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How the Ford Foundation uses grants to tackle inequality

Everyone deserves to contribute to society, have their voice heard, and fulfill their potential. At the Ford Foundation, we aim to dismantle the systems and structures that prevent people from these opportunities. Through our endowment, we make grants, mission-related investments, and program-related investments to support organizations working to reduce inequality and impact positive social change.

Since our founding in 1936, we have worked to uplift and support change agents and their big ideas to address issues of inequality.

This series explains how our grantmaking works, what makes Ford different from charitable organizations, and how we invest our endowment. Find out more about how the Ford Foundation is reimagining philanthropy through our grants and investments.

Learn more about how grants tackle inequality

  • 02:38

    Organizations that are working to reduce inequality need support for their long-term goals, while they focus on day-to-day operations and immediate challenges. The Ford Foundation’s BUILD program is specially designed to do this, by providing flexible funding and fostering connections to other organizations working with ideas that are changing the world.

  • 01:54

    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.

  • 01:54

    Every year, the Ford Foundation makes around 1,400 grants to organizations fighting injustice around the globe. Our program teams identify and assess each organization, and then grants are made and monitored as part of the foundation’s aim to tackle inequality and reimagine philanthropy.

  • 02:17

    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.

  • 01:58

    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.