Social justice organizations that are working to reduce inequality need support for their long-term goals, while they focus on day-to-day operations and immediate challenges. The Ford Foundation’s Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) initiative is specially designed to provide this support, through flexible funding and by fostering connections to other, similar organizations working with ideas that are changing the world.

Through providing grantees with 5 years of general operating support, as well as support specifically targeted towards strengthening the organization, BUILD aims to equip these grantees with the building blocks they need to achieve impact for decades to come. It’s a program that’s focused on helping social justice organizations become stronger and more resilient over time, by supplying these organizations with the strategic clarity, effective, diverse leadership, and efficient systems they need to create lasting change.

For more on how the foundation supports social justice organizations and fosters connections between networks watch our “How our grantmaking works” video linked below.

This is part of the Ford Explainer series, which details how the foundation is working to reimagine what philanthropy could be.

Other videos in this series

Text: "We believe in resilience in people" with a smiling photo of Heather McGhee.

We believe in resilience in People featuring Heather McGhee

Heather McGhee, trustee emeritus and former president of Demos, shares how BUILD allowed Demos to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion program, as well as build staff leadership skills.

Text: "We believe in resilience in strategy" with a smiling photo of Nancy Northup.

We believe in resilience in strategy featuring Nancy Northup

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, shares how BUILD allowed the Center to engage their staff to shape a global organizational strategy created from the bottom up.

Text: "We believe in resilience in finance" with a smiling photo of Marcia Smith.

We believe in resilience in financing featuring Marcia Smith

Marcia Smith, president and co-founder of Fireflight, shares how the Ford Foundation’s BUILD initiative allowed the production company to create a strategic plan for their long-term financing.

Text: "We believe in resilience in systems" with a smiling photo of Purity Kagwiria.

We believe in resilience in systems featuring Purity Kagwiria

Akili Dada, a leadership incubator for girls and young women across East Africa, was one of BUILD’s first grantees. Purity Kagwiria, former Executive Director, shares how BUILD allowed Akili Dada to create a security policy for field work, strengthening its impact.

Text: "We believe in building resilience" with a collage of headshots of Heather McGhee, Purity Kagwiria, Nancy Northup, and Marcia Smith.

We believe in Building Resilience in Social Justice Organizations

The Ford Foundation’s BUILD grantees share their views on how receiving longer, larger, more flexible grants has strengthened their organization and their work, and made them reimagine philanthropy.