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.
- Focusing more narrowly on combating inequality;
- Cutting the number of initiatives from 35 to 15, concentrated in seven areas:
- Civic engagement and government
- Gender, racial, and ethnic justice
- Equitable development
- Inclusive economies
- Internet freedom
- Youth opportunity and learning
- 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.