Socialize With Us

FordForward: The Ford Foundation Charts a New Course

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Today is not a new beginning. It is a next step in a quest begun eight decades ago," said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

NCG Member the Ford Foundation announced a new direction for the Foundation, FordForward, in the President's blog What’s Next for the Ford Foundation?  The foundation has announced it is adjusting its grantmaking priorities to address global inequality and focus on these five key concepts:

  • Cultural narratives that undermine fairness, tolerance and inclusion
  • Unequal access to government decision-making and resources
  • Persistent prejudice and discrimination against women as well as racial, ethnic and caste minorities
  • Rules of the economy that magnify unequal opportunity and outcomes
  • The failure to invest in and protect vital public goods, such as education and natural resources

"We are talking about inequality in all its forms—in influence, access, agency, resources, and respect. We would argue that inequality, in one form or another, is coded intojust about every one or our social ills. Research demonstrates that extreme inequality weakens economic growth and undermines the social cohesion of societies."

This change, will not only be subject focused but also strategy focusedthey will be shifting how their grants are supporting social justice organizations. The Chronicle of Philanthropy 's recent article highlighted this shift:

"Mr. Walker says he came to the conclusion that more general operating support was crucial after the foundation asked grantees and others to provide feedback on what they most needed. The comments he got from some 2,000 people who responded to his annual letter last September led him to believe that the foundation was 'project-supporting nonprofits to death' without providing essential basic support to pay the rent, develop technology, and increase the number of staff members needed to carry out ambitious social-change efforts."

This Real Cost concept is not new to NCG. In fact, Ford Foundation CFO Aden Bliss, sits on the Advisory Council for NCG's joint statewide initiative with San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers.

The Real Cost Project hopes to increase the number of funders that provide real cost funding to address nonprofit financial needs realistically to help nonprofits, communities, and funders to prepare for fundamental changes in the social sector.

To learn more about this initiative, real cost funding or to register for any of the remaining Southern California forums this month, go to the Real Cost Project website.