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


The Ford Foundation is governed by a 15-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 regularly 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. 55 KB
  • Bylaws Includes rules governing the foundation's operations relating to the board of trustees, board committees, officers and related matters. 113 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. 52 KB
  • Trustee Code of Ethics Sets forth standards of ethical behavior for the foundation’s trustees. 68 KB
  • Conflict of Interest Policy for Trustees and Officers Includes procedures for avoiding actual or apparent conflicts of interest by members of the board of trustees and the foundation’s officers. 64 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, or the spouse, domestic partner or child of a trustee, is affiliated as an officer, director, trustee or employee. 56 KB
  • Whistleblower Policy Describes procedures adopted by the Audit Committee of the board for handling complaints regarding accounting, internal accounting controls and auditing matters, legal or regulatory requirements or foundation policies. 66 KB
  • Staff Code of Conduct and Ethics Includes procedures for avoiding actual or apparent conflicts of interest by foundation staff members. 108 KB

Learn more about the foundation's board of trustees.


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