Ford Foundation


From 2003-2013, the Ford Foundation granted $40 million to civil society NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, distributed via the New Israel Fund. In 2013, the Ford Foundation announced that funding to Israeli NGOs would end, citing changing priorities and a need to reevaluate “how best to contribute toward democracy and development in the region.”


Country/TerritoryUnited States



  • In 2022, total income was $2.6 billion; total expenses were $905.3 million, of which $713.4 million was disbursed as grants to NGOs.

Funding to Politicized NGOs

Ford Foundation/NIF Grantees (2003-2013)

  • The Ford Foundation was among the main funders for extremist NGOs involved in the 2001 UN sponsored Durban conference, which crystallized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation.
  • As a result of the Durban conference, in October 2003, Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Rick Santorum, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, launched a campaign to investigate the Ford Foundation’s funding of anti-Semitic and highly political anti-Israel NGOs. As part of the campaign, twenty members of Congress sent a letter to Ford Foundation President Susan Berresford asking her to “cease funding subversive groups.” In response, Berresford initiated a review in December 2003 and pledged that Ford would act to ensure that funds no longer went to “groups that promote or condone bigotry or violence, or that challenge the very existence of legitimate, sovereign states like Israel.”
  • Following these new guidelines, from 2003-2013, the Ford Foundation managed the Ford Israel Fund which provided $40 million to Israeli civil society NGOs in partnership with the New Israel Fund. These funds came in the form of two $20 million grants; distributed to the NIF in 2003 and 2007.
  • The Ford Israel Fund was shut down in 2013 due to changing organizational priorities and changing leadership among the Ford Foundation board.
  • Ford Israel Fund grantees included Breaking the Silence, Adalah, B’Tselem, Bimkom, Rabbis for Human Rights, Mossawa Center, HaMoked, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

2018-2023 Funding to NGOs (amounts based on Ford Foundation’s “Grant Database“)

Human Rights Watch (HRW)$1,000,000$1,400,000$1,200,000
Amnesty International$420,000$3,000,000$2,450,000$400,000$450,000
Center for Constitutional Rights$583,334$200,000$1,100,000$2,850,000$900,000
Tides Center$1,706,000$1,616,000$12,050,000$3,934,277$2,234,5009,350,000
Front Line – International Foundation for the Protection of Rights Defenders$400,000$400,000$3,100,000

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