Global Grantmaking

These resources are for U.S. foundations and grantmakers wishing to make grants abroad. The resources below focus on global grantmaking in general.

In-Depth Topics Under Global Grantmaking:

anti-terrorism
equivalency determination and expenditure responsibility
grantmaking rules by country

In-Depth knowledge on Global Grantmaking

On September 25, 2015, 193 countries formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations. The Council is committed to connecting our members with resources to learn more about the SDGs and understand how these global goals are relevant to their existing programs and strategies, globally and in the US, and provide an opportunity for philanthropy to lead together towards 2030. This resource covers what the SDGs are, how other Council members and foundations see the SDGs as relevant to their work, and important information specifically for corporate philanthropy looking to engage in the SDGs.

The Council actively asserts its leadership role in the global policy space to ensure a positive regulatory environment for global philanthropy. To do that, the Council develops substantive policy positions on behalf of its members and submits regulatory comments and letters to U.S. policymakers, foreign governments and intergovernmental bodies, and advocates before domestic and international bodies that set policies that impact cross-border philanthropy.

As part of COF’s global philanthropy program, this members-only teleconference provided an overview on policy developments in Mexico that are impacting the flow of U.S. philanthropy into the country. On the call, expert speakers delved into the implications for funders of a new anti-money laundering law, changes to the Mexican tax code, and the consequences of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement. Foundation leaders also explained how they navigate the changed regulatory environment and highlighted a range of new resources on grantmaking in Mexico.

Understanding the challenges of currency fluctuations on international grantmaking, and taking action to minimize their impact can ensure that this natural process does not become an added barrier to overseas giving. This resource focuses on some of the challenges foundations and giving programs and their grantees face as a result of fluctuating currency exchange rates, and highlights various ways that U.S. grantmakers are dealing with them in their international grantmaking activities. It offers insights from the field that may be useful to grantmakers considering starting an international giving program and to more seasoned ones wishing to improve their practices.

While philanthropy that crosses national borders has much in common with its domestic counterpart, it also differs in significant and challenging ways. Language differences, communication across vast distances, unfamiliar cultural values and perspectives, multiple legal systems, and disparate accounting practices are a few of the factors that distinguish international from local or national philanthropy and contribute to its complexity. Moreover, international philanthropy takes place against a complex backdrop of international politics, geo-power dynamics, government stipulations, and cultural and religious traditions, with a potentially greater degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. However, with the high level of need and the cross-border nature of many of the challenges the world faces today, there is also a greater sense of responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to make a difference with even modest contributions. In view of these challenges, how can independent funders ensure that their international philanthropy is carried out in an accountable and responsible manner?

This brief provides practical advice and tips on setting strategy, ensuring an on-the-ground presence, and selecting partners for U.S.-based companies with foundations and/or giving programs that are either venturing into the international giving arena or seeking to enhance their current programs. The last section highlights the importance of maintaining legal compliance.