The board of trustees has established the following policies and eligibility guidelines for schools applying for grants from the Edward E. Ford Foundation.


The applying School must:

    1. serve a 9-12th grade program
    2. be a member of NAIS
    3. have a current Head of School who has served a full 2 years before a proposal from the school can be considered and must remain for one year past the grant cycle process
    4. not have applied for funding from the EE Ford Foundation within the last 4 years


  • National, regional, state and local independent school associations located in the United States and other similar member associations where a majority of the member schools are otherwise eligible to make proposals to the Foundation, may be eligible to apply for a Traditional Grant as a part of either the June or November Agenda. Other domestic associations or organizations pursuing significant work in the independent school world can be considered upon the recommendation of the Executive Director to the Board. Please visit Association Policies for further information.
  • The school or association must have a mission to serve a diverse population.
  • If a school or association has received a grant from the Foundation in the past, it must have shown that it has been a good steward of our prior philanthropy. This includes timely submission of stewardship reports and appropriate accounting for any past grants that included funds for permanently restricted endowments.
  • For schools with significant financial resources, there is an expectation that the school will seek funding from the Foundation to “leverage its unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning” more broadly and not just to benefit the school itself.
  • When the Board makes its decision about a proposal, the Executive Director communicates this decision within days to the school head.
  • Successful schools generally have a little more than one year to raise the required matching funds and to provide the required documentation for a Traditional Grant and a little more than two years for a Leadership Grant. The specific date by which the match must be made is always specified in the formal documents awarding the grant. Once the school has submitted the documentation, the EE Ford grant is paid by J.P. Morgan, the Foundation’s trustee.
  • The matching funds are usually raised through targeted, individual major gifts sought for this purpose. The matching funds can be raised through increased annual fund support from a given family, through a school's annual gala if the support is explicitly requested to satisfy the match, or through outside foundations that don't, themselves, require a match. Specific questions concerning match eligibility are best pursued in conversation with the Foundation Executive Director. Please see our Matching Requirements for further information.
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