Ford Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW:  The main focus of Ford’s climate change related grants are awarded out of its Natural Resources and Climate Change focus area. The foundation’s main focus of support centers on ensuring that vulnerable rural communities have access and control over the local natural resources they depend upon for their livelihoods.

IP TAKE: Ford’s recent restructuring resulted in a decrease of grantmaking initiatives overall thereby rendering the grant process more selective. 

PROFILE: Since its restructuring, the Ford Foundation has been tackling rising inequality in all of its forms head on and it approaches its climate change grantmaking from this same inequality angle. The foundation "believe[s] in the inherent dignity of all people. But around the world, too many people are excluded from the political, economic, and social institutions that shape their lives." 

Ford does not maintain a general climate change grantmaking program. It awards related grants through its Natural Resources and Climate Change focus area, which is a part of its larger Equitable Development program. The main focus of Ford’s climate change related grantmaking is to ensure that vulnerable rural communities have access and control over the local natural resources they depend upon for their livelihoods. Ford is addressing salient issues that contribute to climate change such as deforestation and the overexploitation of natural resources. Additionally, the Ford Foundation supports efforts in climate change policymaking that benefits vulnerable rural populations.

Ford accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry via its Idea Submission page. Ford emphasizes that “less than one percent of unsolicited grant ideas result in funding.” Also, the Ford requests that grantseekers refrain from contacting program officers and staff directly.

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