Vista Hermosa Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Vista Hermosa Foundation’s global development grants center on access to education and youth development, community building and leadership development, and small farmer training and resource development.

IP TAKE: Vista Hermosa is an approachable funder that tends to limit grants to one year, which makes it a good resource for new grantees. Applicants should be aware that this funder supports global development organizations based in the U.S. and abroad, so they should expect a decent amount of competition. 

PROFILE: The Vista Hermosa Foundation is the charitable arm of the company First Fruits of Washington. Established in 1990 by the company’s founders, Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, the foundation initially supported education programs in their local communities as well as “partner communities” around the world.  Overall, the foundation seeks to "serve, encourage, and educate children and the under-serve in their spiritual, community, and human development." 

Vista Hermosa funds organizations working in East Africa, India, Haiti and Mexico, in areas of access to education and youth development, community building and leadership development, and small farmer training and resource development.

Rather than take a top-down funding approach, the foundation aims to preserve the dignity of the people it serves by building long-term, holistic and sustainable communities. As its "theory of change" suggests, the foundation seeks to do so by equipping people with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet their needs independently. 

Vista Hermosa may fly under the radar, but its global development grants are rather substantial, typically from around $50,000 to $300,000. The foundation supports both small, grassroots organizations and large INGOs. However, its giving pattern seems to favor smaller groups that seek to make change within the local communities they serve. In the past, the foundation has awarded grants to both secular and non-secular groups including Groundswell International, Lambi Fund of Haiti, and the Colorado-based agricultural outfit, IDEAS, in support of its work in Kazakhstan.

While Vista Hermosa does not accept unsolicited proposals, it does accept unsolicited letters of inquiry. Those LOIs need to be brief though, no more than two pages.

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