Ford Motor Company’s Thirty Under 30 program is an innovative philanthropic leadership course that matches young employees with nonprofits to address challenging social issues. Launched in 2016, the program is run by Ford Motor Company Fund as part of Executive Chairman Bill Ford’s vision to develop young employee leaders working to serve their communities. Each class is made up of 30 diverse Ford employees under the age of 30. These fellows are selected from hundreds of competitive applications across the United States and Canada.

Over the course of a year, they take time away from their jobs in engineering, finance, legal, manufacturing, purchasing, human resources, marketing, communications and IT departments to better understand how nonprofits operate, then work collaboratively to address major issues affecting people. The course introduces young employees to design thinking – an increasingly popular process incorporating various mindsets, tools and methods used to define and address complex problems.

The 30 fellows provide nonprofits with a different perspective on how to best engage new generations of donors and volunteers through technology, hands-on activities and other means.


The 2018 class of Thirty Under 30 worked on shelter issues, affordable housing and homelessness in Southeast Michigan and Ontario. In 2017, the fellows completed a deep dive into hunger and food insecurity issues, while the first 2016 class focused on basic needs and on developing strategies to better connect younger generations with nonprofits.


To learn about additional ways Ford Fund supports employee volunteering, click here.