Ford Foundation


Organizational profile:

The Ford Foundation works to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. 
The Foundation focuses on strengthening civil society at every level through supporting participation by people of diverse backgrounds and life experiences. It also collaborates closely with governments, the private sector, academia, and the creative community.

Under its Natural Resources and Climate Change strategy, the Ford Foundation works globally to improve natural resource governance, challenge irresponsible natural resource extraction, and foster agency among rural communities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Indonesia, helping them to secure land rights and have their say in the planning of projects. They should enjoy their fair share of revenues when projects do occur and receive compensation when there are injurious outcomes.

Additionally, The Ford Foundation works with companies and governments to reduce illicit finance, corruption, tax evasion, and environmental crimes associated with the natural resource sector, and to redirect associated savings toward programs that help reduce inequality.

Financing Instrument: Grants, Fellowships

Project scale: Between 2006 and 2023, the Ford Foundation awarded 504 grants totaling US$170M for forest-related projects. Funding for individual projects has ranged from US$6,500 to US$ 21M.

Recipient countries regions/country groups: The Ford Foundation works across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America. Grants in the Natural Resources and Climate Change programme have benefitted communities in the Andean region, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Central America, Southern Africa, West Africa.

Recipient categories: NGOs, Governments, Businesses, Universities, Individuals

Eligibility Criteria: The Ford Foundation makes grants in nine interconnected areas (Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Disability Inclusion, Future of Work(ers), Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, International Cooperation, Natural Resources and Climate Change and Technology and Society) that help challenge inequality. All potential grants are viewed through this lens. 

Application guidelines: Based on their extensive knowledge of the most pressing issues in their fields, program teams seek out people and organizations with bold ideas and scalable solutions. The teams work with prospective grantees to create grant proposals to support those solutions. Grant applications may also be submitted through the Ford Foundation website. But in a typical year, less than one percent of unsolicited applications receive a grant.

Last updated: 18 September 2023

Publication Date
Thursday, 04 February 2021
Applicable location
Forest conservation and management
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change
Financing opportunities