Someone once stated that "every vision needs visionaries who are willing to accomplish the cause". The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund has been the major supporter of our work for women and girls with and without disabilities. Through their support, the blind have access to computer training, women and girls are acquiring generating income, saving money, households and communities are living improved lives.
The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund has enabled us train and empower over 2,000 women and girls as direct beneficiaries of our vocational skills acquisition program.
Every donation made to The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund open doors for small grass root organizations less likely to receive funding and empowers the most marginalized and vulnerable, creating positive change one community at a time.
The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund is a vision builder. Since 2013, VGIF has contributed immensely to the development of vulnerable women and girls in Cross River State, Nigeria.
With VGIF's support, we have been able to train over 1000 women and girls in various vocational skills . Not only have numerous households been empowered but the outcomes of our VGIF assisted projects has changed the focus of some community based organizations in our area from the provision of welfare packages to household economic strengthening.
Our Better Life Opportunity for Women and Girls Project with support from VGIF is set to train another 1000 women and girls with the goal of increasing their employment opportunities and earning power.
It was quite difficult getting funding to support women with disabilities but VGIF helped to open doors for these women.
Every donation made to VGIF is touching the lives of women and girls , restoring dignity and hope, and securing the future for girls and their families.
I currently serve as the Convener of the Development Committee. In that role we seek out support from the public. Once people get personally involved with VGIF, they are committed for every. The building of our major gifts program and planned giving program has expanded greatly because of the generosity of those who have gotten personally involved.
The stories of our grantees are incredible. With small grants we have so much impact for women and girls. Our assistance and monitoring of our funding continues to improve so the donor can be assured it is being used for a great casue.
Wonderful nonprofit that fills an important niche in funding for girls and women around the globe. They carefully select and fund grants initiated by grassroots groups in country with female leadership. Small grants - local action- powerful changes.
I have interned for this non profit for w while and the work they do is absolutely amazing. VGIF seeks to ensure women in all regions of the world have the same oppurtunities regardless of circumstances. It's inspiring to see how many were affected by their work and the difference they have made
We seek to fund women-led local organizations around the globe who are marginalized, for whatever reason, by their society. What excites us most is to give a voice to those women and girls who have never been given an opportunity to be heard. It is amazing what can happen when women unite together to change their societies. Our grantees not only have started businesses that enable them to feed their children and send them to school, but also change attitudes about the roles women can play in their communities. In Rwanda, our women beekeeping project demonstrated that not only can women raise bees (traditionally forbidden to women), male beekeepers can learn something from their female peers about best practices. We have many examples of women successfully shifting the paradigm in their community. We are now working hard to evaluate more carefully the successes of our grantees so we can tell their stories but also to increase our grant making to offer more opportunities to more women and girls around the globe.
This incredible organization takes a different approach from so many others that look to address the problem from the top-down - instead, VGIF looks to empower women at the grassroots level by listening to what they need and taking into consideration grant applications from all over the world for different needs. I've seen firsthand the thought and effort that the board members put into the grant application process, where all the applications are taken very seriously regardless of whether the request is money for a guinea pig farm or basket weaving co-op or building desks for a rural-area girls school. All the staff, donors, and board members are believers in this important cause and are truly cognizant of the need for women to speak to the organization themselves in their own words.
I learned about this organization through some of the stories about their projects. This organization gives great attention to detail, seeks to empower women and insists on grassroots involvement. One of their questions to grantees is always"how many people will your project help?" If you like to see an organization that helps women, reaches the poorest of the poor, and engages in activities aimed at improving human rights, this is the outfit for you.
I became aware of this wonderful organization many years ago when one of their spokeswomen told my group about their work and how they help women in creative and positive ways - they are dedicated and inspiring in the work that they do
As a Board Member for several years, I have seen the due diligence that goes into determining how the donations are spent. A tremendous amount of time and effort goes into the grant making that is done each year. I feel confident that the organization's resources are being well spent. I am very proud to be a supporter of this organization's work.
VGIF is an international women's fund for women and girls. They provide small grants up to $7,500 US to organizations working in developing countries, funding projects that range from bringing fresh water to villages, helping women start small businesses and become financially independent, providing legal education on property rights and improving girls' chances to attend school. Even small amounts can lead to tremendous change, so it's an amazing organization where you know your donation has a real impact. I have been involved for the past 15 years, serving on committees and as a board member,
As a long-time member of this organization, I feel that my money is well-spent. The small grants (under $7500) go a long way to help women to economic independence and girls to obtain an education. Women are oppressed in so many parts of the world, and this money helps to alleviate some of that. It is very gratifying to be part of an organization that has such an impact throughout the world.
I've listened to first hand testimonials of the changes and accomplishments women based organizations have made through VGIF's grants. An inspiring and dedicated organization it is.
I work for VGIF as a Monitoring and Evaluation consultant. VGIF's work with small, grassroots women's organizations is unique among women's funds. The combination of a critically engaged commitment to women's issues and intimate relationships between grantees and VGIF staff, ensures a mutual learning process between donor and grantees that is rare in the development world. VGIF, it's staff and its board understand that the true motor of change lies with the women's organizations they fund, not with the the foundations that fund them!
I have been a supporter of VGIF for nearly 5 years and can attest to the organization's commitment to mproving the lives of women worldwide. The organization provides significant financial support to grassroots organizations that work towards empowering women and improving the livelihoods of communities. The staff is very passionate and knowledgeable about women's rights and the board is deeply dedicated to the mission of VGIF.
VGIF is truly one of the greatest non profits I've had the pleasure of working with. The staff is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable about women's issues, international development and the intersection between the two. The staff takes a lot of care in choosing and funding sustainable, community based projects that are helping bring this world closer to gender equality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Congratulations VGIF for the amazing work that you do for the rights of indigenous women in Mindanao, Philippines!
What a great honor and pleasure to have had a chance to volunteer with VGIF! VGIF is one example of a great international nonprofit that supports grass-root women projects all over the world with small grants that make a big impact. "Collectively like Ants, every small contribution counts".. as we continue to build a better world". Great non profits like VGIF has proved this approach. Thank you VGIF.
Eunice Nyaga. NY.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know VGIF through our supported project of gender equality and women empowerment. I have come to appreciate that VGIF is the best women fund in the world, They are always in contact with their grantees to know how the projects are moving,They always offer suportive advise when called upon, and above all they understand the different problems their memebrs are going through and always find a way to solve them.
Their love for women is just wonderful, you can always count on VGIF and its team when you need anyhelp.
We are really grateful of the work being done.
I believe that VGIF has always made this quotation true "No one is too rich ,not to receive anything and no one is too poor,not to give out something."
The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund was created by women from all over the world to support women and girls through both economic development, social justice and education grants. Coming up on 45 years of giving, the work of the foundation has been lead by volunteers for the majority of that time. I have had the opportunity to be one of those volunteers who has chaired the grants committee and am now the convener of the development committee. I first became involved because someone asked me personally nearly 30 years ago.
We wish every donor could be directly involved as it is reading the grant applications or visiting the sites that touches one heart.
We have always been about making a difference for women and girls.
VGIF supporting projects which improve women’s condition and help women’s organization around the world to solve problems which is crucial for their society. One of such organization Women’s Center ( www.womancenter.org.ge )from country Georgia which from 1996 works on the protection of women’s rights
We would like to appreciate greatly VGIF’s multi-year support in the development and introduction of the program. . Thanks to VGIF, health care providers of our country has been involved in the work of solution of the problem of domestic violence and trafficking.
The support of VGIF we were able to provide better assistance and rehabilitation of the victims of domestic violence. We created a new course of special program for licensing and re-certification of health care providers”. We develop and implement trafficking prevention program in IDP’ camps .We begin work on awareness on the phenomenon of human trafficking among the schoolchildren and IDP community. Involved journalists on trafficking awareness “Establish coordination among community, NGO and governmental representatives. Beneficiaries were more than 1,000 people helping to address the issue of trafficking and advocating for change in IDP camps
Also I want pay your attention on the contribution of VGIF on ,promotion gender equality and legal rights of minority women ,law and legal reform in country Establishment of Consulting Center with hot-line, judicial consultation was fundamental for building the national minority women legal right protection system
It was our please to work with this organization , they have high qualification staff which in reality understand problem which is special in each country
I urge all of your support VGIF to strong their activities through increasing donations as their work fundamental stone for building gender equality society and peace full world
VGIF is supporting projects which improve women’s condition and help women’s organizations to solve problems which are crucial for their society.
Women’s Center ( www.womancenter.org.ge) is one of such organizations which VGIF funded for implementation of projects on GBV in Georgia. It gave us possibility to protect women’s rights and health through raising awareness on GBV among university students , creating network, preparing community educators, training health care professionals on yearly reveal cases, implementing screening of pregnant women on domestic violence, which contribute in the rehabilitation of national health system
It was our please to work with this organization. They have highly qualified staff who in reality understand problem which is specific to each country. Unfortunately VGIF can give small grants which are not enough for implementation of projects independently and always we are looking for other donor which cover salaries, office expenses and etc.
I kindly ask US philanthropy community to support VGIF in increasing donations as their marvelous work has direct impact on women’s organization in the world.
Review from Guidestar
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I first became aware of this organization through several friends who are on the board. Although I am not active like they are, I am amazed at how many people have benefited from all over the world. Their micro loans have gone to so many women to so many countries and the long term results coming just from an initial loan are fantastic. This is not money going down the drain. This is start up money for successful long term businesses.
Virginia Gildersleeve helps many women across the globe. I wish to inform others about this organisation as it empowers many women across the globe., and I thank them very much as I am a member of Virginia gildersleeve, and I recommend others to join this very powerful organisation which helps women. I have volunteered my services in Sri Lanka.
Review from JustGive
Absolutely courageous women changing the fate of other women around the world for the better!
The virginis Gilldersleeve International Fund (Vgif) is a powerful force for change in the status of women and children through its activities which have impacted communities and brought smiles to faces, hope and changed lives through its humanitarian activities. It also provides privileged voluntary opportunities of service for those who have a passion for humanity and cannot get a chance to give back to society in their little ways. As a volunteer I came across people who vgif has funded to improve the lives of; street girls, girls in communities where FGM is practised as a cultural activity, widows, orphans and vulnarable children, small businesses and land rights. Through visits to these communities I came across faces of gratitude and love because vgif had revived their shattered dreams after some of their horrifying experiences among them the post election violence victims in Kenya. These women groups found hope and comfort in each other through their activities. I commend vgif for making a difference and being a light in the world with members who have hearts that are willing to serve. They need support in their tireless fundraising efforts to get donations from would be supporters to help them keep community projects running and sustainable.
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..
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.
Review from Guidestar
The Virginia Gildersleeve International has been in the forefront in giving grants to help people particularly in the grassroots. The organisation also does all in its powers to make sure that the grassroots actually do benefit from the grants. I have had to be involved in contacting people even in war torn areas for the assessment of such projects.
As a long-time member of and donator to the Virginia Gildersleeve, I am a strong supporter of their goals to improve Women's lives throughout the world - solutions, not short-term remedies.
VGI empowers women by providiing them with the start-up money to become self-sufficient (micro-loans). It is a formula that has been very sucessful around the world in making women and their families stronger and healthier. I was given a membership several years ago, and became interested in their work. They send women to their projects all over the world to mentor and monitor them. Their newsletter is very informative, describing the varous projects they support. As a woman, I am proud to support VGI and its important work to raise the status of women, particularly in developing countries.
VGIF has helped me over the years by giving me confidence and encouragement to do the work, I'm doing in Sri Lanka. Since the tsunami of 2004 I have organized women at Hikkhaduwa, Dodanduwa to get their livelihoods on tract. Thay lost everything in the tsunami. Firstly, I had to help by making sure the families had food & water and medical care as most women and children were hit by the debris. Most of the houses in this are were intact but there was nothing inside the house as it got washed away. It wa sto the VGIF that I looked for my strength.These village people are fishermen and women. They catch fish or they sell it. My husband and I were holidaying in Sri lanka when the tsunami hit. With help from our family and friends in Western Australia we were able to get most of the fishing boats fixed very quickly as that was an important livelihood for that area. We then concentrated on the women as some of them lost their husbands , children in the tsunami. We supplied sewing machines, material for sewing, crochet thread, so that women can continue their crocheting and sell them to shops in the area as well as sell them at Colombo.We bought fridges, cook tops, for the women who had a shop and sold food as their livelihood. Most of all we gave them hope for the future by building a pre School for children. We had to rent a house at first, then we built a pre school on borrowed land. Now we have started building a Pre-School for the children of Galle, on the land that we have bought. We have3 trained teachers and 1 cook as we give these children a cup of milk when they arrive and give them lunch before they leave, as this will be their only meal sometimes. The Graduate Women of WA, gave a scholarship to the head teacher of the Pre school to follow a pre-school course here in Perth. She has finished it and gone back with new ideas she can do at the pre school. We had 4 teachers coming from Papua NewGuinea for the course as well. I managed to Promote VGIF at these functions by talking about the great work done by them in Asia as well as south America and other countries. I also had pamphlets about the VGIF which I had collected when I went for the IFUW conference in Mexico city. I learnt about the VGIF a lot as I saw videos about the work they do. We get help from St. Michael's Mt.Pleasant Perth, as the people drop a few coins into a bowl every week. Once a month we send this money to pay the salaries of the teachers. I organised a fund raising Sri Lankan Banquet recently catering for 110 people. We made $AUD 4,500 that night which we shared between Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka Pre Schools. Please carry on the wonderful work you do all over the world. VGIF is a great inspiration to all of us who struggle to find donations.
I served on the Board in the 1990's and saw first hand wgat a wondeful job Virginia Gildersleeve does in empowering women in the world. It helps women to establish businesses where this would otherwise be impossible . It has its donors women from many countries who help to keep an eye out for those who need our help. I have continued since my time on the Board to dupport the VGIF with contributions and voting by proxy at the annual meeting.
VGIF has helped many women attend and benefit from international conferences where they have shared experiences and learned from their colleagues. My experience of this was in helping IFUW organise its 2007 conference where a number of women were only able to join us because of the generosity of VGIF in providing travel grants. Their inclusion provided inspiration not only for them on returning to their own countries but also to the rest of us - we would have been the poorer for not meeting them all!
I have been a member of the Non Profits Organization, the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, a Project Grant funding body based in New York, with members across the globe, who volunteer their time and services towards its vision and mission, to empower women in the grassroots section of society, underprivileged, victims of conflict zones, disease and poverty. Applications for grants start coming in through the post or through our website from the month of May until end August. The two tier system both in the application, and reading/reviewing the grant applications is spread thereafter until the end of March the next year.With our funds not exceeding 150,000 dollars for disbursement, we are not a huge grant providing organization, but the $7500 we give at the maximum to any of the grantees provides the kick start for the women-based organization get going into programs towards literacy and computer education, providing water and toilets for girls in schools, animal husbandry, kitchen gardens, skill learning for self employment for teenage girls, empowering women through knowing their legal rights in countries where patriarchal laws deny them rights towards inheritance or maintenance after divorce although their government's conbstitution would have these rights in the llaw courts. Ignorance proves to be a great stumbling block for women in several developing countries across the world.For the Grant Readers which I was for several early years at VGIF, it was a self-education for myself, getting to know the plight of women in countries of which I knew very little inspite of various advanced degrees at the University.Reading over a 100 applications is a long and slow process , very intense in concentration is required to do justice to each application, and then when your work is done and you post your reviews, you wait anxiously to await the Board's final verdict after a marathon 3 days of discussions at the AGM in April in New York.I have travelled from India to New York to be present at these Project Grants Committees Review sessions when the reading from several members from across the world is assessed for its value, and taken seriously for a Yes or No.The satisfaction on the final day of the Board meeting when the final 20 or so Grants make the Grade to receive the Funds is one of great satisfaction, when over the years one's grading and reviewing also mproves in its quality, and you find more and more of your own selected applicants having received the Final Grant money that will give them the power to improve their lives towards a better future. Monitoring the grantees over the years through Site visits by VGIF members who are travelling through that region gives us the Feed back to our own insight of having chosen a deserving group of women who just need that slight help forwards to give them an edge to a better dignity in life.For the VGIF member nothing could give greater satisfaction than that little information that in some corner of the world women and children are doing well through their reading and approving a Grant Application. VIVA VGIF!!
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.
I believe very strongly in women helping women achieve their greatest potential. The Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund does this by giving grants to projects which reflect the needs of women to learn and to provide for their families. Most important is the fact that these projects use the talent and resources available to women to also help other women and families. The projects have assisted in improving health, increasing family income and in providing education in the most needy of situations. Projects submitted for a grant are carefully screened to assist those most greatly needed and that have the greatest potential to achieve their goals. Increased funding will help to benefit even more women.
VGIF gives grants directly to women learning new skills and trying for the first time to support themselves and their families often in very rural and dire circumstances worldwide. All money raised goes directly to these women. I can think of no better way to improve women's lives across the world than to empower them in this way with knowledge and ability. Their newsletters show the work that is being done and give updates on past recipients. I willingly contribute every year.
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.
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.
Review from Guidestar
For several years I edited their newsletter. I was VERY impressed with how much good can be done in small villages with very small amounts of money! VG helps women improve the standard of living for their families - and often for their entire village.
I have traveled all over the world and seen how difficult life is for women in third world countries or even in highly developed countries. VGIF provides small grants that help to change women's lives for the better. I think that making things better for women is the catalyst for improving life for everyone. I strongly support the work the organization is doing.
This org. empowers women all over the world -IT's part of the AMerican Assn. of University Women whose mission is to strengthen the prospects for women and girls thru education, civil rights and advocacy.I have been a donor and supporter for many years.
I became aware of VGIF through UN over a year ago. First I met their UN representative Leslie Wright who is as passionate as she informed on women's rights and how to go about empowering them. Then I met Executive Director Fay Kittelson at some UN panel where I learned how much effort and time VGIF puts in to train and help non-profits apply and get funding needed. I applaud their commitment in helping advance women's causes. Keep up your great work!
I have noted the live-changing work of VGIF for nearly 10 years. They are very consistent and dedicated to their mission of changing the lives of destitute, but determined to succeed, women and children. Consistency in vision and mission are factors that make a charitable organization stand out and VGIF has over-delivered on this and continues to do so.
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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!
Review from Guidestar
VGIF is a renowned non-profit organization majoring in supporting girl child and women's issues. I was introduced to VGIF by the IFUW (www.ifuw.org) in the late nineties. In the early 2000s, my organization, Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW), Ikeja Branch applied for a grant and we were awarded $5,000 to empower teenagers. This grant turned out to be life saving because of the skills our teenagers received which impacted their career goals. I now serve as a grant pre- reviewer for VGIF. I highly recommend VGIF to philanthropists, this is a good place to impact the world.
Review from Guidestar
I recently became acquainted with the the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund when I volunteered to help with preliminary review of applications for VGIF funds. The organization deals exclusively with proposals that will benefit women and girls experiencing deprivation. Because their grants are small compared to those of some organizations, they reach underserved populations with few avenues to better themselves. I read requests for such things as funds to buy bunk beds for a girls school in Kenya, so that girls who lived too far from the school could board during the week, and a request for funds to buy a modest grain mill so women could process wheat for added value on the market. Many of the requests came from groups supporting AIDS orphans. Each request was accompanied by an implementation plan. As I came to know VGIF, I appreciated the fact that they address specific problems in a concrete way. Their follow-up assures me that the funds they provide go to the intended work and don't get siphoned off into someone's pocket. More power to them!
Review from Guidestar