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Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. Our goals are to:

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

This has been our purpose for almost half a century.

A fundamental challenge facing every society is to create political, economic and social systems that promote peace, human welfare and the sustainability of the environment on which life depends. We believe that the best way to meet this challenge is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors, and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and at all levels of society. In our experience, such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society.

The Ford Foundation is one source of support for these activities. We work mainly by making grants or loans that build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks. Since our financial resources are modest in comparison to societal needs, we focus on a limited number of problem areas and program strategies within our broad goals.

Founded in 1936, the Foundation operated as a local philanthropy in the state of Michigan until 1950, when it expanded to become a national and inter-national foundation. Since its inception it has been an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization. It has provided slightly more than $10 billion in grants and loans. 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 Trustees of the Foundation set policy and delegate authority to the president and senior staff for the Foundation's grant making and operations. Program officers in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Russia explore opportunities to pursue the Foundation's goals, formulate strategies and recommend proposals for funding.



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