Good Neighbor Committee

In 1996, the Ford Foundation created the Good Neighbor Committee to support organizations and activities near our headquarters, in the Midtown Manhattan area of New York, that contribute to the neighborhood's civic spirit and vitality. Our target area is between 34th and 50th Streets, across the entire width of Manhattan—from the East River to the Hudson River.

Young people training with computers and music equipment. 2008. Photo Credit: ©Alexis Maryon/PYMCA.

Local Support

As with many global organizations, we are often less visible to our immediate neighbors than to people and institutions around the world. We wanted to change that and strengthen our ties to local organizations working on problems related to our mission. We have also been looking for a way to give staff members who are not grant makers the opportunity to experience the core work of the foundation.

We serve as a resource by

  • Providing grant support for innovative activities in the neighborhood surrounding the foundation
  • Encouraging emerging and established local organizations to participate in this grant program
  • Exploring opportunities for neighborhood-based organizations to get to know each other and exchange ideas and resources

Our New York committee is made up of 10 to 15 staff members who volunteer for two to three years. Committee members come from all divisions of the foundation, including administration, investments, and grant making.

The committee is divided into three areas: arts and culture, education, and human services.

  • The Arts and Culture Subcommittee focuses on organizations devoted to the artistic and cultural life of the city.
  • The Education Subcommittee supports educational initiatives that provide individuals with the access and opportunity to improve their socioeconomic circumstances.
  • The Human Services Subcommittee funds organizations that address issues of adversity through initiatives designed to improve the overall quality of life in the community.

How to Apply

If your organization is located in, or serves, Midtown Manhattan and you would like to be considered for a grant, send a brief letter of inquiry to [email protected]. Please note that only letters sent to this email address will be considered for support.

Regional Committees

Over the years, this program has been so successful that some of our regional offices in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have formed their own versions of the Good Neighbor Committee. These regional committees address the unique needs of neighbors in their local communities. To learn more, contact each regional office directly.

If your organization is interested in starting its own Good Neighbor Committee, review Building Community Inside and Out with a Good Neighbor Committee, a GrantCraft publication.