The Ford Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports work related to children, education, arts, community and the economy in communities throughout Oregon and also in Siskiyou County, California. Rural efforts are prioritized, and the application process is always open.

FUNDING AREAS: Children, education, arts, community, economy

IP TAKE:  This is a great funder to know if you’re in rural Oregon. There are lots of funding priorities here, but communities with populations under 35,000 are the focus.

PROFILE: The Ford Family Foundation—not to be confused with the Ford Foundation in New York—is headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon, and serves the communities of Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Kenneth and Hallie Ford established the foundation in 1957 to support the timber communities of Southwest Oregon. Kenneth started one of the largest family-owned wood product manufacturing companies in the country, and Hallie was a teacher and painter. The foundation is a separate entity from the family-owned company Roseburg Forest Projects.

Grantmaking interests are children, education, arts, community and the economy. The funder is most interested in supporting rural communities that have small populations and that aren’t next to or part of a larger metropolitan area. The exception, here, is the visual arts program, which offers assistance to urban areas in Oregon, too.

The Successful Citizens division supports early childhood education, educating youth, job readiness, visual arts and scholarship programs. The Vital Rural Communities division supports economic vitality, nonprofit strengthening and community development.

A good page to bookmark is the current funding opportunities page. The funder sometimes issues RFPs to target grants for projects, and it responds to grant requests submitted via online application. Submit the program grants application for funding access to health and dental care, child abuse prevention, early childhood development, youth development and community building spaces. Good neighbor grants are awarded for simple and unexpected projects; technical assistance grants go to public charities, government agencies, and tribal entities to build internal capacity. The foundation also offers challenge grants.

There are no application deadlines—grant requests are accepted every day. You can expect a response within six to eight weeks after applying. Site visits are common; limited multi-year grants are available.

Recent grantees include the Bethlehem Inn for a family residential and transition facility, Rural Development Initiatives for economic vitality services, the Center for Community Innovation for nonprofit board training, the Portland Art Museum, and the Florence Food Share. Most recent grants have been between $2,000 and $200,000. A list of grantees by year is here.

The funder also awards scholarships and fellowships. It has a scholarships office in Eugene, Oregon. Additionally, the foundation hosts trainings and events related to rural community networking, artist convenings and residencies, child abuse prevention and intervention, and post-secondary success.

Grantseeker questions can be directed to the Roseburg staff at 541-957-5574 or info@tfff.org. There are over three dozen staff members. The address is 1600 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, Oregon 97471. News and grant announcements are on the What’s New page.

PEOPLE:

  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)

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