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The Ford Family Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-02-09

At A Glance

The Ford Family Foundation

1600 N.W. Stewart Pkwy.

Roseburg, OR United States 97471-1957

Telephone: (541) 957-5574


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $881,540,412

Total giving: $26,031,640





Additional Contact Information

Scholarship application address: The Ford Family Foundation Scholarship Office, 440 E. Broadway, Ste., 200, Eugene, OR 97401, tel.: (541) 485-6211, toll free: (877) 864-2872, e-mail:, fax: (541) 485-6223


Incorporated in 1957 in OR - In 1957, Kenneth and Hallie Ford established a modest foundation to give back to the timber communities of southwest Oregon. It grew in size, scope, and geography to become The Ford Family Foundation in 1996.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation makes grants to public charities that pre-dominantly benefit small communities in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. It is committed to investing in the capacities of individuals and communities through scholarships, grants and the Ford Institute of Community Building.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:


As part of the Visual Arts Program, funding is made for two-year grant awards of $40,000 each to three "Golden Spot" residency programs in Oregon that provide opportunities for artists to explore and conceptualize new work. Golden Spots are defined by their distinctive environment that artists repeatedly find particularly compelling and stimulating. Fifty percent of the funding will support the residency program and the remaining fifty percent will provide stipends to the selected artists to help offset life and work expenses. In program year 3, an RFP will be reissued for additional multi-year support. In program years three, four and five, the foundation will underwrite one or more opportunities for Oregon visual artists to experience a nationally acclaimed residency program. RFPs will be announced in mid-2014 for the next round of funding.

Chalkboard Project

The goal of the program is to help create systemic reform in the quality, accountability and stable funding of Oregon’s K-12 public schools. The program's specific role of value in helping to create systemic reform is anchored in three areas: 1) Providing independent research as the basis for reforms; 2) Partnering with educators and experts to design and implement pilot programs and advocate for transformation; 3) Serving as an independent voice to citizens, educational stakeholders and decision makers. And, its primary strategy is to improve K-12 teacher and leader effectiveness in Oregon to produce greater achievement impacts for children. Scaling of four components of CLASS (Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success) is a critical piece of determining how to place Oregon’s most effective teachers in front of our highest needs children. Successful implementation of the state’s recently adopted statewide performance evaluation model for school districts is essential, as is stronger teacher preparation programs and school leadership development. Funding is by invitation only.

Child Abuse Prevention an Intervention

The program targets underserved children and youth 0 to 18 years of age. The foundation's objective is to lessen the instances of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children in the community through increased access to programs and services. Such as: 1. Child abuse prevention and risk reduction: anger management, parenting programs, and programs to create awareness about availability of preventive services and programs and 2. Child abuse intervention: screening facilities, medical services, counseling, intervening agencies to stabilize and advocate for the child's living environment.

Critical Needs

This program provides small grants to organizations critical needs or emergencies. These grants are highly competitive and limited. These short-term grants should address unforeseen emergencies that interrupt programming and/or services such as boiler breaks, and ambulance break down.

Early Childhood Development

The goal of the program is to increase the number of children in rural Oregon who are entering kindergarten “school-ready.” The foundation is prepared to make a substantial investment towards programs and practices that have proven results for young children and their families. Its areas of interest are: 1) Parenting Education; 2) Early Learning Community Coalitions; 3) Kindergarten Readiness Assessment; 4) Home Visiting; and 5) Workforce Development. Funding is by invitation only.

Ford Community Fellows

The award is given to rural residents in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and a dedication to the pursuit of rural community vitality. Ford Community Fellows are nominated by Ford Family Foundation staff and partner contractors who deliver the Ford Institute Leadership Program. Each Fellow receives a $12,000 annual unrestricted monetary award and is eligible for up to two renewal awards. Fellows are expected to develop their own plan to explore, learn, and practice the art of community building. The program promotes community building and vitality by some or all of the following activities: 1) Coaching communities toward their own vision, priorities and measures of success (indicators); 2) Promoting systems thinking and collaboration; 3) Modeling a commitment to “life- long learning” ; 3) Leveraging local resources to draw on external sources, including individuals, philanthropy, non-profits, business, and government ; 4)Encouraging development of projects and programs that draw on best theory and practice; 5) Directing communities to full use of their own resources of time, energy, and dollars to move projects and programs forward (make things happen); 6) Assisting communities in measuring their own success; 7) Convening individuals, groups and communities to strengthen social capital and networks while learning from each other; and 8) Sustaining strong relationships with key stakeholders, adjoining community leaders, and The Ford Institute for Community Building.

Ford Institute Leadership Program

The program is based on the belief that vital rural communities develop from a broad base of knowledgeable, skilled and motivated leaders, a diversity of effective organizations, and productive collaborations among organizations. The Institute selects four new communities to enter the program each spring and each fall. The series of trainings typically unfold in this sequence: Year 1: Leadership Development (class 1); Year 2: Effective Organizations; Year 3: Leadership Development (class 2); Year 4: Community Collaborations; Year 5: Leadership Development (class 3). For more information, contact Alicia Flory, Prog. Mgr., e-mail:, tel.: 541-957-5574. See foundation web site for online application.

Ford Scholarships

The foundation offers a unique group of financial and program resources to college students. 1) The Ford Scholars Program is open to a) graduating high school seniors b) continuing community college students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree and are ready to transfer to a four-year college. This program is offered in both Oregon and Siskiyou County, California; 2) The Ford Opportunity Program is designed for single parents who are heads of household and who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree. This program is offered in both Oregon and Siskiyou County, California; 3) The Scholarship Program for Sons and Daughters of Employees of Roseburg Forest Products Co. serves dependents (21 years of age or younger) of employees of Roseburg Forest Products Co. This program is offered in Oregon, Siskiyou County, California, and other regions; 4) The Ford ReStart Program supports non-traditional adult students beginning or returning to full-time post-secondary education. This program is offered in both Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. For additional information see web site.

Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships to deserving high school and community college graduates throughout OR and Siskiyou County, CA, to be used toward a four-year, in-state baccalaureate degree. Fellowships to assist visual artists of Oregon to create new work.

Hallie Ford Fellowships in the Visual Arts

The foundation awards up to three unrestricted fellowships per calendar year, each in the amount of $25,000 to Oregon mid-career visual artists who have demonstrated a depth of sophisticated practice and potential for significant future accomplishment. Recipients are chosen based on the quality and evolution of their past and current work and their promise of future potential. They are chosen by a panel of arts professionals familiar with the work of Oregon visual artists, the national contemporary art discipline, and who are experienced in fellowship selection processes. Application is open to any Oregon mid-career visual artist meeting specific criteria and actively producing new work in the fields of contemporary fine art and craft. See web site for eligibility requirements and application and selection schedule.

Health and Dental Services for Children

The foundation seeks to increase the health of underserved children (from prenatal to 10 years old) through improved access to health and dental services, preventative services and education.

Positive Youth Development

The program serves school aged children from 5 to 18 years of age and supports programs and facilities that encourage the development of skills, instill values of a successful citizenship and create structures for kids in free time. Priority is given to structured "out-of-school" programs including youth leadership programs, mentorship programs, and evidence-based programs that show a clear connection between the types of programming and the development of successful citizen values and behaviors.

Post Secondary Education

In 2010, the foundation launched a new proactive grantmaking focus on Post-Secondary Education Awareness and Enrollment (PSE) with a goal to “increase the number of rural students who are aware of, prepared for and enrolled in post-secondary education or training.” To achieve this goal, the foundation has partnered with Oregon GEAR UP to bring a group of 10 new GEAR UP sites to rural Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties. Starting in middle school and continuing through high school, GEAR UP supports effective, sustainable activities that focus on establishing high expectations for all students to meet their educational goals. There are 5 areas of focus: providing appropriately rigorous courses with academic and social support; promoting supporting relationships including families, peers and adults; informing students of the right courses needed for college; encouraging career exploration as a tool to understand the value of postsecondary education; and informing students of the financial supports available to pursue their educational goals. Funding is by invitation only. For more information see: .

Public Convening Spaces

The objective of the program is to encourage civic participation and collaboration through the development of places that bring the community together, have substantial and broad multi users, are open to the public, and serve multiple populations.

Technical Assistance

This program's main objectives are to: 1) develop community leaders by supporting training for community groups, particularly youth groups; 2) develop effective organizations by supporting technical assistance for non-profits to improve their performance; and 3) develop community collaborations by supporting organizations and communities in addressing shared issues or opportunities.

Unanticipated Opportunity Program

Resources are provided to visual artists facing unforeseen prospects for accelerated creation, production or exhibition of their work in association with the Oregon Arts Commission’s Career Grants process. Awards are in the range of $1,500 to $7,500.

Visual Arts Program

This is a five year program managed by the foundation. The foundation will release requests for proposal for specific elements, and in other cases will partner with other art institutions to distribute the funds, the program is not open to unsolicited requests. There are seven elements in the program: 1) Hallie Ford Fellowships: the foundation has 3 annual fellowships each for $25,000 to Oregon visual artists; 2) Artists in residences: annual awards of $20,000 each to three "Golden Spot" residency programs in Oregon that provide opportunities for artists to explore and conceptualize new work; 3) Exhibition & Documentation: funding for curation, preparation and traveling of exhibitions of works by Oregon visual artists and production of catalogues and other appropriate materials; 4) Capital Projects: awards of "up to" $50,000 for improvements to and expansion of studio, and exhibition and appropriate storage space and equipment at key Oregon visual arts institutions. Funding under this component is offered once per year; 5) Curator/Critic Tour: support to underwrite visitations to Oregon by national curators and critics to consult with visual artists and participate in community forums on topic of visual arts; 6) Unanticipated Opportunity Funding: resources are provided to artists facing unforeseen prospects for accelerated creation, production or exhibition of their work in association with the Oregon Arts Commission's Career Opportunity Grants process, awards are in the range of $1,500 to $7,500; and 7) Art Acquisition Funding: resources to Oregon visual art institutions for the purpose of acquiring seminal works by Oregon artists to preserve public access to them.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Child abuse
  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Dental care
  • Health care clinics
  • Libraries
  • Visual arts
  • Youth development
Population Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Female infants and toddlers
  • Infants and toddlers
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Preteens

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $881,540,412 (market value)

Gifts received: $8,099,660

Expenditures: $40,505,009

Total giving: $26,031,640

Qualifying distributions: $35,995,491

Giving activities include:

$15,003,903 for 517 grants (high: $2,000,000; low: $50)

$11,027,737 for 1412 grants to individuals (high: $28,725; low: $333)

$6,462,605 for 2 foundation-administered programs