Ford Foundation Expands Flagship BUILD Program to Provide $1 Billion to Hundreds of Organizations

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Ford Foundation Expands Flagship BUILD Program to Provide $1 Billion to Hundreds of Organizations

NEW YORK (April 7, 2021) – The Ford Foundation announced today the extension of the 2015 Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) initiative, which had provided $1 billion dollars in flexible funding to social justice organizations 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 will disburse another $1 billion in grant dollars spanning all of Ford’s programmatic areas and regions. The next round of five-year BUILD grants will be awarded starting in January 2022.

BUILD 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 programs 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.”

“BUILD is rooted in our strong belief that collaboration, trust, and transparency should be at the center of all of our partnerships. We are incredibly proud of the work that we’ve accomplished under BUILD over the past few years, and we are excited to move forward to better support our grantees’ vital work and build a better future for all,” said Ford Foundation director of BUILD Kathy Reich.

"Support from Ford's BUILD program helped transform Alliance for Safety and Justice from an idea to a high-impact institution with real staying power. We could not be more grateful for the support and partnership of the BUILD initiative over the past five years and are thrilled that Ford is recommitting to this transformative program,” said Lenore Anderson, President and CEO of Alliance for Safety and Justice.

In 2015, the Ford Foundation launched its BUILD initiative as a $1 billion dollar commitment to building institutions and networks. BUILD provides 5-year commitments, general operating support, and dedicated funding for institutional strengthening to grantee partners to build more durable, resilient, and impactful organizations and networks to combat inequality.

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

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