider us for the partnership program in your control and guidelines in district Uttarkashi Uttarakhand India.
    Thank You, Rev R Stephen Diyali, Director
    Director, Mission for Anath Development and Welfare Society

    • Kipp Shives says:

      Stephen, I’m sorry but Grants Guys isn’t a grant making foundation but merely a website where we share information those like you need to find sources for grants. I’d suggest you do contact the Ford Foundation and others like it as they often provide funding to organizations like yours overseas and I wish you the best of luck in finding funding. Sounds like great work you guys are attempting to do in India.

      • Thank you, Sir, for your response. I will try to contact the Ford Foundation as you advice me. Thank you very much. Have a good and blessed day today and always.

        • Kipp Shives says:

          Hey, no problem Reverend Steve. I’ll take a look at foundations offering overseas funding for NGOs like your and send you that via e-mail. The Ford Foundation certainly isn’t the only one.

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