An Open Letter to Our Grantees

March 25, 2020

Dear Partners,

In these turbulent times, we thank you for your work as frontline responders to the many needs of your communities. We understand that simply keeping your doors open may feel overwhelming. We want to help.


If you are already a grantee of The Ford Family Foundation, we recognize that COVID-19 may disrupt your organization's ability to operate as planned. Grant-related activities (services, meetings, reporting) may need to change. In the spirit of flexibility and with no required documentation, we are automatically approving:

  • A conversion of six months' worth of grant funds planned for Spring-Summer 2020 use to general operating dollars to meet your highest needs now (excludes Capital grants, Technical Assistance grants, and Visual Arts grants); and/or
  • The extension of grant deadlines as needed. You will receive the standard reminder 45 days before your current grant report is due. Simply contact your program officer or grants management ( to discuss extension details.

For example, if you’re not able to provide grant-funded after-school programs, YES, you can use grant funds to provide school supplies for families to use at home. If you can’t offer grant-funded parent engagement meetings, YES, you can use the funds, instead, to buy diapers for your program families. If your staff can’t work their normal activities, YES, you can use grant funds to pay them to help their communities in other ways. 

NO NEED to call us for approval. Your communities need you now. And you know the best ways to help. 

If you have other flexibility needs, please contact your program officer or grants management (


The Ford Family Foundation Board has approved $2 million for emergency COVID-19 funding. We’ve already reached out to many of you to apply for these funds. If we did not contact you, rest assured that we are working hard to make even more funds available. We also are working to streamline access to the funds. 


Meanwhile, the Foundation has contributed to three other funds that may be able to assist you right now:

Thank you for your support of rural individuals and families. Your work is saving lives.
Stay safe. Stay well.

The Ford Family Foundation

See our other COVID-19 announcements »

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