Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide


The Ford Foundation is governed by a 13-member board of trustees that sets policies related to grant making, geographic focus, spending, investment, management, governance and professional standards, internal and independent audits, and compensation and performance reviews. The foundation also has a process to annually evaluate the performance of the board, board committees and individual trustees.

Governing Documents

The foundation and the activities of its trustees and staff members are governed by the following documents:

  • Charter/Articles of Incorporation Describes the purposes for which the foundation was organized. 17 KB
  • Bylaws Includes rules governing the foundation's operations relating to the board of trustees, board committees, officers and related matters. 121 KB

Committee Charters

Detail the mission statement, organization, committee roles and responsibilities, and the review process and approval of trustee affiliations:

Policy and Procedure Documents

  • Standards of Independence Sets forth the definition of “independence” adopted by the board. Under the bylaws, a majority of the trustees must be independent. 11 KB
  • Trustee Code of Ethics Includes procedures for avoiding actual or apparent conflicts of interest by members of the board of trustees. 22 KB
  • Ensuring Grants Are Used for Charitable Purposes Describes the extensive procedures for making and monitoring grants, ensuring our funds are used for the intended charitable purposes, and how these measures relate to pursuing our mission as a philanthropic institution. 13 KB
  • Procedures for Approving Affiliated Grants Sets forth the process adopted by the Audit Committee of the board for reviewing proposed grants to organizations with which a trustee is affiliated as an officer, director or employee. 12 KB
  • Procedures for the Receipt, Retention and Treatment of Complaints Describes procedures adopted by the Audit Committee of the board for handling complaints regarding accounting, internal accounting controls and auditing matters. 10 KB
  • Staff Code of Conduct and Ethics Includes procedures for avoiding actual or apparent conflicts of interest by foundation staff members, including the officers of the foundation. 22 KB

Learn more about the foundation's board of trustees.


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