The Virtual Foundation - your donation makes it happen

Letter of Agreement between Virtual Foundation Consortium Members and ECOLOGIA

I. General Goals

The purpose of the Virtual Foundation is to promote a new kind of international philanthropy, using Internet technology to link small scale donors and NGOs. This will provide NGOs (non-governmental organizations) with new sources of funding for community projects ranging from $100-$5000 and allow donors and grant recipients to establish long term partnerships.

The Virtual Foundation consists of a consortium of experienced regional grant-making organizations as local grant administrators and ECOLOGIA as manager and international coordinator.

II. Responsibilities of ECOLOGIA as Virtual Foundation Manager

Technical Support

  1. Maintain the Virtual Foundation website.
  2. Provide Virtual Foundation Consortium Members with an opportunity to place current information about their organization on the Virtual Foundation website, and/or to make a hypertext link to the member's Internet site.

International Coordination

  1. Review, approve and post proposals endorsed by the Consortium Member on the Virtual Foundation website
  2. Establish by mutual agreement between ECOLOGIA and the Consortium Member the number and maximum dollar amount of proposals.
  3. Ensure that the Virtual Foundation operates in conformance with:
    • the tax laws of the United States,
    • standard international practices concerning the publication of materials on the Internet, and
    • prevailing principles of conduct for fundraising to guarantee credibility of the Virtual Foundation.
  4. Develop policies and procedures in cooperation with Consortium Members.

Financial Management

  1. Process funds from donors expeditiously and in the most cost-effective manner for each Consortium Member.
  2. Guarantee donors and Consortium Members absolute transparency concerning all financial transactions.
  3. Account for all Virtual Foundation funds using standard US accounting procedures and undergo an external financial audit annually.
  4. Provide financial support for administrative costs by adding a 10% administrative fee onto each grant request. ECOLOGIA and the local Consortium Member administering the grant will each receive half of the administrative fee (5% of the project cost) if and when the project is funded.

Marketing and Public Outreach

  1. Publicize the Virtual Foundation in appropriate US media, targeting major publications read by potential donor groups including: computer magazines, environmental periodicals, major church journals, national publications of major community service clubs, national newsletters for teachers, ethnic organization publications, etc.
  2. Conduct a concentrated outreach effort to specialized donor communities including private philanthropists, small family foundations, major US Foundations working in the environmental sector, and organizations generally promoting new forms of philanthropy.
  3. Solicit the public endorsement of traditional foundations and major international nongovernmental organizations.

III. Responsibilities of Virtual Foundation Consortium Members

Consortium Members shall provide recommendations to Virtual Foundation staff, concerning the reliability and track record of applicant NGOs in their country or region.
Consortium Members are encouraged to work with applicants to
  1. produce proposals in the required format; and
  2. design projects that meet Virtual Foundation criteria.
If and when a proposal receives funding, Consortium Members shall:
  1. handle the transfer of grant funds to the NGO, receiving their administrative fee of 5% (which had been previously added on to the proposal budget);
  2. provide oversight to insure that grant funds are used properly;
  3. share ECOLOGIA's commitment to transparency of finances and administration in Virtual Foundation projects;
  4. work with grant applicants to ensure that they produce a final report, which will be forwarded to the Virtual Foundation Grants Coordinator, within four weeks of project completion.
Agreement signed by:

ECOLOGIA/Virtual Foundation

________________________(representative's name)

________________________(title, date)

Consortium Member

________________________(organization's name)

________________________(representative's name)

________________________(title, date)

The Virtual Foundation® / ECOLOGIA
PO Box 268, Middlebury Vermont 05753 USA
Telephone 1-802-623-8075.