Ford commits $1bn to unrestricted grants for hundreds of organisation in BUILD initiative


Alliance magazine


The Ford Foundation today announced an extension of its BUILD Initiative with a pledge of $1 billion. The expansion of the programme will allow it to serve up to 300 grantees with unrestricted funding.

The 2015 Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) initiative has provided $1 billion dollars in flexible funding to social justice organisations around the world to help them more effectively achieve their core goals and build their resilience for the long term.

The second edition of BUILD, with a new commitment of $1 billion, will disburse grant dollars spanning all of Ford’s programmatic areas and regions. The initiative provides multi-level support through a combination of long-term commitments, flexible funding, and institutional strengthening to help grantees become more resilient and effective.

‘Our transformative BUILD initiative has been instrumental in giving grantees the ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen challenges, which became more important than ever this past year,’ said Ford Foundation executive vice president for programmes Hilary Pennington. ‘We will continue to work in lockstep with our partners by giving them the resources and the flexibility they need to carry out their important work, without the burden of restrictive frameworks that may limit their capacity to make real change in times of need.’

The Foundation has given BUILD grants to nearly 350 organisations since its launch in 2015, more than half of which concentrate their work in the Global South. More than 60 per cent of the organisations that have received BUILD grants are led by women.

In March of 2020, the Ford Foundation joined 800 other grant giving entities in signing the philanthropy pledge, to provide grantees with the flexibility to respond quickly and confidently in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Foundation views its $1 billion additional commitment to BUILD as part of its commitment to fulfilling the pledge.

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