Ford Motor Company has been a JDRF Elite Partner since 1983. In 1998, Ford expanded its support with the creation of the employee-driven Ford Global Action Team (FGAT) combining the passion and power of Ford employees, families, and friends, as well as key business partners from from WPP, Mazda, BP, ADESA, and the UAW. With tens of thousands of volunteers working together, the FGAT has consistently raised more than $3 million annually over the last decade. Employee efforts drive the majority of the funds raised, and include a variety of fundraising initiatives from raffles and auctions to barbecues and sneaker sales. But Ford didn’t stop there. The Ford Fund also provides an annual research grant, most recently to support JDRF’s Healthy Eye Project. With more than 90 fundraising teams at 40 global sites, Ford has raised more than $45 million to advance our joint mission to find life-changing treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
In 1998, Ford Motor Company organized a formal JDRF Walk Team with Edsel B. Ford II as the Corporate Chair. The team raised more than $197,000 for JDRF at three sites in southeast Michigan. The following year, the first global JDRF Walk Team was established, and Ford employees raised more than $790,000 at 11 Walk sites worldwide. Ford Motor Company has also been generous in supporting JDRF fundraising efforts through its donation of vehicles for auction as well as opportunities with many Ford programs. In 2013, more than $3.2 million was raised to fund critical JDRF research. In total, $45 million has been raised through creative fundraising initiatives like raffles, auctions, job-switch drawings, sneaker sales, jeans days, bake sales, dunk tanks, golf tournaments, bowling games, and JDRF Walk donations. Innovation and friendly competition between Ford buildings and plants has proven successful year after year.
Edsel B. Ford II (R) and Cynthia Ford (L) with their son Albert Ford (center). Mr. Ford leads the Ford Global Action Team effort in honor of his Albert, who lives with T1D.
Each year, JDRF and Motorcraft and Quick Lane Racing join forces to help raise awareness and funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research through the “Our Everyday Heroes” Race Car Design Contest for JDRF. Kids living with T1D get to use all their creative power to design their own unique vision of a race car. Everyone can vote for his or her favorite design by donating to JDRF, and the winning design is painted onto a Ford race car. This year, the winning design was featured on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang Funny Car driven by Bob Tasca III. The “Our Everyday Heroes” contest has raised more than $400,000 for T1D research.
Every year, Ford Motor Company gives muscle-car enthusiasts a rare opportunity to bid on a car to benefit JDRF at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. In 2014, this televised auction featured a first production 2015 Ford Mustang GT, which brought in $300,000 for JDRF.
Ford Dealerships have taken a unique approach to supporting the JDRF Walk. Each sponsoring Ford dealership selects a Family Walk Team from its community that has applied to be involved in the sponsorship program. The dealer has the option of hosting fundraising events for its selected Family Walk Team and also matches the money raised by the team, up to $2,500.
Ford Motor Company’s global fundraising efforts compare to those of no other JDRF corporate partner. Ford supports fundraising events in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The company also provides an opportunity for its employees to engage in events supporting JDRF.
The 2014 Ford Global Action Team is currently working hard to raise even more funding globally and is committed to supporting JDRF until a cure for T1D is found.
Follow the Ford Global Action Team on Facebook to learn more about the partnership and how this dynamic team raises funds through the year.
View the 2013 Annual Report here.