Funder: Ford Foundation; Opportunity: 2017 grants; Funding Focus: Education, youth and social justice; Geographic Focus: National; Eligibility: Nonprofits; Funding: Varies by program, the foundation distributed $524 million in grants last year; Deadline: Rolling.
Summary: Foundation supports anti-dropout efforts. The foundation looks to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice. Target areas include educational opportunity, economic fairness and reproductive health and rights. The foundation normally doesn’t make health care grants. When assessing grant applications, the foundation looks for long-term strategies that will produce lasting social change. Education grants go for strengthening educational systems to ensure all young people receive an education that enables them to engage in meaningful work and contribute as citizens in diverse societies. The program has three initiatives: (1) Transforming Secondary Education: The goal is to transform secondary education through innovative programs that address dropout rates and hold education leaders accountable; (2) Higher Education for Social Justice: to improve disadvantaged people’s access to and success in high-quality higher education; and (3) More and Better Learning Time: to reinvent public schools through more and better learning time in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, so that students are prepared equitably for college, career and civic participation.
Youth and education efforts have profited. Citizen Schools, Inc. Newark, NJ, won a $700,000 grant recently to help promote extended learning time and America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth won a $400,000 grant as part of its Grad Nation national campaign to improve graduation and college-going rates in the nation’s lowest performing high schools. To see a list of past winners, www.fordfoundation.org/grants/search.