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:

  • Serve a 9-12th grade program

  • Be a member of NAIS

  • Have a mission to serve a diverse population

  • Have a current Head of School who is serving in at least her or his 2nd year (Traditional Grant) or 3rd year (Leadership Grant) before a proposal from the school can be considered and must plan to remain in the role for the period of time specified to raise the match.

  • Not have applied for funding from the EE Ford Foundation within the last 4 years


  • Withdrawal after Agenda Placement. If for any reason your school should need to withdraw from the Agenda, please notify our office as soon as possible. According to the Board’s policy, a school that withdraws late in the process, without compelling reasons for having to do so, is required to wait a four-year period before seeking another place on an Agenda.
  • If a school 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.


The Board of Trustees has established the following policies and eligibility guidelines for Associations applying for Edward E. Ford Foundation grants.

  • 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 the June 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.
  • The Association Executive Director must have held the office for at least two years.
  • Proposals from Associations must support programs that affect the work of students and faculty in independent secondary schools, grades 9-12. Support will not be provided for administrative expenses of the Association.
  • The Director of any Association applying for a grant must meet with the Executive Director of the Foundation at the office in Brooklyn, New York to discuss the grant and matching component as well as the history and programs of the Association, its funding sources, and its plans for the future.
  • The Association Director should send the completed Coversheet and Supplementary Information Form and a copy of the current operating budget for the Association at least one week in advance of meeting with the Executive Director. Please see Application Guidelines for Associations for further information.
  • Proposals developed collaboratively by more than one Association can be considered.
  • The Board expects a matching component appropriate to the particular proposal. The means for raising the match should be discussed with the Executive Director.
  • Matching funds may include gifts or grants in response to the Foundation’s grant, fees and other charges generated by a project, or monies transferred from other resources. Some appropriate portion of the total cost of the project will be supplied by sources other than the grant of the Foundation. A Resolution of the Board of the Association to this point can be sufficient for a request to the Trustee to release the funds granted.
  • Funds may be expended over a period of fiscal years or at one time. The expected spending plan must be outlined in the proposal.
  • Associations must wait at least four years before making another application whether or not a grant is made.
  • Associations receiving grants will be expected to share with the appropriate constituencies efforts made possible through the grant.
  • Associations are expected to report back to the Foundation on the results of the grant once the money has been put to use.
  • All correspondence should be sent to the Executive Director at the Brooklyn, New York office.