Several scam emails and phone solicitations claiming to be from or associated with the Ford Foundation are circulating. We have learned that people are receiving calls asking for donations to the foundation, and emails in various languages or via SMS text messages suggesting grants are forthcoming for education or business. These messages are fraudulent and in no way associated with the Ford Foundation or any foundation employees.

Bogus phone calls, emails, websites and accompanying materials and claims purporting to be from the foundation have appeared in a variety of formats and should be disregarded. Some examples we have learned of and ask you to be aware of include:

  • Recently, emails circulating in Southern Africa state that recipients have been selected by the board of directors as one of the final recipients of a cash grant. Recipients are asked to reply to get more information.
  • In early 2014, emails sent mainly to recipients in East Africa suggest they have been short-listed for a job with the Ford Foundation. These emails invite recipients to an interview and request extensive documentation, including confirmation of a medical examination. Other fraudulent emails and phone calls have been placed claiming to relate to orders of office supplies and airtime.
  • In late 2013, emails that use the foundation’s official Web address but have been sent from a UK-based email address with a Hong Kong-based Yahoo account provided as a contact, suggest recipients have been chosen to receive a cash grant and, in addition to the Ford Foundation, reference the United Nations and the European Union. Some of these emails appear, falsely, to have been signed by current foundation staff members.
  • In late 2011, emails and phone calls from an organization claiming to be affiliated with the foundation asked for membership dues or other forms of funding, as well as purported that the recipient is eligible for a grant if he or she will provide personal information such as a social security number.
  • Early in 2011, false emails solicited donations to assist victims of the Japanese earthquake and have been sent from India-based email addresses.
  • Prior to 2011, fraudulent messages have invited recipients to register for international conferences that offer free travel and medical insurance, as well as claimed that the foundation has awarded them funds for personal, educational or business development, with instructions on how to contact an office in London to provide personal information and claim the grant.

Again, all of these communications are fraudulent scams. The Ford Foundation does not award random or unsolicited funds, nor do we ask for donations or membership dues, and we recommend that you do not respond to any emails or phone calls making such claims.

We maintain a secure Grantee Access website, and this is the only online address we ever ask grantees to visit to interact with us.

We take our responsibility to our grantees and the larger community seriously, and carry out our work using the highest standards of professional conduct.

For more information about the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts against fraud, visit

You can also email your inquiries about scam emails, letters and phone calls to [email protected].

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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