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Ford Foundation Responds to Economic Crisis

December 15, 2008

The New York City-based Ford Foundation has released a statement from Luis A. Ubiñas, its president, in response to the economic situation. Here's an excerpt:

The heart of our work has always been the steady commitment to our long-term vision. We believe that this farsighted approach is critical, especially in difficult times. While the foundation's endowment portfolio has been affected by volatility in the financial markets, our first priority is to ensure that our grantees have the resources necessary to continue the fight for social justice.

In keeping with that commitment, I want you to know about the actions we are taking to manage through this downturn as effectively as possible:

  • In 2009 and 2010, we plan to increase the percentage of our endowment that is paid out in grants, our "payout rate".
  • The foundation instituted a series of aggressive internal cost controls early in 2008 to ensure that more funds would be available for grant making during this downturn. We know that every dollar saved is a dollar that can be devoted to grant making on behalf of the poor and marginalized.
  • Entering the economic downturn, our portfolio was highly liquid, ensuring that we have the capacity to continue making grants without disruption.
  • These actions will allow us to continue to honor all outstanding grants and, going forward, safeguard our core grant making budget.

All of these efforts are designed for a central purpose: to ensure that our grantees have the resources necessary to support their work....

To read the complete statement, click here.

For more foundation statements in reponse to the economic crisis, see here (various CoF members), here (Robert Wood Johnson) here (Kresge, Irvine), here (Mellon, Weinberg), here (MacArthur), here (Mertz Gilmore, Argosy), here (Gates, Otto Bremer, Rasmuson, California Endowment), and here (Samueli).

-- Mitch Nauffts

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