Each year, the Ford Foundation issues about 1,400 grants to organizations fighting injustice around the globe. The foundation, through its endowment, awards these grants to individuals and institutions with bold ideas that will help us achieve our mission of building a truly equitable world.

Our teams of program officers identify the most pressing issues—and the organizations , creating solutions to those issues that need funding to advance their work

They review and assess each organization’s proposal and, once approved, issue a tailored grant to the organization. The grants are monitored through ongoing meetings, visits, and reports to make sure the organizations are on the best path to drive lasting social change.

In 2016, we introduced a five-year, $1 billion initiative, known as BUILD, to make our grantmaking all the more impactful. By providing more flexible funding, BUILD puts our grantees in the driver’s seat, allowing them to decide how to use the funds we provide to become stronger, more resilient organizations. Given its success, we dedicated another $1 billion in 2021 to continue this landmark program.

We are committed to continuing to evolve our grantmaking to become smarter, more effective partners to the leaders and organizations we support, so we can build a future grounded in equality, together.

For more information, please visit: How we make grants

This is part of the Ford Explainer series, which details how the foundation is working to reimagine philanthropy.

Other videos in this series

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How mission-related investments work

Every year, the Ford Foundation distributes 5% of its endowment to grants and program-related investments. The rest of the endowment is invested to generate the funds that will help support organizations in need for years to come. In an effort to reimagine philanthropy, these mission-related investments are designed to generate both social and financial returns.

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How program-related investments disrupt inequality

Along with our grantmaking, the foundation makes loans and equity investments that advance equality around the world. These program-related investments benefit organizations deemed too risky by traditional investors. These investments, which are eventually paid back, are then reinvested in new projects designed to create social change.

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How our endowment works

The Ford Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropies with an endowment of $16 billion. Our endowment is channeled into grants and investments serving the public good and supporting visionary leaders on the frontlines of social change worldwide.