Foundation, philanthropic organization, founded in 1936 by the American automobile
manufacturers Henry Ford and his son Edsel B. Ford. The charter of the foundation states
that it was established "for scientific, educational, and charitable purposes, all
for the public welfare." Among its main objectives are (1) to help provide equal
opportunity for all Americans in employment, education, and housing; (2) to improve the
educational process; (3) to achieve reforms in the administration of justice; (4) to
develop resources in the humanities and the arts; (5) to aid research on problems arising
from the rapid worldwide population expansion; (6) to encourage communication and
cooperation throughout the world; and (7) to assist the development of the poorer
countries of the world. Foundation headquarters is located in New York City.
From its inception 1994, the foundation spent more than $12 billion
on programs and grants in the United States and numerous foreign countries. Its major
fields of activity are organized into six broad categories: urban poverty, rural poverty
and resources, human rights and social justice, governance and public policy, education
and culture, and international affairs.
Among the central concerns of the foundation are programs designed to help
revitalize neighborhoods; supported-work programs to aid severely distressed black,
Hispanic, and Native American people in finding jobs; and programs to expand employment
and training opportunities for women. The foundation is also working to further equal
educational opportunities for women and minorities and to eliminate sex discrimination at
all educational levels. It is involved with programs on resources and the environment,
especially energy policies, in the U.S. and in developing countries.
In the area of international affairs, the Ford Foundation maintains
programs in developing nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America to expand food
production, moderate population growth, aid in resettling refugees, and increase the
opportunities for disadvantaged people in education and social progress. Other concerns
are human rights, arms control, and international peace and security.