Ford Inspires Tomorrow’s Leaders Today with New Global Grant, Innovative Employee Civic Leadership Program

  • Bill Ford Better World Challenge, a new global grant program, will
    award up to $500,000 a year to employee-led Ford Volunteer Corps
  • Ford is also launching an innovative new leadership course for younger
    employees to learn civic engagement skills while sharing their own
    insights with nonprofits
  • New survey finds young adults value volunteering more than the rest of
    the population, and prefer to support charities with time instead of

DETROIT–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford Motor Company announces two new initiatives today that strengthen
its leadership in community service and provide younger employees an
innovative opportunity to explore their growing interest in civic
engagement and volunteering.

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, will work in
tandem with Ford Volunteer Corps – Ford’s international network of
30,000 volunteers that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Ford is also starting Thirty Under 30, in which 30 U.S. employees under
the age of 30 will be selected for a yearlong course to learn civic
engagement and leadership skills with a focus on philanthropy and
volunteerism. The program will also pair employees with nonprofits so
both Ford and charitable organizations can learn from younger

“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 volunteers 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 the United States,
more than 2,300 Ford employees will participate in more than 160
volunteer projects across nine states throughout the month, including a
Ford Accelerated Action Day Sept. 11.

The new Thirty Under 30 program, which gets under way next year, taps
into a growing interest among younger employees to become involved in
their communities beyond sending money to charitable organizations. The
program will start as a U.S. pilot project.

“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.”

A new Nielsen survey among 1,000 U.S. respondents over the age of 18
found 63 percent of the Millennials in the group felt community
volunteering was important, compared to 56 percent among the rest of the
respondents. More than half of the Millennials said they would volunteer
for charity instead of giving money, versus 17 percent who said they
would prefer to only send money. Millennials are typically defined as
people born from 1982 to 2004.

“Younger generations have shown they see community building as part of
their career goals,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund
and Community Services. “With Thirty Under 30, we are not only helping
our younger employees work with nonprofits, we will learn from them how
to design corporate philanthropy in the future.”

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

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Ford Motor Company Fund
Todd Nissen, 313.322.4898
Motor Company Fund
Eric Mitchell, 734.612.8267