Building a Better World: Ford’s Community Projects Around the World

We organize our community investment activities around our three strategic priorities: community life, education and driver safety.

Helping to strengthen the communities in which we operate is a core priority for Ford. Our efforts to improve community life include hunger relief, poverty alleviation, and environmental initiatives like water conservation.

We work with communities around the world to drive sustainable innovation in education.

The Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program is the centerpiece of our efforts to improve driver safety.

Community Life

Helping to strengthen the communities in which we operate is a core priority for Ford – and has been since Henry Ford started the company more than 100 years ago. We work closely with communities to understand what their needs are and how we can contribute to improving community life. This is by far the broadest of our strategic priorities and includes efforts focused on hunger relief and poverty alleviation, community infrastructure improvements, and support for elderly, disabled and other under-served populations. Community life also includes our investments in environmental initiatives and efforts to improve water conservation and access to clean drinking water.

Highlighted projects:

Improving Access to Clean Water across our Global Communities

Multiple Countries

As part of our corporate water strategy, we are increasing our engagement with local communities on water issues. In 2014, many of our Global Week of Caring (GWC) projects focused on increasing access to clean water in communities near our operations. Approximately 35 percent of our GWC projects addressed water-quality or water-access issues.

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Fighting Hunger in Food Insecure Communities across the Nation

United States

We have been working to fight hunger in the U.S. for many years. In 2014, we put a special focus on this topic, donating more than $1.3 million to strategic hunger relief programs across the country. A centerpiece of these efforts is our continued support of a national Ford Mobile Food Pantry Network, which we began building in 2010. Since then, we have donated 50 Ford Transit vans and joined with more than 30 nonprofit community service providers to distribute food to people in need. In 2014, 1.4 million meals were delivered through this network, and 5.5 million meals have been distributed by our nonprofit partners since this program began in 2010.

Continuing a Long History of Support for Disabled American Veterans

United States

Ford has a long history of working with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization. Ford is a major contributor to the DAV’s Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program, for example, including funding scholarships to students who volunteer at local Veterans Administration medical centers. And for over a decade, Ford has been a sponsor of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which allows hundreds of disabled veterans to go the mountains of Colorado to participate in adaptive winter sports. In 2014, we donated funds for the DAV to purchase seven new vehicles for its headquarters and the DAV Transportation Network, in addition to providing $45,000 to the scholarship program.

Fighting Breast Cancer for More Than Two Decades

United States

Ford has been a long-time supporter in the fight against breast cancer. For 21 years, Ford has been a National Race Series sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and has dedicated more than $128 million to the cause in donations and in-kind gifts. Ford’s commitment goes well beyond the October race; it lasts 365 days a year and focuses on raising awareness, support and donations for this cause, including apparel that is sold on This specially designed Warriors in Pink® clothing and accessory line is dedicated to those fighting this disease, and 100 percent of net proceeds go to one of four breast cancer charities. Since 2006, we generated more than $5.6 million from apparel sales for the cause. In addition, more than 77,000 Ford employees and thousands of dealership employees have been involved in races and supporting the cause in their local communities. We also introduced 20 survivors as part of our Models of Courage program. Their inspirational stories can be found on

More Than 30 Years Supporting the American Red Cross

United States

Ford has supported the American Red Cross mission for more than 30 years. Over the last five years, the Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company have contributed more than $3 million to support the American Red Cross We serve as a highly engaged partner that provides assistance to all five lines of service within the Red Cross mission: Disaster Relief, Health and Safety Training and Education, Service to Military Families, International Relief, and Lifesaving Blood.

As a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Responder program, Ford pledges support in advance of major disasters, ensuring that the Red Cross is adequately prepared for an immediate response to disasters of all sizes. In addition, we provide funding for emergency preparedness, youth education programs and vehicle donations.

Record Donation to Fight Multiple Sclerosis

United States

Ford volunteers, with the help of Ford’s Group Vice President of Product Development Raj Nair, raised $803,531 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Michigan Chapter in 2014. This was an historic amount for Ford employees and exceeded their 2013 donation by more than $423,500. We were also named the number one corporate sponsor in Michigan for the seventh year in a row and were recognized with the Circle of Distinction award from the organization.

Supporting the March of Dimes for More Than a Decade

United States

In 2014, Ford volunteers raised more than $550,000 for the March of Dimes. Ford Vice President Bruce Hettle and UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles served as UAW/Ford sponsors for the 2014 March for Babies campaign. Over the past 10 years, the UAW/Ford team has raised more than $4 million for this cause.

Aiding the Fight against Type 1 Diabetes for More Than 20 years

United States

For more than 20 years, Ford has been involved in helping find a cure for type 1 diabetes. We are the largest global sponsor of JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes research. Ford employees organize and participate in a wide range of fundraising activities each year, and we raise funds through corporate initiatives such as vehicle auctions. All told, we have raised more than $40 million for JDRF.

Recycled 75,000 Pounds of E-Waste

United States

As part of our Accelerated Action Day program, Ford employee volunteers processed 75,000 pounds of electronic waste (e-waste) during the eighth-annual Ford Green IT eWaste event in Dearborn, Michigan. Almost 900 Ford employees came through the convenient drive-through recycling lanes, where fellow Ford employee volunteers unloaded electronic waste from their vehicles, sorted the devices, and stacked and prepared them for easy transport to specialty recycling centers. At the end of the day, 27,000 pounds of TVs, 16,000 pounds of CPUs and 12,000 pounds of CRT monitors were sent to be safely recycled. Recycling e-waste keeps hazardous metals such as lead, mercury and nickel out of local landfills and away from the water supply.

Converting Shipping Containers to Homes for Families

South Africa

As part of the 2014 Global Week of Caring, 350 Ford volunteers in South Africa donated more than 2,800 hours to renovate and convert shipping containers into housing for 10 families in Booysens Park within the Vastrap Community, an area where many families lack access to formal housing, sanitation, water and electricity. The homes were given to elderly and/or disabled community member and families with small children.

Supporting Community Service Providers

South Africa

As part of the 2014 Global Week of Caring, more than 100 Ford volunteers spent more than 750 hours helping local community service providers in South Africa. For example, 20 volunteers helped refurbish the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Care Home, which provides a safe haven for abandoned, AIDS-infected children and orphans, and offers daycare to the surrounding community. Volunteers completed extensive repairs to the existing buildings and installed a shipping container that was converted into a play and learning facility.

At the Fundai Educare Center, another 20 volunteers made a wide range of repairs to the facility, including adding insulation and fixing broken plumbing and toilets, electrical points and wiring. They also replanted the vegetable garden, an important food source for the center. Volunteers installed a rainwater tank system to provide water for toilets and the vegetable garden. And, a converted shipping container was installed as a classroom.

Another 20 volunteers improved the facilities at the Lingelethu soup kitchen, which feeds up to 300 people each week. Local residents volunteer their time to prepare the food; however, they have been challenged by limited space and amenities. Volunteers installed a shipping container that enlarged and improved their current kitchen facility.

Approximately 30 Ford volunteers also collected, purchased and donated food for Jeanny’s Soup Kitchen, which has operated three soup kitchens across Port Elizabeth for 15 years. The organization provides soup, bread and half an orange each day to more than 1,000 people.

Supporting a Center for the Disabled


As part of our 2014 Global Week of Caring, 10 Ford volunteers in Spain spent 80 hours working with nuns at the Cottolengo Del Padre Alegre center, which provides free housing and assistance to approximately 100 mentally and physically handicapped women of all ages. Ford volunteers helped with building maintenance, donated food and supplies, and took time to socialize and interact with the residents. This center does not receive government assistance and is solely supported by donations. Ford employees volunteer at the center regularly.

Improving Medical Care Opportunities in the Coraivia Community


As part of the Global Week of Caring, Ford employees in Coraivia, Romania, partnered with the nonprofit organization OncoHope on two projects. One project improved infrastructure and refurbished facilities at the state hospital, to improve living conditions for sick children. This work included buying construction materials and hospital furniture and painting the walls, among other refurbishing activities. In the second project, Ford employees provided financial aid for medical tests and investigations for community members and organized recreation activities for children with cancer.

Expanding Our Conservation and Environmental Grants Program

Asia Pacific

We are continuing to expand our Conservation & Environmental Grants (CEG) program, the company’s flagship philanthropic program in China focused on supporting grassroots environmental/sustainability nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders and their organizations. Over the past 14 years, Ford of China has awarded more than $3 million in grants to 354 grassroots environmental leaders and NGOs. In 2014 we provided grants for projects in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Tahiti, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, and in 2015 we will expand the program to Thailand.


Education has emerged as the most important factor determining individual and community economic success and prosperity an increasingly global economy. In short, it is a building block for success for everything else in our communities. Education creates a sustainable society. Without a sustainable society, we don’t have a sustainable company for employees, customers, investors or dealers.

The Ford Fund is committed to working with communities around the world to drive sustainable innovation in education. To this end, we support grassroots programs and initiatives that accelerate educational innovation, build sustainable communities and drive opportunity and access to higher education for students. The Ford Fund donates approximately $8 million dollars each year to education, about one-third of our total annual financial support. In 2014, we donated an additional $1 million to new scholarships and educational programs.

Highlighted projects:

Blue Oval Scholars Program

United States

Our Ford Blue Oval Scholars program awards hundreds of scholarships each year to students throughout the U.S. The program includes a Web-based initiative that links scholarship winners together through an online portal, allowing them to connect with Ford and others in a variety of ways. The program also sponsors an annual “Heart Behind the Oval” scholarship contest that recognizes and rewards students making a difference in their communities. In 2014, we announced a new Ford Blue Oval STEM Scholarship Program that will provide $500,000 in scholarships over four years to 50 students interested in pursuing degrees in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2014, the Ford Fund awarded more than $1 million in college scholarships.

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Taking Ford’s College Community Challenge Global

United States

In 2014, we continued to expand the Ford College Community Challenge, a program that invites college partners to work with their local communities to put together innovative, student-led proposals that use the school’s resources and capacity to address the theme of Building Sustainable Communities, in an innovative way. In 2014, we took this project global, expanding grants to Brazil and China, as well as the U.S. Through this program, the Ford Fund awarded $280,000 in 2014 to fund the implementation of 16 winning projects. Since the program began in 2008, we have awarded more than $1.7 million to build sustainable communities.

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Ford Driving Dreams through Education

United States

Ford Driving Dreams through Education program is a competitive, grant-based initiative, aimed at motivating Latino students to complete high school on time and pursue higher education. To date, 26,000 students have been positively impacted by the program. The program raises awareness about the importance of education by energizing youth, broadening community-wide support and providing resources for area schools and students. Through scholarships, motivational student assemblies, peer-to-peer support and an innovative contest, the signature program motivates students to graduate from high school on time and enroll in college.

Ford Next Generation Learning

United States

Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL), the Ford Fund’s flagship education program, mobilizes educators, employers and community leaders to develop a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school prepared for both college and careers. Ford NGL improves teaching and learning, promotes the development of career- and interest-themed high schools to better serve students, and aligns business and civic engagement in education to improve student and workforce outcomes. Through this program we work with national, regional and local partners to prepare young people to compete successfully in higher education and in the global, 21st century economy. In 2015, this program will reach more than 200,000 students in 23 communities across the U.S.

Henry Ford Academies

United States

Through the Henry Ford Academies (HFA) program, Ford has replicated its award-winning small high school model – which we started with the original Henry Ford Academy, located on the grounds of The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan – in Detroit and San Antonio. Students at these schools benefit from the new HFA model curriculum, which is thought to be the first in the nation to focus explicitly on innovation and creativity.

Ford STEAM Lab in Detroit

United States

In 2014, the Ford Fund piloted the Ford STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Lab Challenge, a collaborative initiative to excite, inspire and uncover students’ passion and talent for STEAM careers and “Techpreneurship” (technology + entrepreneurship). Through this new program, 165 Detroit middle school students came together at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in southwest Detroit to learn about various STEAM career pathways and opportunities through Techpreneurship.

Helping Youth Build Everyday Financial Skills

United States

As part of our Accelerated Action Day program, Ford employee volunteers guided middle school students through a hands-on, experiential experience at a “Finance Park.” Each student was given a life scenario (age, family size, annual income, income tax rate and profession), and helped to calculate his or her monthly income and create a realistic budget. Then, students visited the Finance Park’s 14 storefronts (which include a bank, insurance agency, car dealership, retail and grocery stores, utility company and financial services provider) to determine what items – necessities and discretionary – they could afford. Ford employees helped students with the calculations and decisions about how to stay within their budgets and facilitated discussions about how education and career decisions will affect their future career and economic situations.

Continuing to Build a Better Future for Orphaned Children


In Kuluszyn, Poland, during our Global Week of Caring, 45 Ford volunteers spent 360 hours providing support to children living at the Falbogi State Orphanage, as part of a long-term project that began in 2009. The goal is to give the children tools, knowledge, supplies, equipment and experiences so they can plan for their future and make educated choices for their adult lives. The orphanage is isolated in a rural area, and children rarely leave the property except for school trips that are funded by Ford volunteers. Also, they have very limited access to the internet due to lack of equipment. Over the years, Ford volunteers have donated materials and time to set up a computer lab in the orphanage. They also provide relevant computer and Internet skill training to help children gain practical skill sets that they need to succeed in their post-orphanage years.

Building Brighter Futures with Happy Schools


In India, we launched the Happy Schools program in 2014, a long-term intervention focused on democratizing access to primary education. As part of the program, Ford has partnered reputed NGOs working in the field of education to collectively conceptualize and design a social intervention model that addresses gaps identified in the schools. Besides academic support and infrastructure enhancement, the program focuses on improving the overall health status of the children, as well as the introduction of application-based learning and a structured arts curriculum. A critical component of the program is engagement with key stakeholders, including school administrators, teachers and parents, in order to create sustained support systems for the children. So far the program has been implemented in 20 schools in Chennai. Ford India is expanding the program to cover 10 schools near the new facility in Sanand, Gujarat.

Driving Safety

As an automotive company, the safety of drivers and pedestrians is an obvious priority for us. The Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program is the centerpiece of our efforts to improve driver safety.

Highlighted projects:

Ford Driving Skills for Life


The Ford Fund continues to support safe driving through its award-winning Ford DSFL program, a free safe-driving curriculum that has trained hundreds of thousands of drivers through Web-based and in-person driving sessions, which we began in 2003. In the U.S. the program focuses on teen drivers. It was developed by Ford, the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts to address the number one killer of teens in the U.S. – traffic crashes. In 2013, we expanded the teen-focused driving safety program to Europe, and in 2014, we expanded it to Canada.

We are also continuing to expand Ford DSFL in developing markets, where it focuses on first-time drivers of all ages and includes eco-driving information. In 2014, the program continued in mainland China, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, and also expanded to Malaysia and Myanmar, training another 15,000 people. In the Middle East and Africa region, we launched Ford DSFL in 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and expanded it to Saudi Arabia in 2014. In 2015, we plan to expand the program to Australia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

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Supporting Road Safety

Asia Pacific Region

Ford supports programs run by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF) to bolster its public awareness campaigns to make roads safer in Vietnam, China and Thailand. Their campaigns aim to educate the public on the importance of helmet use, safe walking behaviors and general road safety. With the support of Ford, the AIPF was able to develop a TV commercial and billboards in Vietnam as well as develop a road safety education video and curriculum in China. Community events in Vietnam, China and Thailand were also implemented to improve road safety knowledge and behaviors. These programs reached approximately 21 million people in five different communities.