Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund

Rating: 4.79 stars   61 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, International, Women, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 11 Broadway Ste 510 New York NY 10004 USA

Mission: VGIF is an international women’s fund based in the United States and governed by an international Board of Directors. We support women-led grassroots projects in developing countries around the world; projects that help improve the lives of women and girls by advancing women’s rights and social justice.
Results: From 1970 through 2013, VGIF invested in more than 475 projects, reaching more than 215,000 women and girls and 324,000 people overall.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I got to know VGIF through my accounting firm. I went to their office regularly to complete monthly and year end closes. I also got to see how well the staff worked together to accomplish their goals. I also had the pleasure of attending the 45th Anniversary luncheon where I got to see the result of all that hard work in the office. They do a fantastic job helping women in developing countries, and I believe that will be the case for many years to come.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

VGIF is the premier institution committed to the advancement of international women-led grassroots organizations. Under the leadership of Elisabet Eklind, VGIF's dedicated staff all work from a place of passion, expertise, and sincerity. Supporting VGIF means that you are supporting thousands of women and their communities all over the world.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have had the chance to read dozens of the reports from VGIF grantees that attest to the incredible work that VGIF supports in countries across the globe. VGIF provides critical support to small organizations working to change communities and improve women's lives. Staff and Board Members show great respect for the organizations they support and a real commitment to women's empowerment and international development work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

For 45 years, VGIF has made careful and important grants that have changed the lives of women and their communities. The grants made by VGIF respond to the needs of the women as they see them, so the results are real for the grantees. The range of grants includes buying cows to support a community whose economy shifted when the fishing base was cut off, to providing providing business training for women marketing their goods to building a water system so that a school would have access to clean water for washing and drinking.
The Board of VGIF has worked hard to be true to its mission of supporting this work. The members and supporters of VGIF have helped make a real difference in the world.


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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a Board member of VGIF for almost six years. During that time, we have been through a significant number of changes with our office and our financial structure, but the Board and committee members have never lost the focus on our primary purpose, which is to provide funding for grassroots projects that change the lives of women and children. Our projects are exciting and fulfilling - and the funds do change lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help people understand why their donations are so important to the future of women everywhere.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Because of the continued support of donors, VGIF has been able to fund a variety of interesting and worthwhile grants over the last several years. These grants seem to be so small compared to broader needs, but they are focused on the communities from which they come. The programs that VGIF supports are well received and have a positive impact on the lives of women and children in the community. We are made aware of how important our support is to helping people in the way that will help them the most.
My eyeopening grant was one that supporting building a bathroom and wash area at a school in Cameroon. Every detail had been thought through so that lessons about hygiene, keeping costs down and providing further support to the larger community could be conveyed. It was not about the grant - it was about the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Board is more involved in increasing our visibility and in building our organization for the future.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

We need wider support from people who can give time and money for our grants. I hope we can expand our visibility so more people will know the good that is done through VGIF and help us with that work.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

In its 45 years of existence VGIF has helped many women in developing countries to develop themselves to be active, contributing members of their communities. Driven by the needs identified by the grassroots women themselves, VGIF's funds have brought many dreams to fruition. I cherish the years I have been involved as some of the most rewarding that I have spent. The organization has also given meaning to the contributions I have made, along with those of so many others. I encourage you to consider giving to it to make you donation of time and money worthwhile, as everything you give goes directly to the programs.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Past ED of VGIF wrote: In its 45th year of existence, VGIF continues to shine brightly in supporting women and girls around the world, mostly in rural areas, in the design and implementation of projects at the local level to improve their lives and that of their families and communities. Through a variety of projects that arise from the grass roots they are able to reach for their dreams in providing food security for their families, education for their children, and the increased self confidence to become leaders in their communities and agents of change on issues ranging from domestic violence to inheritance rights. The women project leaders are the real heroes and a constant source of inspiration to the VGIF family of leaders, volunteers, staff, and donors.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a member of VGIF for several years and a recently elected Board Member of VGIF, I can attest to the commitment of VGIF's staff, volunteers, and board to support grassroots organizations worldwide. After 45 years, the dedication of our volunteers has helped to sustain the mission of this organization. VGIF has illustrated that small grants really can make a difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide, and the support of our members is critical. Having the opportunity to meet project directors and learn how our support has impacted their communities is truly inspiring. Looking forward to the continued efforts made by VGIF's staff and volunteers as we continue to support local organizations that empower women and girls!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer leader in this organization for over 30 years and feel it both uniquely respectful of the constituency it serves, and generous in what it provides. VGIF has helped women and children all across the globe, seeking out the most under-served. It attempts to support a broad scope of projects: education, health, social justice, and entrepreneurship, to mention just a few. All projects are client generated and operated, and all seek to provide needed education to the project grantees so that their projects will become self-sustaining after VGIF's support is exhausted. VGIF's all volunteer board is comprised of supporters from many countries; all self-fund their participation in the biannual meetings held in New York City where the central office is located. VGIF regularly participates in the annual CFUW at the UN and regularly invites to its meetings UN visitors from the countries in which it has made grants. Generous annual gifts have allowed VGIF to fund upwards of 40 grants each year. A few years ago a substantial donation specifically aimed at providing the VGIF with support staff permitted the organization to hire a professional executive director and two office assistants. This has enabled the board to concentrate it's efforts toward meeting the other growth objectives of the organization's long range plan.

VGIF has a visionary past, and continues on that path through the efforts of both its devoted volunteer board, volunteer committees and skilled support staff.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Congratulations VGIF for the amazing work that you do for the rights of indigenous women in Mindanao, Philippines!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund is a vision builder, a voice for grassroots women who would have otherwise remained silent.
Someone once said that when a woman is given the tools she needs to succeed, she creates a ripple effect of positive change for herself, her family and society. Growing up with a physical disability; it has always been my desire to help less fortunate women and girls and VGIF made that dream come true. With their support, 200 women and girls with and without disabilities have been economically empowered through skills acquisition training in my community and we are still counting.
VGIF has greatly built our capacity as an organization and helped us establish credibility within and outside our community.
Thank you for giving these women the opportunity to be not just great caregivers but change makers, together "empowering women one community at a time"!

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