No. 5: Ford Foundation

Under the new strategy, the Ford Foundation will double the amount it provides to grantees

UNITED STATES - £314m

Motor pioneer Henry Ford and his son Edsel established the Ford Foundation in the US in 1936 to advance human welfare. The organisation started with a gift of $25,000 (£16,000) and now holds an £8bn endowment, having approved over £330m in grants in 2014.

Following a two year period of transition, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, announced the program FordForward. The program shifts the organisation’s focus to combating inequality, addressing what they consider to be the five drivers of inequality: civic engagement and government; gender, racial, and ethnic justice; equitable development; inclusive economies; internet freedom; youth opportunity and learning; and creativity and free expression.

Under the new strategy, the Ford Foundation will double the amount it provides to grantees, enabling them better to cover administrative overhead costs. In the next five years, over £600m will be allocated towards strengthening social-justice organisations through what the Ford Foundation calls its BUILD program.

Meanwhile, the Ford Foundation’s grant making will be brought down from 35 to 15 initiatives, cutting support of several initiatives, including LGBT rights in the United States, direct cash transfers in Latin America, and micro finance. The cuts will result in about 800 fewer active grants in Ford’s portfolio, which has averaged about 4,000 in recent years.