Ford Foundation launches International Initiative to Strengthen Philanthropy

Over the past decade the Ford Foundation has partnered with other funders to support the development of local foundations in different parts of the world whose work advances the Foundation’s mission of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation, and advancing human achievement. This work has encouraged the development of a field of philanthropic practice, knowledge and experience in countries as diverse as Brazil, India and Kenya.

Following on these efforts to encourage the growth of philanthropy generally, the Foundation has recently invested in building local foundations that fund work for rights, social justice and peace. Their work aims to give voice to and broaden opportunities for those on the margins of political, economic and social life.

The new International Initiative to Strengthen Philanthropy will bring together 19 established ‘general purpose’ foundations and emerging social justice funds, primarily from outside the US, that have been significant partners of Ford since their inception.  The initiative seeks to increase the impact of these local institutions by helping participants to strengthen governance structures, augment endowments, mobilize local resources, and enhance grantmaking programmes. In developing this network of foundations, primarily outside the US, the Foundation hopes to build the local capacity and legitimacy required to achieve lasting positive change on important issues of poverty and equity.

The first meeting of the initiative will be held in June in Budapest.  The foundations currently invited to be part of this initiative include: the African Women’s Development Fund, Arab Human Rights Fund, Bangladesh Freedom Foundation, Brazil Human Rights Fund, Charities Aid Foundation Russia, Dalit Foundation (India), First Nations’ Eagle Staff Fund (US), Fulcrum Foundation (Russia ), Fundación Vamos (Mexico ), Global Fund for Human Rights (US ), India Foundation for the Arts, Kenya Community Development Foundation, National Foundation for India, New Israel Fund, Puerto Rico Community Foundation, Russian Human Rights Fund, South Asia Women’s Fund, Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland), and Trust Africa.

For further information contact Sushma Raman at

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