As part of a global company, Ford Fund wanted its employee volunteering options to span the globe, too. Here’s how they put trust at the heart of the process.
Expanding employee volunteering globally
In 2005, Ford Motor Company and then president and CEO Bill Ford launched the Ford Volunteer Corps as part of the organization’s commitment to community. Overseen by Ford’s philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund, volunteerism quickly expanded to engage Ford employees around the world.
To leverage the collective power of Ford and its employees, the company designated September as Global Caring Month—a coordinated 30-day effort committed to volunteerism. In collaboration with local nonprofits, Ford volunteers develop, manage, and implement hundreds of volunteer projects each year through the program. Those projects range from planting gardens to stocking food pantries with organizations like JAAGO Foundation in Bangladesh and Banco de Alimentos de Bogotá in Colombia.
To support Global Caring Month, Ford Motor Company Fund offers grant funding to cover the cost of supplies related to the projects. But to expand to projects outside of the US, Ford Fund needed support to vet potential nonprofit partners.
Vetting nonprofit partners before volunteering
Ford Fund initiated the program by inviting employees to nominate nonprofit organizations in more than 40 global markets. To ensure these organizations met international standards equivalent to US-registered charities, Ford Fund partnered with GlobalGiving to vet each new organization before approving them for volunteering and funding. This helped Ford Fund feel confident in developing new nonprofit relationships around the globe and provided the participating nonprofits with even more value in the form of capacity building and access to support from GlobalGiving.
A network of trusted organizations to support
Over the years, more than 500 international nonprofits have participated in Global Caring Month, all made possible by a robust global due diligence process. This vetting has supported Ford Fund’s ongoing program by reviewing each organization’s capacity, checking that they meet all regulatory and compliance guidelines, ensuring they align with Ford Fund’s corporate values, and lastly, confirming they do not pose any reputational risks to Ford or their volunteers. The impact of taking a holistic approach when reviewing an organization’s due diligence application has been two-fold. The due diligence process assesses risk factors and also highlights trust indicators that allow lesser-known community-led organizations to be supported.
In addition, the virtual and hands-on service projects supported by thousands of Ford volunteers have increased programming and services available in some of the most remote locations. The supported organizations have been able to leverage helping hands to address challenges in areas including education, economic and community development, health, and basic needs.
Learn more about how due diligence can expand your nonprofit partnerships.
Featured Photo: Help Loiza's Youth Access Post-secondary Education by Colaborativopr