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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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 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
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 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
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
In November 2010 I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal and India where I met with grantees in Kathmandu and in Kolkata. We visited Project 5-O Calcutta, a project for which VGIF was the first funder in 1983. It continues to be a thriving community project where children are educated, mothers acquire literacy and vocational skills, and - with the latest project - families get in-door latrines. We also met with 2 project grantees from the south of India. In both cases, the initial VGIF grant has been multiplied - the women are generating incomes and are able to educate their children. VGIF is making a difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide through its micro-grants. It is a volunteer run organization, with just 2 paid employees and it gets its funds from a network of donors worldwide.