top of page

For Grantseekers

The Ward Foundation generally provides unrestricted, multi-year grants to small to medium-sized organizations in Guatemala and New Orleans. We aspire to create trust-based relationships with and among our grantees.

New Orleans, LA

The foundation supports small to mid-sized organizations that approach the challenges of education in New Orleans in innovative ways. Specifically, we support interventions serving the city’s traditionally excluded children and youth (ages 3-18). We recognize that no one solution will overcome the daunting educational challenges.  With the whole-child approach in mind, we take an ecosystemic approach by supporting a variety of dynamic programs that address the challenges from different angles.


Additional information for New Orleans grantmaking:

  • The foundation only supports organizations engaged in direct service provision. 

  • Geographic priority is given to programs serving children and youth in Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish.

New Orleans

Jim Ward has a deep respect and appreciation for the people of Guatemala, especially the Indigenous populations. This dates back to his first visit to the rural areas in 1976. The foundation prioritizes two areas for funding in Guatemala:




The foundation supports innovative interventions that foster personal agency and the opportunity to leapfrog longstanding structural barriers. The foundation prioritizes programs that provide educational services to children and youth from ages 3-18. Particular attention is given to dynamic efforts to disrupt the status quo of Guatemala’s lackluster educational outcomes. 

Women and Girls


The foundation seeks to support rights-based efforts to maximize the potential of girls and women from traditionally-overlooked, marginalized contexts. Particular priority is given to Maya women and girls and efforts to include their voice and perspective in leadership positions. 


Additional information:

  • Many current grantees integrate these two priorities into their programming. 

  • Funding is frequently coupled with efforts to support collaboration among current and former grantees. 

  • On rare occasions, the Ward Foundation funds capital projects for existing grantees. 

  • The foundation has a spring and fall grantmaking cycle. 

  • The foundation occasionally supports collaborations and networks of like-focused organizations that serve our two areas of priority. 

How to Apply

The Ward Foundation invites organizations to submit simple funding requests. We do not accept unsolicited proposals, however, we welcome relevant inquiries (see the “contact us” box below).  If your organization is interested in connecting with us to seek funding, we ask that you first carefully read about the type of attributes that we seek.  Additionally, we suggest you read through this additional information prior to contacting us. 


We partner with organizations with the following profile:


  • Service provision or hiring practices are not dependent upon religious affiliation. 

  • Organizational geography and profile:

    • Serve traditionally underserved populations (specifically women and girls) in Guatemala,  OR underserved youth in New Orleans. Requests outside these specific geographic areas will not be considered. 

    • Registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (or access to a fiscal sponsor). For Guatemala, legal registration is also required. 

    • Meeting all the legal requirements of operation in-country.

    • Financial situations where our investment will have a meaningful impact. Generally, this means that the organizational budget does not exceed $2 million. 

  • “The best fertilizer is a farmer’s shadow.” The foundation supports organizations that model proximate leadership (executive leadership that is closely positioned to the fieldwork). 

  • Evidence an ethos focusing on rights-based communication and interventions. 

  • Generally, we focus on funding organizations providing direct service provision. 


Characteristics that denote a mismatch with the Ward Foundation: 


  • Large budgets and/or organizational reserves that diminish the impact of the Ward Foundation’s financial support.

  • For organizations in Guatemala, we avoid partnerships with a heavy reliance on non-local staff and/or US offices for executive decision-making and operations. Also for Guatemala, if some/all of the executive leadership is in the US, we suggest you do not apply. 

  • Interventions that do not have a clear focus on education and/or inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups.

  • Organizations that do not evidence a rights-based approach and instead feature donor-centric communications and activities (child sponsorships, voluntourism as a revenue stream, mission trips, etc.). 


If you have read through these details and you still feel like your organization is a potentially good fit, we invite you to reach out to us. Please recall that The Ward Foundation only supports organizations serving people in New Orleans and Guatemala.

Please provide us with a 100-word description of your work as well as the relevant contact information (text box below)


How to Apply
bottom of page