Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund

6,643 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, International Human Rights, Microfinance, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: VGIF is an international women’s fund based in the United States and governed by an international Board of Directors. We provide grants globally to fund locally generated projects that advance the rights of women and girls; projects that help improve the lives of women and girls by advancing women’s rights and social justice.

Results: From 1970 through 2014, VGIF invested in more than 515 projects, reaching more than 231,500 women and girls and 353,000 people overall.

Programs: Grantmaking program - see schedule ovgif supports women-led grassroots projects around the world - projects that advance the rights of women and girls in a number of topic areas. Since its founding in 1969, vgif has funded more than 515 projects, in 93 countries, focusing on a broad range of issues; from education and health, to economic empowerment and human rights. Vgif believes that women are the only ones equipped to empower themselves and they know best what will help improve and enrich lives in their own communities. Vgif does not restrict its funding based on topic area. Instead, its broad range of grantmaking reflects the shifting needs and priorities of grantees working at the grassroots level in many countries and regions across the globe. Vgif is currently building the capacity to expand its grantmaking in order to significantly increase its impact on women and girls around the globe.

un program - see schedule oto complement and enhance its grantmaking efforts vgif engages in discussion at the united nations through its consultative status with ecosoc (un's economic and social council) and its membership in un-related groups. By gathering data and reports from its grantees, and by surveying groups of grantees, vgif is able to include a grassroots perspective in statements to the un and in meetings that vgif arranges under the auspices of the un. With an active un committee and volunteer representatives to the un, vgif is able to maximize the outcomes of this program while using a limited amount of resources. Through reports from these un representatives vgif is able to inform grantees and donors about un discussion, decision, and policies relevant to vgif's focus and goals.

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Margaret8

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Marilyn F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1 Karen71

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Sharon O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 Houri G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

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

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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