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50 Reviews
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May 26, 2013

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May 26, 2013

The members of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) pride themselves on over 45 years of support for women and girls. While many of the groups receiving funding are involved in education, health and income generating grants are also awarded. Reviewers check references very carefully and grantees must have recieved some local support before receiving VGIF funding. The Fund also make a major effort to have a member or associate visit the sites of the fund grants whether they be in Asia, Africa or South America.

VGIF is truly a magnificent example of women helping women. Members are very devoted to the work of the Fund and come from several different countries. Their philantropic skills and enthusiasm have always impressed me.

Ways to make it better...

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

help the members of VGIF recruit more donor/members from outside North America.

More feedback...

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

Likely

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

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 25, 2013

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1 previous review
March 15, 2011

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... more

May 25, 2013

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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 15, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

May 25, 2013

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May 25, 2013

I have been impressed by the dedication and seriousness of the members of this organization in its efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of women in difficult circumstances. I have had occasion to visit some of the grant recipients and seen the results of their work first hand, and been most favorably impressed by what a modest helping hand can do in support of their efforts.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 24, 2013

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2 previous reviews - show all
May 15, 2012

The VGiF specializes in giving small grants to women's grassroots organizations in developing nations. The members of the board are hardworking individuals, very devoted to providing aid for women's g... more

May 24, 2013

VGIF provides grants for projects to improve the lives of women and girls in developing countries. I have traveled to India, Nepal, and Rwanda where I observed the positive effects these small grants are having on the lives of women.

Ways to make it better...

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

VGIF needs more member/donors to increase its good work.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 15, 2012

The VGiF specializes in giving small grants to women's grassroots organizations in developing nations. The members of the board are hardworking individuals, very devoted to providing aid for women's groups to work on projects which they have designed and which they lead.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 16, 2011

As a board member and committee member over several years, I have seen how the Virginia Gildersleeve is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children around the globe.
Several years ago I traveled to Ecuador with a friend. She introduced me to a group of women doctors who were
setting up educational health services and training programs for young women in Quito. They needed funding, and I suggested they apply for a VGIF grant. It was exciting to see that their grant received funding, and these very dedicated doctors were able to carry out the good work they had planned.
I was also able to visit grant recipients and hear their stories in Nepal and India. Watching children studying in a school in Kolkata, which VGIF helped to build, was heartwarming. In Nepal, the Nepalese Women's Association invited us to their meeting place to hear how VGIF grants enabled projects in farflung villages. Meeting grant recipients adds a unique dimension to the reports filed to update VGIF on projects in process.

Photos

The Great!

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

Meeting and talking with grant recipients in a variety of countries encourages me to help spread the word of the good work of VGIF. Telling others about the projects, and showing slides of some of the projects generates enthusiasm in others to help with the VGIF mission.

Ways to make it better...

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

Encourage more donor/members! VGIF has members from around the world, but more countries should be represented. Similarly, there are many underserved countries who could learn about the grants available, in order to apply for help in their projects to aid the lives of women and children.

May 24, 2013

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May 24, 2013

As a member of the Board for the last two years, I have been able to see first hand how the funds we are able to disperse have helped women in countries and communities where they have had little opportunity to use their skills to assist their family financially. These funds have also been used to educate women to take leadership roles in their ommunities on issues related to health and the well being of their children.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 17, 2012

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1 previous review
March 19, 2011

I recently joined VGIF and had the privlege this year of reading grant proposals. This review opportunity gave me a first hand experience of the need for funding to enable opportunities for small gr... more

May 17, 2012

I am honored to be a Board member of VGIF an organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in under developed countries. This year we will be giving thirty some grants to enable women to support themselves in small vilages in countries like Africa and India. For instance they will be able to purchase goats, a cow or sewing machines which will enable them to be self suporting and to pass on new skills to their children..

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 19, 2011

I recently joined VGIF and had the privlege this year of reading grant proposals. This review opportunity gave me a first hand experience of the need for funding to enable opportunities for small groups of women to get a chance to learns skills to enhance their chance for financial independence and to find avenues to sell their products.
I have been impressed with the mission, leadership and accomplishments of this organization.

The Great!

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

N/A

Ways to make it better...

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

N/A

May 11, 2012

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May 11, 2012

Before I became a Board member, I was a donor. I have always believed in the mission and work of VGIF - providing grants to grassroots projects created and run by women. These grants offer opportunities for women's empowerment, chances for girls to have a different life and community transformation. The project areas in which VGIF funds, are so varied and the locations are across the globe. I know that by being a member of VGIF, I am making a difference in the world today.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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

more

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.

May 11, 2012

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1 previous review
March 9, 2011

For the past six years I have served on the Project Grants Committee of VGIF which has given me the opportunity to read proposals for VGIF funding from women in the developing world. I particulary ap... more

May 11, 2012

I served on the VGIF Board for six years--for three of those years as Convener (chair) of the Project Grants Committee. In that role I had the opportunity of seeing all of the proposals that came to the VGIF. It was inspiring to discover how women around the world are shaping their own destinies and how a small grant can make a big difference in the lives of women in the developing world. I believe that the work of VGIF is important and deserves support from women throughout the "developed" world.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 9, 2011

For the past six years I have served on the Project Grants Committee of VGIF which has given me the opportunity to read proposals for VGIF funding from women in the developing world. I particulary appreciate learning about the issues that women confront in seeking to improve their own lives, their families' well-being and their communities. Although VGIF grants are small, they can have significant impact on women's empowerment.

The Great!

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

reading the feedback from onsite visitors and the reports that grantees make.

Ways to make it better...

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

offer more workshops for potential applicants to enhance their grant writing skills.

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