"An important shift for American philanthropy"

In this op-ed, Tom Watson, president of CauseWired and a columnist for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, explains why Ford's commitment to general operating support matters to the broader landscape of funding for social change. The foundation's move is "a clear recognition that organizations do the heavy lifting—often over the course of decades—in fighting social ills, conquering disease, and forging new policy," he writes. "It’s a mature and serious nod to the general realization that making progress on problems like inequality, poverty, disease, and climate change is more like a tugboat shifting an ocean liner across a busy harbor than a speedboat racing to the finish line."

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The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion. For more than 85 years it has worked with courageous people 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. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.