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.