In both 2015 and 2016, the Council on Foundations worked closely with a global nonprofit coalition to advocate for changes to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Since 9/11, more than 140 governments have passed counter-terrorism legislation. In many countries, governments have framed civil society as a threat to terrorist financing, leading to new restrictive legislation closing the space for the cross-border funding of civil society groups. These recommendations have also affected the ability of humanitarian, peace-building, and development groups to receive resources in conflict zones to devastating effect.
At the Council, we think FATF is a global regulatory body that too many foundations do not understand, especially as it relates to their cross-border giving and advocacy for improved enabling environments for grantees around the world. We are, therefore, excited to share a recent webinar from the Global NPO Coalition on FATF which provides a good overview for foundations about what FATF is and what the new standard (Recommendation 8) may mean for nonprofit organizations (including foundations) in the U.S. and around the world.
In June 2016, we celebrated changes to global standards for regulation of nonprofits by national governments around the world, as FATF Recommendation 8 was updated to remove language that nonprofits are "particularly vulnerable" to terrorist financing. This new international standard is changing the way governments are supposed to approach regulation of NPOs to prevent terrorist abuse moving forward.