About Us

Photo credit: Nicholas Raymond

We believe everyone has the right to a safe and secure future

For over 35 years Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective people and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.

Ground Zero, Hiroshima, Japan | Photo credit: Freedom II Andres

Our grantees, partners and community have made significant progress in cutting risks and reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles since their peak in the 1980s.

Together, we can finish the job. Together, we can put an end to one of the greatest threats to our planet—and to future generations.

Our impact today is greater than it's ever been – but enormous risks remain.

The Cold War is long over

But Its Nuclear Threats Live On

Did you know?

  • Al Qaeda and ISIS are actively seeking nuclear weapons and material.
  • A bomb with nuclear material the size of a grapefruit could instantly kill hundreds of thousands in a city like New York or London.
  • There are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons left on the planet; over 90% are in the US and Russia, with the remainder in China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
  • There have been more than a thousand accidents involving nuclear weapons in the US alone, the last known one in 2014.

Nuclear weapons do nothing to protect us from 21st century threats. Yet the US government is planning to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to rebuild our arsenal—plans that could push Russia, China and other countries to build even more nuclear weapons.

“Far from continuing the nuclear disarmament that has been underway for the last two decades, we are starting a new nuclear arms race.”
—William J. Perry, Former Secretary of Defense, November 2015

Ploughshares Fund's Unique Approach

Ploughshares Fund’s unique approach to grantmaking—crafted, tested and refined over the past 35 years—has delivered the best returns for peace and security time and again:

We act as the hub of a diverse network of thought leaders, innovators and campaigners, facilitating advocacy and media efforts to maximize the collective impact of our grantees’ work on nuclear threats.
Our own specialized team of media savvy experts and advocates brings widespread attention to the issues that matter to us – and to our grantees – influencing the national narrative on nuclear policy.
We take calculated risks, providing seed funding to explore uncharted strategies for reducing nuclear threats. This enables untapped innovative ideas and initiatives to take root, grow and thrive.

“I think most people have an inherent desire to make the world a better place. The question is how? How do you spend your time, how do you spend your money to be effective? That’s where Ploughshares came in for me.”
—Michael Douglas, actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace

“This is the moment when we have to move forward and all of us come together to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and eliminate them from the face of the earth.”

—Colin Powell, former Secretary of State & former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons is a huge task. It will require smart advocates, innovative approaches and some real credibility. That’s what Ploughshares Fund can bring to the table.”
Eric Schlosser, renowned author of the best-selling book on nuclear risks, Command and Control

“Ploughshares Fund is in a position to see nuclear weapons security from a strategic perspective and to direct attention and resources to the battle accordingly. This ability to discern what is going on, and when, is critical to the efficient deployment of time and money to advance the cause of nuclear arms elimination.”
—Valerie Plame, former covert CIA officer specializing in weapons of mass destruction

Outsized ability to effect change

Ploughshares Fund has:

Funded American and Soviet scientists who first demonstrated the feasibility of verifying a treaty banning nuclear weapon tests.
Stopped the development of controversial and unnecessary nuclear weapons technologies like the 'bunker buster' in the post-9/11 era.
Brought together 30 organizations in a campaign to win ratification of the New START Treaty, reducing US– and Russian–deployed strategic weapons.
Supported crucial diplomatic efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, including the historic 1996 treaty to ban all nuclear tests.

We recently ran a five-year, $12 million campaign to forge a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear crisis.

Our network of 85 organizations and 200 individuals—think tanks, media specialists, policy advocates, grassroots campaigners and many more—prevailed despite a fierce and well-financed opposition. The historic agreement of 2015 rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and prevented another war in the Middle East.

Our path forward is clear:

  • Defend the Iran Deal from those who would “rip it up.” We will make sure it is enforced so that Iran can’t build a bomb and the new, tough standards the agreement has created become the global norm.
  • Redouble our efforts on North Korea to contain its nuclear weapons program and prevent a new war on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Lead a coordinated effort to prevent a new nuclear arms race, blocking new nuclear weapons in our own country and working with our allies to freeze and cut nuclear arsenals in other nations.
  • Address the root causes of conflict in regions at risk of nuclear war, such as South Asia, where tensions remain high between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.
  • Expand our partnership with our fellow foundations in the bold, innovative effort, N Square, to foster cross-sector collaboration, ignite the public imagination and spark new ideas on how to eliminate nuclear threats. This joint enterprise with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Skoll Global Threats Fund is housed at Ploughshares Fund.

Together, we make a difference 

Only together can we rid the planet of nuclear threats. We can’t do it alone. Our supporters have been indispensable partners over the past 35 years. And as a public foundation, we’re accountable for every dollar spent in this effort. So please join us in making sure we are all safe from nuclear weapons today, tomorrow and for generations to come.


"Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more."
— Pope Francis, 2015