For emergency needs to systemic change
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The Ford Family Foundation makes grants to public charities that predominantly benefit small communities in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. Our mission can be achieved in part by directing grant resources to projects and programs which align with our grant guidelines. We respond to grant requests initiated by a non-profit organization through our online application. We occasionally use a Request for Proposal (RFP) to target grants for programs and projects that best support the Foundation’s goals.
predominantly benefiting small communities
Our grants work at many levels — from emergency needs to systemic change.
What Makes a Strong Proposal?
A strong proposal is ready for review. To be ready, a proposal should be well beyond the conceptual stage, have a clear plan, timeline and budget. There should be defined benefits or outcomes and a description of who and why your community is behind the proposal. Involvement of your board with cash, in-kind contributions and a community campaign are some indicators of a proposal being ready. Community participation is a primary factor in a proposal being ready. We like to see that fundraising is significantly underway with your traditional supporters, local businesses, key donors and other foundations.
Size of Grants
Our average grant size is about $50,000, and we consider grants of $100,000 or above to be a "large grant.” We highly recommend that you develop a complete fundraising plan and your request to the Foundation be a component of that plan. We generally will consider funding requests up to one third of the total project cost.
Challenge, Match, & Duration of Grants
Challenge and matching grants are awarded when the applicant desires to use their leverage as a tool. Grant projects are usually completed by the applicant within 12 months after Foundation approval; however, longer terms may be considered.
Review & Approval
After an initial review of a proposal by a committee of our staff, site visits and follow-up communications may be appropriate. We may recommend the proposal be reviewed by our Board of Directors, which meets four times a year. Smaller requests are reviewed, and a funding determination is made by senior Foundation staff. Proposals receive a response regarding the outcome of the review or next steps, if any, usually within six to eight weeks. Funding decisions take from two to six months. Smaller grants ($5,000 or less) typically can be decided in about four weeks.