Blog: Newsletters

Global Philanthropy Update - December 2016

It’s hard to believe 2016 is almost over. With the U.S. election, Brexit, the crisis in Syria, and historic meetings for the international community like the World Humanitarian Summit, it’s been an eventful year to say the least. It’s unclear what exactly 2017 will hold, but we are preparing activities and resources to support your international grantmaking in these uncertain times.

At the Council, our global program had a number of key results in 2016:

  • We convened more than 200 foundations in four cities and 25 affinity groups to discuss how philanthropy in the U.S. can leverage the Sustainable Development Goals. And we published the From Global Goals to Local Impact report, which has been viewed more than 4,000 times online.
  • We hosted eight international delegations in Washington, D.C., to learn and dialogue about global philanthropy and civil society.
  • We published articles about international grantmaking in the Guardian, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Alliance Magazine.
  • We represented the role of U.S. philanthropy in global development at the World Humanitarian Summit, U.N. General Assembly, and Habitat3 meetings.
  • We regularly engaged the Treasury, State Department, and additional federal agencies on regulating and partnering with U.S. philanthropy.
  • We celebrated the successful revision of Recommendation 8 by the Financial Action Task Force, which no longer lists nonprofits as “particularly vulnerable” to terrorist financing.
  • I presented on panels at 10 conferences around the world, highlighting trends in U.S. and global philanthropy and helping funders in other countries consider how the SDGs might be relevant to their domestic grantmaking.

Below are a number of updates related to the Council's global philanthropy work, including highlights of new activities planned in 2017. I hope you're also using the information on our global program page and global grantmaking resources on our website.

Closing Space for Civil Society and Cross-Border Grantmaking

In China, the final implementation guidelines for the 2017 Overseas NGO Law were released earlier this month. You can find links to the guidelines (and an unofficial English translation) on our blog. The Wall Street Journal’s December 14 article also provides good context on the implications of the new law.

In Egypt,the parliament has passed a new law that greatly restricts domestic and international civil society working in Egypt. It increases the cost of CSO registration, allows the government to easily refuse to register a CSO, and increases penalties for violations of the law to include prison sentences and steep fines. New provisions also mean:

  • CSOs need prior permission from the government before accepting foreign funding;
  • Foreign CSOs require government permission before operating in Egypt;
  • CSOs must receive government permission before working with foreign partners or experts; and
  • CSOs need government permission to conduct surveys or publish reports.

More information is available on ICNL’s Civic Freedom Monitor.

Earlier this month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released their 2016 U.S. evaluation, which analyzed our compliance with FATF Recommendations, the effectiveness of our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures, and made recommendations to strengthen our system. Read more analysis on the U.S. evaluation on our blog.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS: Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation, recently authored a blog post for our 2017 Trendspotting Series called Five Trends in Civil Society. Many thanks to Danny for providing his insight on what we can expect next year in this space.

Recent Events

Artwork from the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy

The Council sent two staff members to the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy in Johannesburg in early December, where we spoke on a panel and hosted a side meeting with the Foundation Center about new research on the international footprint of U.S. community foundations. Read more about the fascinating conversations on “shifting the power” at the Summit in the December 2016 edition of Alliance Magazine and the Alliance blog.

On December 6, we co-hosted a meeting on the SDGs in Jacksonville, Florida, with Florida Philanthropic Network, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and the SDG Philanthropy Platform. More than 60 attendees joined for a day of discussion on how a global framework with targets like ending hunger by 2030 could leverage new collaborations in Florida. We are excited to keep working with funders in Florida to think about how their local work can link to global frameworks, as well as connect to other cities and states where philanthropy is using the SDGs at the local level.

What’s Coming in 2017 for Our Global Program?

Like many of you, we are currently finalizing 2017 work plans and budgets to prepare for a new year of activity. Our global program has secured additional funding that will continue to expand our internationally-focused activities over the next year, providing even more benefits for all Council members. We will launch a number of new activities in 2017, including:

  • A full-time Global Philanthropy Fellow will join our team in January via a partnership with Atlas Corps and work across our international program for all of 2017.
  • Our new Global Liaisons program will bring together global partnership units within federal agencies and multilateral organizations like the U.N., World Bank, and development banks. The group will meet four to six times a year to discuss how best to partner with philanthropy globally and also be a network for our members to leverage. We are using a similar approach and structure to our existing Federal Liaisons program.
  • We will launch a new professional development opportunity in late 2017, Global Philanthropic Strategies, which will provide a mix of online courses, two-day in-person training, and an online peer network on international philanthropy.
  • We will release several new reports and white papers, in partnership with the Foundation Center and other partners, focused on analyzing trends in global activity by U.S. foundations.
  • We are also planning a number of in-person convenings in 2017 on a range of topics, including continuing conversations on the SDGs in cities around the country.

Don’t Forget to REGISTER NOW!

WINGS Forum 2017 – Critical Philanthropy: Addressing Complexity, Challenging Ourselves

Registration is now open for the upcoming WINGS Forum 2017 in Mexico City on February 22-24, 2017. WINGSForum, held every three years, brings together a globally diverse group of senior staff from philanthropy support organizations and leaders in philanthropy to share knowledge, network, and advance effective philanthropy worldwide. The Council, as a member of the WINGS board, is leading the design of the conference and will be speaking on the plenary stage, as well as coordinating several concurrent sessions.

2017 Council on Foundations Annual Conference – Leading Together

Registration is open for the Council’s 2017 Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, on April 23-26! Join us to Lead Together and discuss how to build vibrant communities while improving the art and science of philanthropic practice. We will have a globally focused pre-conference on Sunday, April 23, centering entirely on grantmaking and partnerships in Latin America. There will also be global sessions throughout the conference and an annual international dinner and reception.


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