The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. The Foundation's goals are to:
- Strengthen democratic values;
- Reduce poverty and injustice;
- Promote international cooperation; and
- Advance human achievement.
A fundamental challenge facing every society is to create political, economic, and social systems that promote peace, human welfare, and the sustainability of the environment on which life depends. The Ford Foundation believes that the best way to meet this challenge is to encourage initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; to promote collaboration among the nonprofit, government, and business sectors; and to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and at all levels of society. In the Foundation's experience, such activities help build common understanding, enhance excellence, enable people to improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to society.
The Ford Foundation works mainly by making grants or loans that build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks. Since the foundation's financial resources are modest in comparison with societal needs, it focuses on a limited number of problem areas and program strategies within its broad goals. The foundation's three program areas are Asset Building and Community Development, Peace and Social Justice, and Knowledge, Creativity and Freedom.