Ford Foundation

Private foundation providing funding and technical assistance throughout the major regions of the world.
Brief Overview
The Ford Foundation was established as a non-governmental organization in the state of Michigan in 1936 with funds from the Ford Motor Company. In 1950, the Foundation expanded to become international and national in scope and has given over $9.3 billion in grants and loans from its endowment funds. The Foundation is headquartered in New York and has offices in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Russia. Usually, the Ford Foundation operates through grant making to organizations, especially those that promote collaboration between non-profits, governments, and businesses. The Foundation seeks to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located and to assure participation by men and women from diverse communities and at all levels of society.
Contact Information
Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
telephone: (+1) (212) 573-5000
fax: (+1) (212) 599-4584

Stated Goals
1. Strengthening democratic values
2. Reducing poverty and injustice
3. Promoting international cooperation
4. Advancing human achievement
Regions of Work
Areas of Work

1. Asset Building and Community Development, including Economic Development, Community and Resource Development, and Human Development and Reproductive Health. Upgrading projects focusing on acquiring, protecting and improving land, water, forests, wildlife and other natural assets in ways that help reduce poverty and injustice are a part of this division, although the construction and maintenance of buildings are rarely funded by the Foundation.

2. Peace and Social Justice, including Human Rights and International Cooperation and Governance and Civil Society

3. Education, Media, Arts and Culture, including Education, Knowledge, and Religion.

The Ford Foundation works by making grants and loans. Usually, these are given to organizations, although individuals receive funds in exceptional circumstances.
Examples of Upgrading Project
Low income and immigrant families living along the U.S.-Mexico border sometimes live in communities called colonias, where loans are provided with no down payments and paid back to developers under terms that can change. Colonias do not have basic amenities because they are not officially recognized cities. This makes them both unhealthy and dangerous, and those living in them are often vulnerable to eviction as well. One NGO in Arkansas, the Community Resource Group, was working with residents of colonias to improve these conditions and to exchange their contracts for clear titles. Because of their work, they were put in charge of land that was seized from developers after it was discovered that they had operated illegally. The Ford Foundation has given the group a $1 million grant for a project to solidify land tenure and improve basic services such as water, roads, garbage pickup, health services, and electricity in this community of 2,000 families. The CRG expects to collect what residents still owe on their lots and use the money to help other communities in similar situations.
Project Selection Process
Applications are made directly to the Foundation. There are no deadlines for application, although funds are of a limited amount each year. See the Foundation website for further details on applying.
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