For Grantseekers

VGIF provides small grants up to $7,500 USD to projects that are led by women and that help empower women and girls, in grassroots communities around the globe. Funding for our project grants come from our members’ donations and bequests, and from our investment income. Over the years, VGIF has set up several board-designated funds to address specific challenges faced by women and girls. For more details, see VGIF Funds.

Empowering women to make a difference in their lives and communities is helping to change the world. To this end, VGIF has funded over 515 projects in 93 countries since 1969.
See all past grants

Project Spotlight: Uganda
Katosi Women Development Trust
Economic Development, Food Security, Agriculture


VGIF supports organizations in developing countries, including the emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, with projects addressing issues such as:

Economic empowerment
Community development
Health and nutritional support
Literacy and leadership training
Educational seminars and workshops
Promoting education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for girls
Women's human rights

VGIF funds organizations that are governed and directed by women. A majority of the organization's leadership must be women, including the role of Project Director. Men and boys can participate in the project, however, women and girls should make up at least 60% of the project's participant/beneficiary group.

VGIF does NOT support any of the following:

Individual scholarships and tuition
The purchase of land
Political organizations, political campaigns, or projects that aim to influence specific legislation
Religious groups, unless the proposed project contributes to the general good of the community
Organizations that discriminate against individuals or groups based on gender, age, race, caste, color, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation The purchase of airline tickets and related expenses for international travel

Other Restrictions and Guidelines:

VGIF will consider funding organizations located outside of the country where the project will be implemented only when all of the project staff, including the project director, are locally based. Participation in the project by an out-of-country organization should be limited to fundraising or financial support roles.

VGIF will not fund the construction of permanent buildings for personal or commercial use. However, construction of permanent structures that are necessary for the successful implementation of a project may be considered.

VGIF funds cannot be used to replace existing salaries of paid staff and/or board. VGIF will not fund budget line items listed as “salary.” Applications with “salary” in the proposed budget are not eligible for funding.

Stipends, honoraria, and fees for consultants or trainers may be considered by VGIF, as long as they are:
Necessary for the successful implementation of the project
Directly related to the project VGIF is funding

Examples of acceptable budget line items: Stipend for workshop instructor, honoraria for monitoring and evaluations officer, fee for trainer, facilitator fee.

Grant Process

The VGIF application cycle for grants to be awarded in April 2017 opened in June 2016. 

VGIF’s 2016 grantmaking schedule for one-year grants is:

June 6 – July 22, 2016
Letters of Intent (LOIs) accepted between June 6, 2016 and July 22, 2016
The LOI will close at midnight (New York time) the evening of July 22, 2016. Late submissions not accepted.
Sept. 9, 2016
VGIF Application opens. Approved LOIs are invited to submit full applications.
Oct. 14, 2016
Applications are due and review process begins.
Application will close at midnight (New York time) the evening of Oct. 14, 2016. Late submissions not accepted.
December 2016
Highest-ranked applications move to next round of review. All applicants receive notification on status of application.
April 2017
Board votes and selects new 2017 grantees.

This timeline was adjusted in August 2016 to reflect deadline changes.

Please note that VGIF receives far more applications than we are able to support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about our grant process.

You can contact us with further questions at Please make sure to read the information on our website first, as many answers to common questions are provided here.

Q. How can we get in touch with VGIF if we have a question?
A. You can contact us with questions regarding our grant process at: Please make sure you read the information provided on the website first as many answers to common questions are provided there.
Q. My organization seems to fit VGIF’s criteria. How do I apply for a grant?
A. VGIF has a two-step process for grant applications. The first step is the Letter of Intent (LOI). To submit an LOI, follow the “Apply” link on the VGIF website and create an account.
Q. How long are VGIF grants?
A. Most VGIF grants are for one year. A limited number of grants are available for multi-year projects. VGIF may invite successful one year grantees to submit a proposal for a three-year grant. Multi-year applications follow a separate process, and are by invitation only.
Q. Do we have to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to be considered for funding?
A. Yes. All interested applicants must complete this first step of the application process.
Q. Can I send VGIF my Letter of Intent (LOI) now?
A. No. The period to submit an LOI to VGIF is now closed. The next call for proposals will launch in June 2017.
Q. Can we submit more than one Letter Of Intent?
A. No. VGIF will only accept one Letter Of Intent per organization per funding year.
Q. When can I send my application to VGIF?
A. VGIF does not accept unsolicited applications. In order to be asked to submit an application you must first submit an LOI online (as described above.) If your LOI is approved VGIF will invite you to apply for funding.
Q. How long does the application process take?
A. The application process takes a year, from June to May.
Q. Can I submit my LOI or application in another language?
A. No. Currently, VGIF can only review application material written in English.
Q. How much funding can I request from VGIF?
A. The budget amount requested from VGIF must not exceed $7,500 USD.
Q. Must VGIF be a majority funder of the project?
A. Yes. VGIF funds must account for more than 50% of the proposed total project budget.
Q. Can I use VGIF funding for salaries?
A. VGIF funds cannot be used to replace existing salaries of paid staff and/or board. VGIF will not fund budget line items listed as “salary.” Applications with “salary” in the proposed budget are not eligible for funding. Stipends, honoraria, and fees for consultants or trainers may be considered by VGIF. Please see criteria for examples of acceptable budget line items.
Q. Can I use VGIF funding for operating or administrative costs?
A. VGIF will consider inclusion of an amount, not to exceed 10% of the total one-year grant, for operating expenses that are necessary for the implementation of the project. Multi-year grants may include up to 20% of each annual budget for administrative costs.
Q. Can I save my proposal and finish it at a later date?
A. Yes, however, you must save often and be sure to save all sections before logging out of your account. You may log in as many times as you need before the deadline.
Q. Can I access or edit my application once it has been submitted?
A. No. Once an application is submitted there is no way to access or edit it. Please save a copy of your completed application and keep it for your records. If there are changes that need to be made, such as changes in contact information, please email


The period to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to VGIF is currently closed. The next open call for LOI submissions will launch in June 2017.

The LOI is the first step in VGIF's application process. VGIF does not accept LOIs or applications by email or mail. If you have questions about VGIF's criteria, timeline, or application process, please contact