Focus of This Profile: Grants for sustainable development and economic fairness that address issues of community rights over natural resources, climate change, and support for small enterprises in agriculture and natural resources.
Principal Office: USA
The Ford Foundation is a large grant maker on a world scale. The goals of the Foundation are to work with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide.
The Foundation makes grants in the USA and internationally in eight issues of social justice. Among them is “Sustainable Development,” which focuses on the developing world.
Additionally, the issue “Economic Fairness” includes a sub-theme to help economically poor rural households in developing countries with alternative livelihoods, often based on natural resources.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources
1 -- Sustainable Development. Grants focus on policies and programs that give poor rural communities greater access and control over natural resources, and a stronger voice in decision making on land use and development. The Foundation also seeks to help communities address the threats posed by climate change.
Target beneficiaries are poor rural communities, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, and women.
About Sustainable Development
2 -- Expanding Livelihood Opportunities for Poor Households (in issue Economic Fairness). Grants aim to expand the livelihood opportunities of poor households, with an emphasis on rural areas.
The program aims to help small and micro enterprises with product development, marketing, finance, and policy support in sectors that include agriculture and natural resources.
About Expanding Livelihood Opportunities for Poor Households
Most grants in these two issue areas are made to conservation and development NGOs, universities and research institutes, regional and international networks, and other civil society organizations. Grants range from US$100 thousand to US$500 thousand, with exceptions above and below this range.
APPLICATION (for 1-2 preceding): Grant seekers study the objectives of each of the Foundation’s funding areas, as well as Ford’s application guidelines.
Applicants fill out a grant inquiry form, which is submitted online. The form asks for information about the applicant’s organization; the qualifications of the individuals in the project; the purpose of the project and the issues it will address; and the estimated project budget and time frame.
Grant inquiries can be submitted any time; there is no deadline. If the Foundation’s program officers are interested in a submitted grant inquiry, they contact the applicant to request a formal proposal.
The Foundation works in English and several regional languages.
About how to apply
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
Ford’s regional structure corresponds to the following geographical structure in the Terra Viva Grants Directory.
Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands
Middle East and North Africa
Latin America and Caribbean
Note: The Foundation also recognizes “Global” for organizations that do not fit into regional categories.
The Foundation’s website is available in English. Some of Ford’s regional offices offer additional languages.
The Foundation’s grants database can help grant seekers understand the projects that receive support.
Ford offers fellowships to individuals towards advanced degrees in areas of interest to the Foundation. However, the International Fellowships Program is ending in 2013, and the Foundation is not accepting new applications in that program.
The Foundation publishes annual reports.
Ford provides contact information for its headquarters office in New York, and for each of its regional offices.
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