CFR Philanthropy Update: New Direction at Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation logo
In a long-anticipated blog post published over the weekend, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker announced that the foundation has completed its two-year-long strategic planning process and shared details on FordForward - the foundation's blueprint for changes in its culture, programs, and assets.
Changes include:
  • Focusing more narrowly on combating inequality;
  • Cutting the number of initiatives from 35 to 15, concentrated in seven areas:
  1. Civic engagement and government
  2. Gender, racial, and ethnic justice
  3. Equitable development
  4. Inclusive economies
  5. Internet freedom
  6. Youth opportunity and learning
  7. Creativity and free expression
  • Doubling its overhead rate on project grants from 10 to 20%;
  • Discontinuing its support in several areas where it has seen measurable progress in recent years, including LGBT rights in the U.S., direct cash transfers in Latin America, and microfinance; and
  • Reducing the number of grants awarded by as much as 20%, from roughly 4,000 to 3,200, over the next two years.  
At the same time, the Foundation will continue to invest in what Walker describes as the "Three I's" -- groundbreaking ideas, leading individuals, and institutions and networks -- and, initially, will prioritize institution building, dedicating $1 billion over the next five years to those efforts through its BUILD program.

Contact the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations for more information on this and other funding news, and contact our grant support team to get your proposal underway!