Just Released: Final International Grantmaking Rules

In 2012, the Department of Treasury and the IRS issued proposed regulations applicable to private foundations seeking to make grants to foreign organizations using equivalency determinations. At the time, the Council submitted comments in support of the rules, and urged Treasury and the IRS to consider making additional clarifications to the rules that apply to international grantmaking.

Today, Treasury and the IRS published a final version of these rules in the Federal Register. The final regulations take up many of the issues that the Council has asked Treasury to address for years in an effort to reduce barriers to global grantmaking for foundations. We commend Treasury for finalizing these rules.

Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill was quoted in a Bloomberg piece on the rules: “These final regulations will allow foundations to confidently rely on equivalency determinations provided through shared repositories like NGOsource,” Spruill stated.

The regulations, Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations, broaden the range of professionals on whose written advice a private foundation may rely for equivalency determinations for grants overseas. They also clarify that sponsoring organizations of donor-advised funds may rely on the rules for international distributions from DAFs, and narrow the circumstances in which a grantor can make use of a grantee affidavit to make a good faith determination of equivalency.

When the proposed rules were issued in 2012, TechSoup Global and the Council launched the first equivalency determination repository. NGOsource was established in 2013 upon interpreting the proposed regulations as paving the way for these repositories. These final regulations will further strengthen grantmakers’ confident reliance on equivalency determinations through repositories.

Please see our analysis of the final regulations for more detail on how they will impact your global grantmaking.


Access to the Council’s legal team is a valuable member benefit. Council attorneys are available to discuss your legal questions and to provide legal information by telephone, email and through our various publications and newsletters. This information is intended for educational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances, and may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.