NGOsource Launches Online Equivalency Determination Service That Streamlines International Grantmaking

Reduced Complexity, Cost, and Risk to Aid Cross-Border Philanthropy
Monday, March 18, 2013
San Fransisco, CA

NGOsource, the game-changing equivalency determination service that revolutionizes global philanthropy for U.S. grantmaking, is now operational and open for business.

A project of the Council on Foundations and TechSoup Global, NGOsource employs a streamlined process (known as equivalency determination or ED) to determine if a non-U.S. organization is equivalent to a U.S. public charity and creates a central repository of certified EDs that will benefit both U.S. grantmakers and the international organizations they support.

Inaugural members of NGOsource include The Rockefeller Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Give2Asia, The Greenbaum Foundation, and Schwab Charitable, with some of these grantmakers issuing 100 or more international grants annually. NGOsource is currently processing equivalency determinations for its members.

In September 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS proposed new regulations designed to facilitate international philanthropy by lessening the administrative and financial burdens for U.S. grantmakers making equivalency determinations. As then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton noted at the time, this new guidance creates room for the establishment of repositories for equivalency determinations made by appropriately qualified tax practitioners. NGOsource is excited to help grantmakers take advantage of the new opportunities it opens up for making EDs in an efficient, responsible, and cost-effective way. NGOsource has been advised by Caplin & Drysdale, a leading law firm with significant experience in international grantmaking, to ensure full compliance with IRS and U.S. Treasury regulations, including all the latest guidance governing equivalency determinations.

NGOsource is the only professional service employing a completely new methodology for swiftly providing grantmaker members with legally compliant equivalency determinations that are thorough and accurate. NGOsource’s approach is unique because it employs a customized technology platform supported by an on-the-ground, multi-lingual global partner network and creates a centralized worldwide ED repository that is accessible to all NGOsource members. As NGOsource’s ED repository grows and is shared collaboratively among NGOsource members, the ease of international grantmaking will escalate exponentially.

"For most of the last 14 years, I've had to seek out and cajole organizations to permit me to use their organizational umbrellas to make my international grants.  More recently, we undertook doing those tedious and time-consuming equivalency determinations ourselves. NGOsource's equivalency determination service has just unburdened me. The process was quick and easy. Now, we can spend our time and resources doing what we do best and leave this part of the nitty-gritty to NGOsource,” said Jim Greenbaum, founder & managing director of the Greenbaum Foundation.

International grantees benefit from a customized online data collection system for gathering their NGO information for equivalency determination analysis. Once approved, that grantee’s data can be used to issue EDs for other NGOsource grantmaker members. Synergies emerging from this centralized, scalable ED repository are poised to advance international grantmaking throughout the sector.

“Many years ago, the Council recognized that to provide its members with the ability to advance and sustain the common good, it had to develop a more streamlined process for cross-border funding. Since then, the Council worked in close collaboration with the U.S. grantmaking community to encourage the recent change in international grantmaking regulations that decreases barriers for global philanthropy. The announcement of new equivalency determination regulations represents a significant win for global philanthropy and will pave the way for organizations such as NGOsource to facilitate this process,” said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

“The need for increased global philanthropy to address the myriad of challenges we face around the world has never been greater. The launch of NGOsource will dramatically accelerate the delivery of funds to the NGOs best suited to tackle these issues head-on. NGOsource showcases how expert collaboration, process standardization, and the smart use of technology can be jointly leveraged to significantly increase social good on a global scale,” said Rebecca Masisak, CEO of TechSoup Global. “With NGOsource, U.S. grantmakers can now swiftly respond with ease and confidence to the needs of grantees around the world.”

For a list of the leading foundations and philanthropic service providers that have backed NGOsource from concept to launch and for information on how to become a member, please visit www.ngosource.org.
 

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About NGOsource
NGOsource, a project of the Council on Foundations and TechSoup Global, helps U.S. grantmakers streamline their international giving. Envisioned by grantmakers for grantmakers, NGOsource simplifies the task of evaluating whether a non-U.S. organization is equivalent to a U.S. public charity — a process known as equivalency determination or ED. NGOsource's global reach, legal expertise, and standardized methodology enable a thorough, accurate analysis in compliance with IRS regulations. For more information, please visit www.ngosource.org.

About the Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public, and company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information, please visit www.cof.org.

About TechSoup Global
TechSoup Global is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise working towards the day when every nonprofit, library, and social benefit organization on the planet has the technology knowledge and resources it needs to operate at its full potential. Currently, TechSoup Global serves 58 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East through a network of independent capacity-building non-governmental organizations. Providing eligibility services specifically for the NGO sector is one of its core competencies, which is based on managing its technology donation program for over 20 years. The network partners qualify NGOs using consistent localized standards and protocols and distribute product donations in all of the countries served. Today, over 90 IT firms, foundation and government partners around the world use TechSoup Global's eligibility services. TechSoup Global has over 200 employees and an annual budget of US$33.5 million. For more information, please visit www.techsoupglobal.org.