Valentine Foundation

Visionary Leadership Fund

The Visionary Leadership Fund is a separate endowment managed by the Valentine Foundation. Created in 2005, this endowment provides a dedicated source of funding for leadership training for women executives in the non-profit sector. The purpose of the Fund is to strengthen the organizations that improve the lives of women and girls in the Greater Philadelphia region.

  • Making Current Women Leaders more Effective
  • Developing the Next Generation of Women Leaders
  • Fostering a Community of Women Leaders

The Valentine Foundation envisions a society in which all women and girls thrive. Recognizing the legacy of sexism, gender, and racial oppression, we prioritize funding of organizations and executive and emerging leaders who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color and women, trans, and gender-expansive people. We define women and girls as including women, trans, and gender-expansive individuals.

Visionary Leadership Fund Grants are only available to qualifying organizations and will not be made available to individual applicants.

Application Notes

  • Applications to the Visionary Leadership Fund are separate from applications to the Valentine Foundation.
  • The guidelines and criteria for approval are distinct and decisions affecting one request will not necessarily apply to any other.
  • Organizations are eligible to submit applications to both The Valentine Foundation and the The Visionary Leadership Fund in the same grant year.

Complete information about Visionary Leadership Fund grant applications, including schedules, eligibility requirements, and scheduled information sessions, can be found at the link below.

Grant Applications

Characteristics of Visionary Leadership

The Valentine Fund for Visionary Leadership is committed to advancing, encouraging, and developing visionary leadership skills in both emerging and executive-level women nonprofit leaders. The Fund understands visionary leadership, apart from management and executive authority, to include the following characteristics:

  • Demonstration of innovation and entrepreneurial vision (takes initiative, is not risk averse, seeks new solutions, partnerships, tries alternative approaches)
  • Credibility (knowledge of issues from the standpoint of content and policy. Demonstrated capacity for strategic synthesis of knowledge and practice).
  • Demonstration of the capacity to influence others with or without the formal authority or title.
  • Demonstration of the capacity to respect followers, promote their voices, and protect their interests.
  • Exhibition of generosity: Shares knowledge, power, and resources in the interest of an aim.
  • Demonstration of life decisions and actions consistent with a set of core values and ethics.
  • Demonstration of effectiveness. Achievements, even if modest, that reflect intelligence, creativity, vision, advocacy, and a healthy balance of outrage and optimism.
  • Ability to think expansively about long term challenges
  • Seeks new solutions

Leadership Development Initiatives

The Visionary Leadership Fund has provided grants for leadership development for a variety of initiatives. We want organizations to identify the initiatives that will be most effective in supporting and developing their current and emerging leaders, given the life cycle of their organization. Read more about Leadership Development Initiatives funded by the Valentine Foundation at the link below.

Leadership Development Initiatives

Leadership Fund Committee

  • Robin Eisenberg, Chair
  • Mary McTernan
  • Alexandra Samuels
  • Ann Ricksecker
  • Vanessa Lowe
  • Frances Vilella-Velez
  • Maritza Santiago Lugo
  • Theresa Jackson
  • Nancy Kirby


Download annual Visionary Leadership Fund newsletters. (PDF)