Removing Barriers to Cross-Border Grantmaking

For more than 20 years, the Council has played a key role in working to reduce barriers to cross-border philanthropy. We are committed to working with grantmakers, the Federal government and multilateral institutions, think tanks, global philanthropic networks, and other partners to facilitate a favorable regulatory environment for foundations doing work overseas.

One of these partners, the Charity & Security Network—a leading expert in this space—has made us aware of two regulatory processes commencing this fall with significant implications for cross-border grantmaking. The two proceedings will be conducted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an obscure but powerful intergovernmental group that sets international anti-terrorist financing and money laundering standards. Grantmaker participation in these processes will be essential to ensure a favorable legal environment for the work of foundations and their grantees abroad.

First, FATF will conduct an evaluation of U.S. compliance with its standards, including a review of anti-terrorism regulations for nonprofits. Over the past two years, the Charity & Security Network has been working with an international coalition of nonprofits that has succeeded in getting FATF to adopt language that calls on governments to respect human rights and humanitarian standards in nonprofit regulations, and to ensure that its rules protect legitimate nonprofits and are proportional and flexible. It is up to our sector to make sure the review of U.S. regulations addresses these standards.

Second, the FATF’s “Best Practices Paper” on anti-terrorist financing regulations for nonprofits, which is outdated and problematic, is being revised. FATF has expressed its openness to input from the nonprofit sector in the revision process.

On Tuesday, October 21, the Charity & Security Network will hold a roundtable with expert speakers from an international nonprofit working group on FAFT. The speakers will provide background, and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss how our sector can best provide input into the proceedings to get the best possible outcome.


Charity & Security Network FATF Roundtable

Tuesday October 21, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Open Society Foundation
1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 7th Floor, Washington, D.C.


The Council will attend the meeting, along with our outside legal experts who’ve participated in our work for several years.

The first hour will be available by conference call (the background presentations and Q&A). If you are interested in participating contact Kay Guinane, Director, Charity & Security Network, at

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