Foundation

Vegfund

Washington, DC • Supporting Vegan Advocates Globally

Vegfund
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Vegfund

Introduction

Vegfund is a foundation focused on animal protection and welfare. Founded in 2009, Vegfund is headquartered in Washington, DC. In recent tax filings, the organization reported expenses of $2.3m.

Verified 501(c)3

This profile was created with publicly available data obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and the nonprofit organization’s website. ALMA has no affiliation with this organization and has not independently verified this information or otherwise vetted the charity.

Vegfund

$2.3m

Annual Budget
2017
Program Spend
85%
Fundraising Spend
3%
Management Spend
11%
Founded
2009
EIN
26-4248479
Headquarters
Washington, DC
# Employees
3
# Volunteers
1
IRS Filings
Other Ratings
Recent tax return data

Mission and Work

Mission

Vegfund provides grants to vegan activists to enable their educational outreach to the general public about the benefits of vegan living.

Video Outreach

$1.3m annual program spend • Vegfund supports online video and other multimedia presentations, including screenings and pay per view programs, that provide information, inspiration and encouragement for people to learn about veganism.

Food Sampling

$89k annual program spend • Vegfund reimburses grantees for food sampling events in which people are given the opportunity to experience vegan food, learn about the vegan diet and gain access to support networks for abdopting a plant-based diet.

Program 3

$238k annual program spend • Merit awards- Vegfund provides merit awards to those who have demonstrated consistent and effective vegan advocacy.

From Vegfund's website

In their words

VegFund is all about you. We exist to support you, a member of a global community of vegan advocates in your efforts to inform the public about the benefits of vegan living. VegFund provides grant funding for food sampling, film screenings, vegfests and health fairs, conferences, and learning events. We can even help you bring your own ideas for innovative advocacy to life. 

Hand-in-hand with financial support is our commitment to help you maximize the effectiveness of your outreach. VegFund develops trainings for activists, curates the very best research available on plant-based living and effective advocacy, and facilitates information sharing among activists in the vegan community.

Our organization has supported vegan activists in more than 30 countries throughout the world. Dedicated volunteer vegan activists like you bring us closer to a compassionate, vegan world.

Our small staff and low overhead lets us direct the majority of our resources to YOU, because it’s your hard work that brings us closer to a vegan world.


VegFund empowers vegan advocates worldwide through grant funding and supporting effective outreach that inspires people to choose and maintain a vegan lifestyle.


Vision

A compassionate and healthy world where all people embrace a vegan way of life.

Values

As an organization, VegFund:

  • is committed to promoting vegan living as fundamentally important in its positive impact on human health and well-being, world hunger, environmental and climate health, efficient use of land and water resources, wildlife and habitats, and as the most effective means to exclude all forms of animal exploitation
  • focuses its animal rights efforts predominantly on the exploitation of animals used for food — primarily those in the industrial farm complex — because these animals make up the overwhelming majority of animal cruelty, suffering, and deaths
  • understands that changing one’s diet is complex and involves overcoming tradition, habit, and cultural and religious values, and thus may require multiple exposures to the facts and ongoing support
  • believes that grassroots advocacy is key to the success of the movement and is often the source of groundbreaking ideas most in need of funding and support
  • is results-oriented and evaluates all funding applications based solely on merit and alignment with our mission
  • requires activists involved in VegFund-supported activities always to interact with the public in a courteous, professional, and welcoming manner
  • supports an environment of respect, inclusiveness, personal well-being and security, and teamwork among staff and grantees
  • seeks out current, reputable research, as well as available evidence related to effective persuasion and behavioral and social change, in order to incorporate these findings into the scope of our work when pertinent and feasible
  • recruits volunteers, advisors, and employees and supports vegan activists who not only demonstrate a clear passion for the values of vegan living and animal rights but also possess relevant, domain-specific knowledge and experience
  • funds qualified advocates around the world with a welcoming and accepting attitude toward all regardless of nationality, race, gender, age, and economic and professional status
  • welcomes new ideas, always seeks to grow and evolve, and views internal and external changes as opportunities
  • is a committed and prudent steward of funds, using them in ways that help the greatest number of animals possible and creating information and messages toward the public’s shaping of compassionate, ethical, and value-based societies

In 2017, VegFund supported more than 500 outreach projects that spread the vegan message to millions of people.

180,000

Vegan food samples

28,000

Viewers of vegan documentaries/videos

245,000

Non-vegans reached through special projects

613,000

Veg starter kit clicks

Our Global Reach

VegFund has supported vegan activists in their outreach work in nearly 50 countries throughout the world.


TEAM

Board of Directors and Leadership

Stephanie Redcross

President

Stephanie Redcross is the founder and managing director of Vegan Mainstream, a unique marketing consulting company especially for vegan entrepreneurs and professionals. Since 2009, Stephanie has been developing tools, training, and support for the brave individuals who are starting and running vegan businesses all over the world. She was well-equipped to do this, with more than 15 years of marketing experience with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Since that time, Stephanie has been a frequent speaker at vegfests, conferences, and even her own boot-camp series. Through these types of engagements and her day-to-day work with Vegan Mainstream, Stephanie inspires others to turn their vegan passion into successful businesses.

Miguel Danielson

Vice-President

Miguel is an intellectual property attorney, entrepreneur, and long-time vegan with roots in Boston and the Midwest. He is founder and managing member of Danielson Legal LLC and represents a multitude of successful technology clients across the United States, as well as publishing and media clients, vegan food companies, and nonprofit animal sanctuaries. Miguel co-founded the gourmet vegan pizzeria and Peace o’ Pie and was president of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund while a student at Harvard Law School. Miguel holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota.

Jody Rasch

Treasurer

Jody Rasch is an artist at Lamina Project. He was formerly the Managing Trustee of VegInvest Trust, a private equity trust that specializes in companies that reduce animal use and promote a vegan lifestyle. Previously, he headed the Social Performance Group at Moody’s Corporation working on projects including microfinance and social investing and developed the Moody’s Social Performance Assessment (SPA). Jody has served on several advisory boards including Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative, the SMART Campaign’s Certification Task Force, Grameen Foundation’s Social Performance Advisory Committee and the Global Impact Investing Rating Service (GIIRS). Prior to joining Moody’s in 2002, Jody owned a training company that conducted financial training programs for international commercial and investment banks. He also headed the New York derivatives sales desk of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has worked in the corporate treasury departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rasch has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University. In addition to VegFund, Jody is on the board of directors for Battery Dance Company and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.

Dave Norris

Secretary

Dave is a longtime community leader and vegan/animal rights advocate in Charlottesville, Virginia. He founded the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival (now known as the Vegan Roots Fest) in 1997 and was co-president of the Voices for Animals activist group for many years. Dave served as mayor of Charlottesville from 2008 to 2012 and served on the Charlottesville City Council from 2006 to 2014. He has dedicated his professional life to various civic engagement initiatives, including stints as director of community impact for United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, and founding director of the PACEM ministry, which provides shelter and meals to homeless individuals in Charlottesville each winter. He currently directs a major public–private economic and community development initiative aimed at revitalizing all of Charlottesville’s public housing neighborhoods.

Leslie Barcus

Executive Director

Leslie has extensive governance and senior management leadership experience in nonprofit and private enterprises around the world, having worked with organizations from start-up through transition and growth stages. Leslie is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and has a master’s degree in international economic development. Her professional exposure spans more than 40 countries and includes work in animal rights and welfare, biodiversity conservation, higher learning and adult education, microfinance, financial education, behavior change, organizational capacity building, international economic development and corporate, retail and small business banking. Informed by her breadth of experience, Leslie’s professional philosophy is that innovative business models, products and services, and creative approaches for appealing to human reason and compassion can bring into fruition a healthier and more generous world for people, animals, and the environment.

Program Administrators

Dave Lesser

Financial Manager

Dave Lesser keeps all the stars and finances aligned at VegFund. Dave processes grantee payments and oversees organizational compliance, systems maintenance, vendor relations, and general financial and administrative housekeeping. As a college student, Dave became a vegan and worked with his local animal rights organization, Voices for Animals. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing in 2007, he followed his desire to donate his skills to the organized animal welfare movement. He now has 10 years of bookkeeping and administrative experience in the nonprofit sector dating back to his early years in the Washington, D.C., area as the Literature Fulfillment Coordinator for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Dave’s favorite activities outside of bookkeeping include recording and touring with his band, BRNDA (where you can also find Leah drumming away) and making zany homemade soups, even during the hot and swampy D.C. summers.

Alison Miller

Director of Development

Alison Miller is VegFund’s Development Director and comes to VegFund with a diverse background in fund development and wealth management. Her career began in banking as a financial advisor and trust manager, and she has spent the past 15 years working in major gift fund development, most recently as Chief Development Officer for Special Olympics Michigan. Alison’s activism began at an early age when she became a vegetarian. Over the years, her activism included lobbying in her state capitol to push for better regulation of Concentrated Animal Farm Operations (CAFO). As a graduate student, her work centered on water activism in the Great Lakes Basin as she completed her MA with a specialization in gender, justice, and environmental change. Alison enjoys long-distance running, cycling, and swimming — and, for balance, she spends time in her yoga studio in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, where she coaches and guides her students toward a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle, which begins with eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Alison lives in mid-Michigan with her husband, Danny, and her furry dog, Cuyler, and is the proud mother of three amazing women and three adorable grandchildren.

Kari Hallenburg

Director of Communications

Kari Hallenburg leads VegFund’s Marketing and Communications Team from vegan-friendly Portland, Oregon. Kari’s patience for detail and ability to switch on her creative strategic insights at a moment’s notice make her an A-list player for any team. Kari graduated from Denison University with degrees in English and Latin American Cultural Studies and from the University of Oregon with a Masters degree in English. Her past communications work has been weighted towards science and technology, including work in the fields of analytical chemistry, biotechnology, horticulture, and the natural sciences. Vegetarian since she took an unplanned tour of Smithfield Foods at the tender age of 15, she is now vegan and happily turned her energy to the issues of animal welfare and plant-based living for the past six years. When she doesn’t have her nose deep in content, you’ll find her monitoring owls and Vaux’s swifts, tending vegetables and native plants, or on/in the water in whatever vessel (or not) is at hand.

Leah Gage

Program Officer

Leah Gage oversees VegFund’s grant programs. Leah brings a worldly perspective to her work from her multifaceted life experience. Leah graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in politics and moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in microfinance. Leah’s time spent in international development has taken her to work sites in Togo, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, and The Netherlands. Leah’s commitment to community-building drew her back to academic studies where she earned a Masters of Social Work from the Catholic University of America. Between writing papers and volunteering at the local homeless shelter, Leah became a prolific dog walker, beloved by pups everywhere. She is happy to call every New Year’s Day her veganniversary, which she has celebrated seven times now. Leah’s pursuits outside of activism include multiple musical projects, community show space organizing, eating vegan cookies, and hanging out with as many dogs as possible.

Fabiola Martinez

Digital Marketing Manager

Fabiola Martinez broadens our marketing outreach internationally while engaging in her own twist of vegan activism in Mexico. Using her top-notch skills in digital marketing, honed in the corporate world, Fabiola uses her bottomless enthusiasm and savvy to find even the most remote vegan activist out there in the big world and connect them to VegFund’s global activist network. Fabiola graduated from the Tec de Monterrey with a degree in international relations and has a master’s degree in business administration and currently lives in northeastern Mexico.
Her first animal rights activism campaign was organized by Greenpeace in 1999, and its goal was to create the Mexican Whale Sanctuary, protecting 21 species of cetaceans. After being a vegetarian, Fabiola became vegan in 2014, and she has been a passionate animal advocate ever since dedicated to helping amplify animals voices. When not working to help nonhuman animals or to spread vegan activism, Fabiola spends time with friends, dancing, reading, learning new digital marketing gimmicks, and traveling with Wika, a rescued husky lab mix on a mission to become an instadog.

Estella Ramirez

Communications Associate

Estella Ramirez brings her passion for the written word to the communications team at VegFund. From wordsmithing content to keeping things humming along in the background, Estella is happy to support all the good work that our vegan advocates are up to. Vegan herself since 2005, she is also an award-winning poet, creative writing instructor, and singer. You are most likely to find her with a guitar, book, or cat in her arms. Her office supervisors are Vash and Kristen, two cats who adopted her many years ago.

Mikki Wilburn

Program Specialist

Mikki Wilburn crunches the numbers to pull meaningful information from data to tell the story of VegFund’s grants. She also reviews incoming grants on a rolling basis to ensure the quality of VegFund’s programs. Mikki studied physics and mathematics and began her career in software technical services. She has worked as a vegan volunteer and advocate and is excited to lend her skills to support of vegan advocacy. When she’s not deep in grant data, she spends most of her time outdoors. Mikki has a passion for hiking, camping, swimming, and gardening. She enjoys traveling, reading, drinking tea, and eating pancakes. Her two dogs, Rupert and Uhura, are the loves of her life and go with her everywhere.

Patrick Liddy

Social Media Specialist

Patrick Liddy grows and nurtures VegFund’s community of vegan advocates through online engagement and storytelling as our Social Media Specialist. After receiving a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Muskie School of Public Service, Patrick was drawn into a career in digital marketing, honing his craft at his college roommate’s startup marketing agency. Along the way, his passion for animal welfare compelled him to become vegan and volunteer regularly at Southern Maine’s animal rights nonprofits and sanctuaries. With years of experience in digital marketing and social media marketing for businesses and nonprofits, Patrick is thrilled to use his skills to help vegan activists worldwide inspire people to adopt a vegan lifestyle. When he’s not dreaming up creative ways to share must-see content socially, Patrick can often be found in the ocean on a surfboard, at a mountain on a snowboard, or honing his game on one of Portland, Maine’s many basketball courts.

FAQs

Who runs VegFund?

Dedicated, volunteer vegan activists located in some 30 countries around the world and an independent board elected to oversee the good governance and strategic advisory are the backbone of VegFund’s success. VegFund’s programs and administration are run by four full-time employees, including its executive director, a director of communications, a digital marketing manager, and a program officer, along with support in finance, programs, communications.

Where does VegFund get its funding?

Like most not-for-profits, VegFund was started with a generous grant. We are continually striving to expand our fundraising efforts so that VegFund can support even more activists in their crucial vegan outreach work.

Does VegFund work with international groups?

Yes, VegFund works with activists worldwide. We use PayPal for nearly all of our grant reimbursements for international advocates.

Who is eligible to apply to VegFund?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a project or outreach event that promotes a message consistent with VegFund’s mission, vision, and values. Most of our grant funds are dedicated to vegan activists, although an exception is made for individuals applying for documentary and film-screening grants and select conferences and research.

Does VegFund provide funding to for-profit businesses or business ventures?

Generally, Vegfund does not provide funding to for-profit businesses. However, we are pleased to pass along proposals to affiliated partners in the position to assist with commercial ventures.

Does VegFund give out loans?

VegFund is solely a grant-giving organization at this time.

Why does VegFund predominantly fund projects focused on farm animals and veganism?

Because animals used for food are, in overwhelming numbers, the subjects of large-scale animal cruelty,  suffering, and deaths, VegFund gives funding priority to projects that focus on farmed animals and the vegan diet.

Can you give me some examples of the types of outreach and projects VegFund funds?

Yes! Visit the Grant Programs section of our website and see Activist Stories and our Facebook page for examples of recent successful events and projects.

I received a grant. How should I promote or thank VegFund?

I’d like to volunteer or serve as an intern with VegFund. How do I get started?

VegFund is a small organization, and we engage volunteers and interns from time to time when we can meaningfully ask for non-paid efforts. Please fill out the VegFund Volunteer Opportunities application. We cannot promise that we can connect you with an opportunity, but we will do our best!

What’s the best way to stay in touch with VegFund?

What do I do if my question isn’t covered here?

Where their money goes

Grants made

These are some of the grants Vegfund has made in recent years to other charities.

Hospital

Montefiore Health System

Bronx, NYMontefiore Health System is a hospital focused on health issues. With $3.9bn in revenue and 22778 employees, it is a relatively large organization.
1 grant(s) totaling $7.5k

Nonprofit

The Humane League

Rockville, MDThe Humane League is a nonprofit focused on animal protection and welfare. With $7.1m in revenue and 61 employees, it is a mid-sized organization.
2 grant(s) totaling $367k

Nonprofit

Action for Animals

Seattle, WAAction for Animals is a nonprofit focused on animal protection and welfare. With $34k in revenue and 0 employees, it is a relatively small organization.
1 grant(s) totaling $81k

Nonprofit

Living Archives

New York, NYLiving Archives is a nonprofit focused on producing films. With $21k in revenue and 0 employees, it is a relatively small organization.
1 grant(s) totaling $25k

Nonprofit

AnimalCrueltyExpFund

Great Neck, NYAnimalCrueltyExpFund is a nonprofit focused on animal protection and welfare. Founded in 2015, AnimalCrueltyExpFund is headquartered in Great Neck, NY.
2 grant(s) totaling $14k

Nonprofit

One Step for Animals

Tucson, AZIt is easy to help animals! Really! By simply not eating chickens, you remove the vast majority of your support for factory farms. Thanks! © COPYRIGHT 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
2 grant(s) totaling $224k

Nonprofit

Brighter Green

Brooklyn, NYBrighter Green is a nonprofit focused on advocacy related to environmental issues. With $540k in revenue and 0 employees, it is a relatively small organization.
2 grant(s) totaling $40k

Nonprofit

LastChanceForAnimals

Los Angeles, CALastChanceForAnimals is a nonprofit focused on advocacy related to animals. With $2.4m in revenue and 17 employees, it is a mid-sized organization.
2 grant(s) totaling $17k

Nonprofit

Net Impact

Oakland, CANet Impact is a nonprofit. With $4.7m in revenue and 39 employees, it is a mid-sized organization.
1 grant(s) totaling $10k

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