In his contribution to Civicus’s State of Civil Society Report 2015, Darren Walker explains the importance of institution building and why social justice organizations need funding for core support (to which the foundation recently announced a renewed commitment):

"For all that project-based grants can accomplish, they cannot keep the lights on. They do not provide organisations with the flexibility to meet their needs and pursue their missions. They focus on a short term initiative, rather than long term institutional health. And this is why, going forward, as a general principle, the Ford Foundation is committed to increasing general support.

"In my experience, we too often ask what CSOs [civil society organizations] can do on our behalf, and too little about what we can do on theirs. When I was a CSO leader myself, I rarely heard foundation programme officers begin a conversation with the words, 'How can we help you create a stronger organisation?'

"And yet this is precisely the question donors should be asking."

Read the full essay, “How Can We Help You?

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The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 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.