Ford Foundation

As Assets Slowly Recover, Foundations Grapple With How to Help Cash-Strapped Charities
March 7, 2011

Grant making by the country’s richest foundations is expected to tick up only slightly in 2011, according to a new Chronicle survey based on data from 187 funds.

The modest increase would come after two successive years of gains in foundation assets following the 2008 stock-market plunge that gobbled up a third of the foundation world’s wealth.

However, foundation endowments remain roughly 17 percent lower than before the recession, according to data from 65 grant makers for which The Chronicle has five years of data.

LINC and the Ford Foundation Award $1 Million in Grants to Emerging Arts and Cultural Facilities
February 10, 2011

Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and the Ford Foundation announced the winners of the Space for Change Planning and Pre-Development Grants, awarding up to $100,000 each to 12 nonprofit arts organizations in the early stages of developing exemplary cultural facilities. The grants provide organizations with the initial startup funds that are most needed—and the most difficult to obtain—to develop new space.

Foundation Center, European Foundation Centre to Lead GrantCraft Initiative
February 9, 2011

The New York City-based Foundation Center, the European Foundation Centre in Brussels, and the Ford Foundation have announced that GrantCraft, a Web-based effort to equip grantmakers with an array of tools designed to enhance their effectiveness, is moving from Ford to the two centers. In addition, Ford, which incubated GrantCraft, has awarded $1 million to the two organizations to help expand the initiative.

With an Expected $9-Billion Windfall, the Cargill Philanthropies Could Become America’s Third Largest Grant Maker
January 24, 2011

A set of philanthropies created by Margaret A. Cargill, an heir to the Cargill Corporation who died in 2006, could soon become, collectively, the third-wealthiest grant maker in the United States.

The infusion of money—which could total roughly $9-billion—would come as part of a deal that is expected to enable the philanthropies to convert illiquid shares in the private Cargill Corporation, left to them by Ms. Cargill, into shares in Mosaic, a public company owned largely by Cargill, an international agricultural, food, and financial company.

Ford Foundation to Put Up $50 Million for Documentaries
January 20, 2011

Documentarians, rejoice! The Ford Foundation on Tuesday announced a five-year plan to pour $50 million into documentaries -– defined broadly, including online-only efforts -– that are focused on social issues.

The Ford Foundation’s program, called JustFilms, will dole out money in three ways. The first involves partnerships with organizations like the Sundance Institute, whose Sundance Film Festival opens on Thursday in Park City, Utah. JustFilms will contribute $1 million a year over five years to support Sundance’s documentary film workshops, for instance.

The sleeping giant of philanthropy
January 12, 2011

Artist-endowed foundations are a sleeping giant of philanthropy. They are rapidly expanding in number—close to 300 have been identified in the US at the last count—and financial strength, commanding approximately $2.7bn in combined assets. That’s a relatively modest sum next to the half a trillion dollars held in total by US foundations. But artist-endowed foundations are especially important in the art world.

Philanthropic watchdog: US education foundations not doing enough to help most needy children
October 29, 2010

A philanthropic watchdog group is hoping to light a fire under charitable foundations that support education by releasing a report Wednesday that points out how few of them focus enough attention on helping the most needy students.

The study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy said that only 11 percent of American foundations devoted at least half their grants to programs that benefit vulnerable students. It looked at 672 foundations that gave at least $1 million to educational causes from 2006 to 2008.

In Europe, Fund-Raising Lessons From Americans
September 9, 2010

European universities are increasingly turning to American-style fund-raising methods in an effort to amass endowments that would in turn give them greater economic independence and stability.

Some have even adopted U.S. methods of managing their endowments. The British elite universities have led the way. Last January, Cambridge took another leaf from the Ivy League handbook in raising £300 million through the bond market — the first bond issue ever by a British university.

Ford Foundation Commits $85 Million to Improve Environment While Aiding Rural Economies Around the World
July 30, 2010

The Ford Foundation announced it would commit $85 million in grants to ensure that rural and indigenous people around the world are not ignored in efforts to combat climate change.

The money, which will be spent over five years, advances a fresh approach to managing forests and other vast tracts of land, based on a recognition that such areas are home to hundreds of millions of people who often do not have a voice in how the lands are preserved.