Responding to financial crisis, Ford Foundation leads group of foundations increasing support to nonprofits in need

Posted on: June 11, 2020

“The week after the U.S. economy shut down in March, Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, fielded a stream of phone calls from the heads of dozens of organizations that Ford supports,” write James B. Stewart and Nicholas Kulish in Wednesday’s (6/10) New York Times. “ ‘There was a sense of desperation and panic,’ … Mr. Walker said. ‘There’s never been such an existential challenge to the future of the nonprofit sector.’ In 2019, the Ford Foundation handed out $520 million in grants. Mr. Walker quickly realized that was not going to be anywhere near enough in this crisis-engulfed year…. The Ford Foundation … will borrow $1 billion so that it can substantially increase the amount of money it distributes. To raise the money, the foundation … is preparing to issue a combination of 30- and 50-year bonds…. Four other leading charitable foundations … will join with Ford and increase their giving by at least $725 million…. The four other foundations are … the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.”