Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am a past or current grantee, am I eligible to apply?
A. Yes, we welcome current and past partners who fit our new funding criteria and are located in one of our 5 focus countries (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, India). However, organizations who have received multi-year funding in the last three years are not eligible in the 2019 application cycle.
Q. My organization implements multiple programs that fit the thematic focus. Can we submit more than one application?
A. No, one application per organization please.
Q. My organization meets all the criteria but is not focused on Economic Empowerment. Is it still eligible?
A. VGIF’s current programmatic focus is on Economic Empowerment. However, your organization does not have to solely focus on Economic Empowerment. It can also be a part of your larger programmatic strategy. For more details, please see pt. 11 under ‘What We Fund’ section of our For Grantseekers’ page.
Q. The Opportunity Grant is listed as $10,000. Can my request be less than $10,000?
A. Our grant amount is fixed at $10,000. We aim to fund organizations for whom this amount is appropriate.
Q. Can I apply for an Investment or Leverage grant?
A. No. Investment and Leverage grants are only open to our grantees who have received Opportunity Grants.
Q. What percentage of my budget should core/operational costs make up?
A. VGIF funding is flexible, meaning organizations should allocate funding between core/operational costs and programmatic costs in a way that is meaningful for your organization.
Q. I have applied in the past but have not received funding. Can I apply again?
A. Yes, if your organization fits the new criteria, you are welcome to apply.
Q. Can I submit my application by email?
A. All applications should be submitted through our online system. If you are having trouble submitting, please email email@example.com.
Q. My organization’s budget is over $50,000 USD. Can I apply?
A. Yes, you may apply. However, VGIF is committed to supporting small and emerging grassroots groups with little or no access to funding from larger donors. We will give priority to groups who have less than $50,000 USD.
Q. Can I apply in a language other than English?
A. At this time, we are only accepting applicants written in English.
Q. We are a newly founded organization. Are we eligible to apply?
A. Yes, we welcome applications from new organizations.
Q. Can we apply if our organization has men in our leadership / staff?
A. Yes, as long as your organization has a majority of women, girls, and/or trans people in its leadership roles, including the highest levels of decision-making..
Q. We are located in India and our FCRA status is pending - are we still eligible to apply?
A. VGIF is unable to fund organizations without an FCRA number since it is prohibited under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. However, we understand that it can be a long and complex process. If your FCRA registration is in process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with more details.
Q. What is VGIF's decision making process?
A. Each submission is reviewed for our funding criteria, priorities, mission alignment, and fit with our grantmaking strategy. Applications that pass the preliminary review then undergo a comprehensive due diligence process, through which we follow-up with questions, ask for references, and have a conversation with the leadership of applicant organizations. Finalists are then reviewed by our Programs Committee, who bring expertise in our area of work. Grants are awarded by our Board of Directors based on recommendations of Program Committee members. For a timeline of the process, please see our ‘For Grantseeker’s’ page.
Q. What are VGIF’s reporting requirements?
A. Grantee partners commit to measure at least 2 indicators appropriate to their programmatic strategy, ideally selecting from a list of core indicators that we provide as options. Each partner submits an annual report with data on their selected indicators, as well as narrative responses that further explain their story of impact.
Q. What networking opportunities exist for VGIF grantee partners?
A. At VGIF, we believe in the power of collaboration and networks. We expect our grantee partners to be open to connecting with one another and other like-minded organizations. We will offer an online community forum for networking, organize network visit and convenings, and make recommendations to other funders. We ourselves are at the beginning of a new learning journey and will keep on growing these opportunities as we go.
Q. How does VGIF strengthen organizations through partnership?
A. We believe that the strength and sustainability of our grantee partners’ organizations is just as important as the programs they implement. We are committed to supporting capacity building and will continue to build upon our own capacity to support these efforts. Currently, we offer the following to partners:
a) Our flexible funding can be used for any form of capacity building – leadership and staff development, hiring consultants, attending workshops, etc.
b) Our 3-stage, 6-year grantmaking model allows partners to make longer-term plans for their organizations’ growth and sustainability, while providing benchmarks to assess progress and readjust or shift priorities where necessary.
c) In the first year of funding, we lead partners through a process of organizational assessment and planning, using a Grassroots Organizational Assessment Tool (GCAT) adapted for small and emerging women-led organizations, and a capacity-building plan that helps groups identify organizational milestones and action items they will tackle during subsequent funding years.
d) Partners have access to a variety of resources for organizational strengthening on the grantee portal.
e) We believe that our grantee partners are experts in their own contexts and should have more opportunities to take center stage on the issues they address. Through learning visits, convenings, and online networking forums, we encourage partners to mentor and learn from each other, and aim to provide opportunities for partners to lead trainings/workshops on their areas of strength.
f) The third stage of our grantmaking model is intentionally focused on sustainability. We will lead partners through a sustainability planning process, and work together to ensure that partners graduating from our grants are financially resilient and connected to opportunities for continued support.
g) VGIF program staff partner with grantees to provide targeted support throughout each grant stage, amplify the voices and accomplishments of partners, and co-create strategies for organizational and programmatic effectiveness.
Q. Will I receive feedback if my organization is not funded?
A. While we greatly value transparency, we are currently unable to provide detailed feedback on applications.