Ford Inspires with New Global Grant to Kick Off 10th Annual Global Month of Caring

Thu, Sep 10, 2015

  • Bill Ford Better World Challenge, a new global grant program, will award up to $500,000 a year to employee-led Ford Volunteer Corps projects
  • Ford’s international network of 30,000 volunteers – Ford Volunteer Corps –celebrating its 10th anniversary
  • Throughout September, over 330 employees from Ford Australia will participate in 17 volunteer projects across Victoria

MELBOURNE– Ford Motor Company has announced a new global initiative that will strengthen its leadership in community service timed to the 10th anniversary of the Ford Volunteer Corps – Ford’s international network of 30,000 volunteers.

Ford and Executive Chairman Bill Ford are launching the Bill Ford Better World Challenge, a global grant program that will award up to $500,000 to community service projects identified by company employees. The program, jointly funded by the company and Bill Ford personally, will work in tandem with Ford Volunteer Corps.

“Community service is one of the hallmarks of our company and the Ford family,” said Bill Ford. “As we celebrate the incredible achievements of the Ford Volunteer Corps, we are looking to the future with innovative programs that further harness the power of our volunteers and build the next generation of community leaders.”

The Ford Volunteer Corps was launched by Bill Ford in 2005 in response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. Assisting in post-tsunami rebuilding efforts was among the Corps’ first work, as employees from Ford Thailand took a 14-hour bus ride to spend a week at a time in sweltering conditions mixing concrete, making roof tiles, digging foundations, building walls and helping villagers start to get their lives back.

That outreach and sense of community has grown into a highly coordinated global network in which each year 30,000 volunteer’s work on 1,600 projects across six continents. Whether helping children read, fighting hunger or delivering clean water, thousands of Ford volunteers have worked on 9,000 projects in more than 40 countries, contributing more than 1 million hours of community service.

To expand on that, the Bill Ford Better World Challenge aims to give employee volunteers the opportunity to work with local groups where Ford does business to apply for community service project funding under the new grant program. The projects will focus on three categories that create sustainable solutions to community needs – mobility; basic needs such as food and shelter; and water-related issues including access, sanitation and hygiene. Funding is expected to be awarded by the middle of 2016.

Meantime, the Ford Volunteer Corps’ signature Global Week of Caring is being expanded from one week in September to the entire month. Ford Global Caring Month will open more opportunities for Ford employees to volunteer and broaden the company’s global focus on community service.

Nearly 20,000 volunteers are expected to work on 360 projects around the world – from cleaning up beaches in Angola to renovating a daycare for children with disabilities in the United Kingdom. In Australia, over 330 Ford employees will participate in 17 volunteer projects across Victoria throughout September. Projects will span from preparing meals for FareShare, restoring a three-masted schooner as part of Ford Australia’s ongoing support of the Alma Doepel Project, to repurposing donated footy boots and other sporting equipment for Boots for All providing 500 disadvantaged Australian children and adults with essential sports equipment.

“I often say that the work I do is for my children and grandchildren,” said Bill Ford. “I believe we must help younger generations become careful stewards of the world they are inheriting.”

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other inspiring programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit