The Virtual Foundation is a unique online philanthropy program which supports grassroots initiatives around the world. Carefully screened community improvement projects in the fields of environment, health, poverty alleviation and sustainable economic activity are posted on our web site. They can be read and funded by online donors.
It enables community organizations in many countries to partner with funders in an international exchange. It allows donors to form long-lasting partnerships with the groups they support. Through a network of Consortium Members in different countries, it provides a mechanism through which individuals, groups and organizations, and family foundations can securely engage in international philanthropy, and thus contribute to a global civil society.(Photo: Building Lorena Stoves in Nicaragua)
The focus of the Virtual Foundation is twofold: to encourage private philanthropy among citizens from all walks of life, and to support local projects initiated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their own communities.
The Virtual Foundation tries to minimize borders and geographic restrictions. It actively seeks transboundary projects that increase cooperation among different ethnic groups and nationalities.
The Virtual Foundation was founded in 1996. It is a project of ECOLOGIA, a registered US not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization which has provided a variety of programs, international exchange and support services to non-governmental organizations in developing and transition nations since 1989.
To learn more about the Virtual Foundation, continue on to the How Does it Work? section. To view all the Unfunded and Funded Projects, go to the "View Virtual Foundation Projects" section. Feel free to contact us by e-mail, post, or phone. (Drawing: Youth Upholstery Project, Sao Tome, Central Africa)
How Does It Work?
The following is a step-by-step look at how a project is funded through the Virtual Foundation.
Step 1: A community group in a participating country (i.e. a country with a Virtual Foundation Consortium Member) wants to carry out a project that would, for example, clean up a polluted stream in their region. The group submits their project idea to a local Consortium Member. The Consortium Member works with the group to develop a detailed proposal describing the need for the project and how the project will be realized, as well as an itemized budget for project activities. The proposal and budget are then submitted to the Virtual Foundation.
Step 2: The proposal is evaluated by the Virtual Foundation's Grants Coordinator and Proposal Review Committee. When questions arise, the proposal is returned to the Consortium Member for clarification. If the proposal meets the Virtual Foundation's criteria and is approved by the Virtual Foundation Board of Directors, it is posted on the Virtual Foundation website.
Step 3: Visitors to the Virtual Foundation website read the description of the project's goals and activities accompanied by a budget and photos that illustrate the proposal. You can see an up to date list of current proposals by clicking on the "View Virtual Foundation Projects" section of the green bars in the column to your left. Choose "Search for a Project to Fund". Visitors can select a project to support and may donate either directly through the website, or by mailing a check.
Step 4: After funds are transferred and the project gets underway, reports on its progress are posted on the Virtual Foundation website. Donors are encouraged to communicate with members of the project they funded, and to follow the project's development. The goal of the Virtual Foundation is to foster lasting global partnerships between grassroots groups and our online donors. To see all the funded projects so far, click on the "View Virtual Foundation Projects" section in the green bars to your left, and then click on "Search for a Funded Project".
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