Ford Foundation: Grants for Girls and Women

OVERVIEW: The Ford Foundation awards grants to organizations combatting inequality of all types.

IP TAKE: Ford’s grants related to girls and women tend to focus on sexual and reproductive health rights.

PROFILE: Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, established the Ford Foundation in 1936. It focused its grantmaking on “scientific, educational, and charitable purposes all for the public welfare.” Both Henry and Edsel Ford died in the mid-1940s and their bequests to the foundation made it one of the largest in the world. By the late 1940s, the foundation expanded its work, dedicating its giving to the “[a]dvancement of human welfare through reducing poverty and promoting democratic values, peace, and educational opportunity.” In 2016, the foundation underwent a restructuring, focusing its work on global inequality of all kinds.

The Ford Foundation’s grantmaking programs include the following: Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Equitable Development, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, Inclusive Economies, Internet Freedom, and Youth Opportunity and Learning.

Ford’s Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice program supports organizations that address discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and indigenous or migrant status. The overall objective of Ford’s grantmaking through this program is to “[b]ridge the gap between formal equality under the law and the reality of inequality in the people’s daily lives.” Many of Ford’s gender rights grants directly related to girls and women focus on sexuality and reproductive health rights.

Ford grant amounts can range anywhere from $50,000 to multi-million dollar awards. Most grants, however, fall in the $100,000 to $500,000 range. To learn more about the types of organizations Ford supports and at what level, explore its grants database.

The Ford Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.