The Vibrant Village Foundation invests in the potential of communities around the world. We provide support in the areas of nutrition and health, clean water, agriculture, education, arts and economic development. Our goal is to achieve results that are measurable and long-term to improve individual lives.
We seek to cultivate long-term partnerships to develop and maintain long-term solutions that encompass multiple projects within each community. Our projects are innovative, take risks and are agile enough to make significant change. We are committed to ensuring that our investments are spent directly in the communities where we work to the greatest extent possible.
We invest in local resources to uplift communities in key program areas:
- Advancements in water quality, infrastructure and access
- Improvements in childhood nutrition
- Betterment of agricultural methods, soil and seed
- Enrichment of K-12 education and schools
- Development of arts and cultural activities for children and youth
- Adapted programming for vulnerable community members
Where We Work
The foundation manages direct programs and works with partners in vulnerable communities worldwide. We work in 26 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States. To date, the Vibrant Village Foundation has invested more than $5 million in programs. In 2013 we increased our program expenditures by 37% and expanded the number of partners from 26 to 41.
Vibrant Village Foundation is committed to transformational change at the village level. We believe in a bottom-up approach that engages community leadership and where projects are designed and implemented with the support of the community. Our approach is intended to be scalable and integrated. In some villages we may start with projects that respond to basic needs, such as water and sanitation, and then work to address more upstream issues, like education or economic development. We also invest in villages long-term, with the understanding that lasting change takes time. Through this approach, we believe that community and family-level outcomes are, in fact, achievable as evidenced through the improved well-being of children and families.
Several of our programs are managed directly by Vibrant Village staff abroad. Yet as we grow, we see potential to impact more communities through increased collaboration with national partners and community-based organizations. The unique mix of direct implementation and grant-funded projects allows us to stay immersed in best practice and to be responsive to changes in the field. We will continue to strengthen our approach and are committed to focus on the following objectives:
- Building community leadership – through meaningful, respectful partnerships
- Gender Mainstreaming – through women’s empowerment and equitable allocation of resources
- Sustainable development – through community ownership
How Vibrant Village Foundation Began
In 1983, Ken deLaski co-founded Deltek, a software company based in Northern Virginia. Ken later became the company’s CEO and majority shareholder and helped to grow Deltek to a global company with over 1,500 employees. In 2005, Ken sold his majority interest in Deltek, which marked the beginning of a new chapter in his life: making philanthropic investments to help individual communities throughout the world.
The inspiration for the Vibrant Village Foundation arose on a trip Ken made to Haiti in 2009.
“I was with my daughter Daphne, and with the help of our friends at Mercy and Sharing and FINCA, we had an opportunity to visit an orphanage and several schools in Port-au-Prince. We then flew up to the Northern part of Haiti and spent several days driving around the countryside and visiting a number of villages that were clearly struggling. During our visit we saw dozens of aid workers from different organizations. It was all well-intentioned and very important work; but much of it seemed like a band-aid – providing disaster aid, helping the sick and feeding the poor. This type of traditional aid serves a very important purpose but I decided that our new foundation should build upon this and focus on longer-term solutions to foster strong, more vibrant communities.” — Ken deLaski, Founder and President
Following this visit to Haiti, Ken established the Vibrant Village Foundation in early 2010. The foundation aspires to invigorate and empower communities with real solutions and create opportunities that raise hope, prosperity and dignity for individuals.
- We focus on a select number of communities to make a more concerted impact.
- The communities we select will typically have serious challenges and long-term needs not already being addressed by governments or other NGOs.
- To foster empowerment and ownership, we strive to work directly with community members to determine and prioritize needs in their community.
- We prefer to fund programs and projects where money is spent directly within the target community.
- Because sustainable change takes many years, we commit to long-term, multi-year solutions and partnerships encompassing multiple projects within each community.
- We keep administrative expenses for the foundation to a minimum and adhere to sensible stewardship of all grants and project funds.
- We perform regular monitoring and evaluation of all grants and projects, and we commit to being a "learning" organization.
- We operate with transparency and integrity.
- We treat all people with dignity and respect.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Vibrant Village Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion or sexual orientation. Our values and programs adhere to principles of inclusion of people of all backgrounds.