We believe that no one is better suited to uplift women and girls in a community than the women and girls who live there.
Our funding model has always relied on smart, courageous and determined female leaders around the world who design and implement sustainable solutions that fit the local context, unique barriers, and infrastructure of their own neighborhoods.
Over the past 50 years, we've supported nearly 700 women-led projects. Time and time again we've been proven right:
Women get things done.
Why Small Grants?
The benefits of grassroots funding - or the funding of people within the communities directly affected by a problem - are numerous and well documented:
1. BETTER OUTCOMES
When people designing and leading a project are intimately familiar with the social structures at work, their plan will be better tailored and more effective.
Grassroots organizers have personal and permanent connections to the communities they represent, so they are more motivated to commit to outcomes that last.
3. Lower Costs
Giving control to grassroots organizations immediately eliminates the high costs of travel, accommodations, etc. so often employed by larger NGO's.
4. Self-sufficient Communities
With grassroots grants, community members benefit from the process as well as the outcomes. Project leaders learn new skills, identify larger problems at work in their neighborhoods, and create change that they choose and they believe in.
In recent grant cycles, VGIF funding allowed grantees to....
"I learned to respect myself, take care of my body, & support other girls younger than myself.
We shouldn't have to miss school because of the way our bodies work."
Grace is the health club president for a VGIF project that provides reusable pads and health classes to girls at risk of missing school in Uganda.
After the project, teachers reported a significant boost in attendance for female students.