Traditional Grant

June and November Agendas
Deadline for submission of final materials for June is April 1
Deadline for submission of final materials for November is September 15

These grants are made in response to requests that can range from $25,000 to $100,000 and that must be matched by additional funds raised by the school at least dollar for dollar (1:1).

Schools seeking placement on a future Traditional Grant Agenda should be prepared to specify the anticipated dollar value of their proposal when (or very soon after) they request placement on an Agenda.This can be months in advance of the date the final version of the proposal will be due, depending on the length of the queue. Please visit the Traditional Grants section of Application Guidelines to learn more about our process.

For examples of recent grants awarded, please visit Past Traditional Grant Recipients, but also please note the following: The Edward E. Ford Foundation awards Traditional Grants based on the quality of the proposal and other considerations in terms of the school's operation, but it does not identify certain areas of independent school work as favored. That is, you can seek guidance as to what sort of proposals have been funded in the past but schools should identify their own greatest institutional need that they think the Foundation can help address.

Leadership Grant

April Agenda
Deadline for submission of the preliminary proposal is October 1 of the preceding year.
Deadline for finalist materials is March 1 of the same year.

Schools interested in pursuing Leadership Grants should contact the Foundation to check on eligibility, to discuss the process with the Executive Director and to seek placement on an upcoming Leadership Grant Agenda.

These grants are made in response to proposals that can be for requests of up to $250,000, matched at least 1:1.

Starting in 2008, the Foundation dedicated one of its three annual grant-making cycles to the Leadership Grant program-- larger grants to fewer schools-- that was initially by invitation only. Beginning with the 2018 agenda, the Foundation will allow schools to pursue placement on a Leadership Grant Agenda without first being invited to do so. The Foundation Board wants these Leadership Grants to be generative. We seek proposals that:

  • promise a significant impact on the practice and thinking in the independent school community throughout the country
  • are innovative and replicable
  • have a "ripple" effect where the benefits of the successful pursuit of an idea will not be limited to a single school
  • encourage bold, new ideas that address challenges faced by independent schools
  • represent original thinking and can conceivably catalyze change
  • inspire creative problem-solving and incubate novel approaches

There is a two-stage process for Leadership Grants. Schools placed on a Leadership Agenda will be asked to submit a preliminary proposal by October 1 of the preceding year. A sub-committee of the Foundation Board will consider these preliminary proposals and select finalists at its meeting in November. Finalists will be asked to submit a final proposal, application and supplementary materials by the deadline of March 1. For further information visit the Leadership Grant section of Application Guidelines.

Please visit our Past Leadership Grant Recipients for examples of recent grants but also note the following: The Edward E. Ford Foundation awards Leadership Grants based on the quality of the proposal and other considerations in terms of the school's operation, but it does not identify certain areas of independent school work as favored. That is, you can seek guidance as to what sort of proposals have been funded in the past but schools should identify their own greatest institutional need that they think the Foundation can help address.

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