Transformational Change Takes Courage


Time for change

VGIF is an international women’s fund that provides grants globally to fund locally generated projects to advance the rights of women and girls. Since its inception in 1969, VGIF has distributed more than $3.5 million to fund women-led projects in 94 different countries. After 50 years of grantmaking, VGIF felt ready to make some significant changes, that would include:

  • A more focused mission for greater reach, impact, and learning 
  • A major rebranding effort – revisit VGIF’s name, revise all of the organization’s marketing
  • Review governance and culture – specifically challenges around engaging and energizing VGIF members  
  • Overhaul of the grants process – which was thought to be overly complicated and unnecessarily long


Renewed commitment to transformative mission

A strategic planning process spanned nine months and involved a number of key inputs managed by The Strategy Group: Environmental Scan, a two day board retreat, and a number of interactive workgroups. Through this effort, VGIF challenged existing assumptions, defined new objectives, and built a strategic plan to achieve greater levels of impact:

1) VGIF will embrace a new program model that will increase its ability to actively partner with grassroots women’s groups, VGIF believes this new program model will increase its impact as a funder and bring much added value to those who ultimately benefit from their grants. 

2) VGIF is committed to bringing the shared beliefs, norms, and values reflected in its mission into the internal operations of the organization to engage in best practices and, to empower both board and staff to move the organization forward in new and transformative ways.  

3) With the new measurable outcomes and data, VGIF will be better positioned to approach larger public foundations, major donors, and corporations for funding. 

“When our group felt ‘stuck,’ The Strategy Group was brilliant, accessible, strategic, and skilled in moving constituents along a path where everyone was heard and collaborative decisions were made for needed change.”

Emily Forhman, Executive Director | VGIF


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