About the Foundation

For over 60 years, The Edward E. Ford Foundation has made grants to independent schools throughout the United States. Over 900 different schools have received over 2,100 different grants from the Foundation totaling well over $125,000,000.

The Foundation has long encouraged, and now requires, matching funds to be raised as a part of its application process so as to leverage even greater philanthropic support for independent schools. These matching grants now exceed an additional $115,000,000 in total support generated for NAIS schools. 

We schedule two grant-making cycles annually (what the Foundation calls Agendas) in June and November, and one "Flexible Agenda" in the Spring (March/April). The June Agenda is when the Advisory Board considers Traditional Grant proposals. Schools that meet the eligibility criteria may pursue a grant for any purpose that the school head believes will assist and support the school in its work. The November Agenda is when the Board considers Leadership Grant proposals which involve a smaller number of applicants for larger dollar amounts.


About Edward E. Ford

Edward E. Ford, the founder of The Edward E. Ford Foundation, was born on April 23, 1894 in Binghamton, New York. He was the son of A. Ward Ford, who founded and developed a manufacturing business in Binghamton which ultimately became a part of International Business Machine Corporation.

Mr. Ford was educated at the Mercersburg Academy and Princeton University. Over the course of his life, he served IBM in various capacities and was also engaged in a number of independent business enterprises in St. Louis and Florida. For many years and until the time of his death, he was a member of the Board of Directors of IBM.

Mr. Ford established The Edward E. Ford Foundation with a relatively small gift in 1957, but the Foundation really commenced operation some three years later when he transferred a much more substantial amount of property to it, rounded out its Board by the appointment of several additional members, and began to work actively with the Board to develop a program directed towards his major objective of improving the quality of secondary schooling focusing exclusively on independent education.

Mr. Ford’s active participation was abruptly terminated by his unexpected death on March 6, 1963. By terms of his will, a major portion of his entire fortune passed to the Foundation.