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?
These resources are for U.S. foundations and grantmakers wishing to make grants abroad. The resources on this page focus on global grantmaking in general. For more specific topics, follow one of the links below. For information managing grants, see the Council’s resources on grant management.
In-Depth Topics Under Global Grantmaking:
In-Depth knowledge on Global Grantmaking
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.
This article outlines how private foundations can use "friends of" organizations to give globally.
Outlines the options that U.S. foundations have for giving globally.
Legal issues arise when a private foundation makes a grant to an Initial Grantee that is not a 501(c)(3) organization or that re-grants the Foundation's funds to a Secondary Grantee that is not a 501(c)(3) organization. Most of those issues center around IRS expenditure responsibility rules: specifically, which organization—the private foundation or the Initial Grantee—is responsible for adhering to those rules, if any.
Developed by the Treasury Guidelines Working Group of Charitable Sector Organizations and Advisors
For international grants, the Pension Protection Act requires donor-advised funds to comply with certain rules imposed on private foundations. Sponsoring organizations administering international grants from advised funds have adopted various practices to comply with the new requirements. This article discusses these changes, along with a brief description of the new rules.
Prepared by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, this report provides a summary of the legal constraints in global grantmaking and draws on illustrative examples from the U.S., Europe, and other regions. It also outlines potential options to address these barriers.
NGOsource helps U.S. grantmakers streamline and save in their international giving. NGOsource is a project of TechSoup and was started with support from the Council on Foundations.
The relationships that a foundation forms with nonresidents and non-U.S. institutions have many potential implications for the foundation, the nonresident, and the non-U.S. institution. This article focuses on FAQS regarding visa and immigration questions.