Strategic Plan

Leading the Way
Small Grants, Local Action, Better Lives
VGIF – An International Fund for Women & Girls
2016 – 2018 Strategic Plan

VGIF’s Strategic Plan lays out its mission, vision, and values and defines five goals that will guide Board and staff decisions and actions leading up to its 50th Anniversary. The three-year plan builds on VGIF’s values that have proven key to the funding of successful projects by women-led organizations in communities where women and girls do not benefit from social, economic and political change.

In its 45-year history, VGIF has supported 515 grantee projects, advancing the legal rights, health, education and social and economic status of thousands of women and girls in more than 90 countries. VGIF has developed an application process that enables women-led grassroots groups to apply for funding for projects that provide solutions to the issues confronting women and girls in their own communities.

The principal work of VGIF has been carried out through volunteers. Now, with a full-time professional director, a small cadre of paid staff, and an improved financial and administrative system, VGIF is positioned to increase its effectiveness over the next three years. While progress has been made, women and girls around the world still lack access to their full human rights, including basics such as education, health, and legal rights. Research shows that women-led grassroots efforts play a key role in causing large-scale change. But studies also show that groups addressing women’s issues at the grassroots level tend to be severely underfunded. Fitting uniquely into this niche, VGIF supports women-led grassroots organizations that are deeply familiar with the local situations that negatively affect women and girls.

VGIF will expand on the knowledge gained from 45 years of grantmaking, network with other groups doing similar work, and “lead the way” in increasing the impact of focused small grants.


The VGIF by-laws and board-approved policies are the governing documents for Board and staff. 

The Board of Directors and professional staff will work collaboratively in developing and implementing the various strategies for achieving the goals over the three-year period. 

VGIF will maintain its high standards of fiscal management and financial integrity.

The strategic plan will be a working document to provide direction to Board and staff for annual action plans, and will be reviewed and progress reported at each annual meeting.

MISSION: VGIF provides grants globally to fund locally-generated projects that advance the rights of women and girls.
VISION: VGIF envisions a world where gender equality prevails and where women and girls can access or create opportunities for themselves and the greater community.
VALUES: These values are the foundation for the decision-making process regarding funding project proposals.

1. VGIF believes in the basic principle of gender equality – that women and girls are entitled to equal rights and opportunities in all phases of their lives.
2. VGIF believes that small grassroots projects can have a life-affirming impact that changes lives and empowers women and girls.
3. VGIF respects the knowledge, experience and leadership of women and girls to determine their own priorities and propose solutions to solve their problems and shape their future.
4. VGIF believes that equal access to all forms of education and knowledge, economic opportunities, healthcare and freedom from violence, are among the key issues paramount to the empowerment of women and girls.
5. VGIF strives to be fair, transparent, and accountable in all aspects of its work.
6. VGIF values the international composition of its membership, contributors, and leaders.

GOALS: The Board of Directors has adopted these five goals to guide the work of the Board and staff over the three-year period 2016-2018. Accomplishing these goals will position VGIF for bold leadership in its second fifty years of small grantmaking to women-led organizations.

GOAL I: Strengthen VGIF grantmaking by continuously learning from best practices and improved grant evaluations.

GOAL II: Increase the visibility of VGIF’s work to advance the rights of women and girls.

GOAL III: Increase annually the amount of funds generated and granted.

GOAL IV: Pursue collaborations with like-minded organizations that provide opportunities to leverage VGIF’s experience and learnings.

GOAL V: Align VGIF’s governance and staffing with its mission, values and strategic goals.