The Need for the Virtual Foundation

By Randy Kritkausky, Executive Director of ECOLOGIA and Founder of the Virtual Foundation

Our goal in creating the Virtual Foundation was to make international assistance projects understandable to ordinary citizens and to place meaningful participation in such projects within their grasp. Until recently it was widely accepted that only national governments, international organizations and well endowed foundations had resources large enough to contribute to the solution of global problems. But in the last fifteen years I have seen dramatic results from small scale and low cost grassroots efforts.

In my own experience working with international aid projects I have noticed that providing assistance or financial support in the range of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars has an enormous positive impact. This was first made clear to me when in 1989 I provided a Lithuanian physicist working with a non-governmental organization with a two hundred and sixty dollar radiation detector. My friend, Jonas, was working on safety issues at a Chernobyl type nuclear power plant. None of the workers at the nuclear power plant had access to reliable information about their radiation exposure. My small donation ended this dangerous situation by allowing workers to gather their own information independently, which forced officials to provide accurate data. The nuclear power plant also improved nuclear waste disposal practices as a result of the new monitoring program.

The Virtual Foundation provides you or your organization with similar opportunities to work with international partners on projects that will make a real difference in environmental, health, and sustainable development conditions around the world. By donating through our consortium of established international not-for-profit organizations that make up the Virtual Foundation, you are assured that the groups and projects you support are worthwhile.

The Virtual Foundation is not a traditional foundation with a large endowment such as an investment portfolio of stocks donated to a trust fund to support philanthropic work.

The Virtual Foundation's endowment is the goodwill, generosity, and far- sightedness of individuals and organizations who believe that small acts of kindness can shape the future.

I invite you to check out our list of proposals and find out how to become a grantmaker.