New focus at Ford Foundation: inequality

Posted on: June 15, 2015

“The fight against inequality will take center stage at the Ford Foundation under a sweeping overhaul announced today by the nation’s second biggest philanthropy,” writes Alex Daniels in Thursday’s (6/11) Chronicle of Philanthropy. “Not only will Ford direct all of its money and influence to curbing financial, racial, gender, and other inequities, but it will give lots more money in a way grantees have been clamoring for: It hopes to double the total it gives in the form of unrestricted grants for operating support. The doubling of general operating support to 40 percent of the foundation’s grant-making budget, projected to be in excess of $1 billion over five years, will enable Ford to create what its president, Darren Walker, calls a ‘social-justice infrastructure.’ … Ford hopes that providing support without strings attached will help make organizations more ‘durable.’ … Ford joins a growing number of foundations pouring more money into programs that fight inequality. But its plans to look at every grant to ask how it reduces inequality is a more stringent approach…. That said, the foundation is taking a broad interpretation of inequality—looking not just at wealth, race, ethnicity, and gender but also access to technology and the arts.”

Posted June 15, 2015