Washington, DC • Supporting Vegan Advocates Globally
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 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.
A compassionate and healthy world where all people embrace a vegan way of life.
As an organization, VegFund:
In 2017, VegFund supported more than 500 outreach projects that spread the vegan message to millions of people.
Vegan food samples
Viewers of vegan documentaries/videos
Non-vegans reached through special projects
Veg starter kit clicks
VegFund has supported vegan activists in their outreach work in nearly 50 countries throughout the world.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, VegFund works with activists worldwide. We use PayPal for nearly all of our grant reimbursements for international advocates.
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.
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.
VegFund is solely a grant-giving organization at this time.
Because animals used for food are, in overwhelming numbers, the subjects of large-scale animal cruelty, Â suffering, and deaths, VegFund gives funding priority to projects that focus on farmed animals and the vegan diet.
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.
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!