Ford Foundation


The Ford Foundation, founded in 1936, operated through 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, non-profit, non-governmental organisation. The funds derive from an investment portfolio that began with gifts of Ford Motor Company stock at the bequest of Henry and Edsel Ford. The foundation no longer has company stock and its diversified portfolio is managed to provide a perpetual source of support for the foundation’s programmes and operations. The trustees of the foundation set policy, delegating authority to the president and senior staff for the foundation’s grantmaking and operations.


To strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Geographic Focus

US, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Central America

Programme Areas

All work aims to challenge inequality.

The foundation is active in 7 programme areas:
• Civic Engagement and Government
• Free Expression and Creativity
• Equitable Development
• Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice
• Inclusive Economies’
• Internet Freedom
• Youth Opportunity and Learning

Civic Engagement and Government
Supports expanding participation, government and equitable resources

Free Expression and Creativity
Supports justice storytelling and 21st century arts infrastructure

Equitable Development
Supports just cities and regions and natural resources and climate change

Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice
Supports freedom and dignity, and the rights of women and girls

Inclusive Economies
Supports quality work and economic security, and impact investing

Internet Freedom
Supports digital rights and access, and technology for the public interest

Youth Opportunity and Learning
Supports pathways for youth success and new generation leadership

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