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April 6, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
April 6, 2011

i have been part of the UN Committee of VGIF and am deeply impressed with the membership of the organization, their commitment to the idea of working with small womens groups in countries worldwide. The members are well organized, informed and very responsible to the'strategies, meeting schedules and being informed about the issues that are important within womens voices at the UN. They are rare in that their commitment is to their grantees and not to the NGO politics at the UN. It is a very hard working organization.

The Great!

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

several countries worldwide

Ways to make it better...

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

Try to encourage more promotion about its work.

March 31, 2011

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March 31, 2011

I began my VGIF work experience almost 20 years ago starting as Grants Secretary and moving up to my current position as the Executive Director. I have been continually inspired by the committed volunteer Board and leadership that carry out the mission of VGIF to provide small grants for grassroots projects to empower women and girls around the world. Grants, typically in the amount of $5,000, annually go to projects created, designed, and implemented by women-led organizations in developing countries based on local need. The direct way in which VGIF supports a variety of projects, often in rural areas, provides compelling and inspiring stories of women’s empowerment through initiatives in literacy, income generation, improved maternal and reproductive health rights, and addressing issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, FGM, domestic violence, and trafficking. The amazing dedication and hard work of these women leaders in the face of significant challenges makes the positive impact of these small grants all the more impressive in uplifting and improving the lives of women, their families, and the larger community.

The Great!

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

my work as a member of the VGIF staff

Ways to make it better...

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

try to help increase the visibility and name recognition of VGIF in order to expand our membership and increase contributions and the number of projects VGIF is able to fund.

March 31, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 31, 2011

We are grateful to Virginia Gildersleeve International for the financial support extended to PeerLink Initiative Uganda (PELI-U) in implementing Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Health/HIV/AIDS Education for rural girls’ project. Through this project we have sensitized 288 primary school pupils, 316 secondary school students, 40 community leaders and 40 parents. We have trained 16 Peer Helpers and 13 teachers and equipped them with skills to handle sexual reproductive health and teenage pregnancy related challenges. The participating youth are more confident and openly discuss challenges they face, stakeholders acknowledge their role in reducing teenage pregnancy incidences. We have also learnt that teenage pregnancy prevention calls for collective responsibility by all community stakeholders.

The Great!

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

Virginia Gildersleeve International staff has kept into constant touch with the project implementation team during the implementation process. We commend them for the constant guidance through provision of relevant guidelines. The organization’s commitment to improving the lives of the women and girl child is highlighted by this effort to address one of the great challenges facing teenagers a major cause of school dropout.

Ways to make it better...

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

Facilitate the organization to support and empower more girls/women.

March 31, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 31, 2011

VGIF is an international organization serving women and children by supporting small grants in developing countries. Funding at the grassroots level affords smaller organizations in need an opportunity to be financially supported.

I work with current and former grantees and see the large
impact small grants have on projects every day. The beauty of VGIF is that we fund based on local need and no two projects are alike. Recently we were sent a video documentation on the impact of a project we funded in Uganda. It was amazing to watch that with a small grant they were able to teach women how to properly care for and breed pigs and use pig manure as organic fertilizer to enhance their vegetable gardens. Every small grant impacts in a large way.

The Great!

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

employment

Ways to make it better...

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

expand our capacity on the ground level

March 30, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 30, 2011

The vision of this organization's founders is realized every year through strategic grant making to programs and projects of NGO's which focus on women and their families in developing economies around the globe.

From literacy programs to job training, funding for community ovens to
empowering women in community and regional leadership, maternal health initiatives to training women entrepreneurs, the grants of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fun make a remarkable change in the lives of women, their families and the community in which they live.

This unique Fund grows annually due to the support of its donors and the wise and thoughtful stewardship of its staff and volunteer leadership for every donor dollar.

The Great!

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

Over the years I have met with grant recipients. I learned from each of them about the significance of their grant and the impact on the lives of women and their families.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would launch a campaign to increase awareness of the organization and the impact of its annual grants program.

More feedback...

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

How did you learn about this organization?

I was introduced to the organization by a friend - we had met through another NGO.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 30, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 30, 2011

I've been a previewer reader for the grants for VGIF and have been very impressed how women in countries as Uganda, Georgia and Pakistan can envision and create a project to completion using little money but a belief in the enpowerment of women.

The Great!

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

Reading the evaluations of the completed projects.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would look for outside funding so more projects might be funded.

March 29, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 29, 2011

Over the more than 30 years that I have participated in this organization as a volunteer I have seen its capacity increase exponentially and the amount of grants awarded increased likewise. Generous bequests have allowed the organization to expand it's leadership from all volunteer to one full time and one part time employee. Leadership in this international organization comes from all over the world, and board members serve at their own expense - a substantial commitment. Grants focus on the needs of women and girls in emerging economies, with each project including some educational component to provide leadership training in the area of focus. These grants have been in the areas of economic development, education, health, women's rights, family law, and others. Active attention to strategic planning keeps VGIF leadership attuned to ways of improving its effectiveness in realizing its mission.

The Great!

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

meeting persons who have participated in the projects and realizing the value VGIF has provided.

Ways to make it better...

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

somehow enlarge its membership.

March 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 22, 2011

Asociación Alforjas is very grateful to VGIF because thanks to the grant we have been able to develop a project to give support to original weavers from Argentina.

This project gave artisans the possibility to have access to better quality raw material, more equipment as well as improve
marketing strategies thus, enhancing their works quality and making their activity known.

Asociación Alforjas has found in VGIF clever interpreters capable to understand the problematic stated and with ability to make comments and suggestions which have been very useful to us.

The Great!

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

In our experience, we proved that the assistance given to the project helps to improve life quality and selfesteem of women involved.

Ways to make it better...

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

We consider that VGIF deserves to be supported in their efficient as well as transparent job.

March 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 20, 2011

In 2009 I began reading 35 grant proposals for up to $5000 for very concrete measurable and useful projects mainly to benefit women and girls in the developing world. After being a preliminary reader for two years I am now on the Project Grants Committee which selects the projects chosen to be funded. Each of more than 300 applications is read by from 3 - 6 readers until there are about 40 finalists, from which nearly 30 projects are selected to fund each year since 1986, The tiny staff (2-3 people) manages the grants, the reporting, the site visits and the evaluations. All of the large number of Board members are volunteers. Projects such as learning to raise chickens or sheep or fruits or grains involve beneficiaries teaching others. Some transform village life and some grants save lives through educating about women's/girls rights and educating about HIV/AIDS. Many of the recipients over the years have applied from African and Indian countries, often hearing about VGIF by word of mouth. GuideStar has referred many of applicants to VGIF. People in Latin America and Asia are just beginning to hear about VGIF.

The Great!

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

serving on the Board of Directors for 3 years

Ways to make it better...

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

Try to find a way to provide more grants per year.

March 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 16, 2011

I am a volunteer, donor and Board member of what I consider one of the best run organizations based in the US. In its 40-year history VGIF has given over $1 million US dollars to projects empowering women and girls in developing countries -- all from large and small donations given by ordinary ciizens. It is quite an accomplishment.

I am impressed to see how small sums of $5000 can make a difference in women's lives. Most of the projects help women and girls to learn how to help themselves in a world that is not always receptive to them. When I hear and see the successes created by these small grants I know my enery is in the right place!

The Great!

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

I met one of our site managers who we invited to come to the UN for the Commission on the Status of Women's 55th session, dealing with women in technology. She brought girls and their teachers to Suva (Fiji) three times to help eliminate the three times. Her impact has changed the face of the University student body to include many more girls in these fields and raised their expectations of their futures. If all our projects are as successful we have achieved a lot.

Ways to make it better...

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

Add more staff to make more things possible.

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