Global Philanthropy

Natalie Ross discusses the recent publication of The State of Global Giving by US Foundations: 2011-2015, outlining some of the key findings. She also discusses upcoming events and webinar, and provides new resources for global philanthropy.

The State of Global Giving, a new report by the Council on Foundations and Foundation Center, reveals that global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015. With mounting challenges that transcend national boundaries, it’s increasingly important to understand how funds are being allocated to tackle global issues like climate change and the spread of preventable diseases.

The Council on Foundations and Foundation Center analyzed how US foundations supported international communities, non-profits, and programs between 2011 and 2015 for our report, The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations: 2011-2015. In addition to a detailed analysis of trends by issue area, geographic region, population group, and donor strategy, this analysis also relates these trends to key events and developments, including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Council on Foundations co-hosted an instructive, engaging webinar that unpacked the legal framework for philanthropy in China.

The UN’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York City this month was an opportunity for governments and partners to review global progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the meetings, 47 countries completed Voluntary National Reviews to show progress on the SDGs, along with New York City, the first municipality to do so. The U.S. did not complete a voluntary national review. Canada did, and the Canadian’s analysis of their work on the SDGs highlighted several commitments, including $100M in 2018 to go toward a new SDG Unit to better support SDG implementation and coordination.

This June, the House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in which committee members asserted that NRDC may need to register under FARA. Natalie Ross details why several of the reasons outlined by the committee could apply to many U.S. Foundations working internationally. If the language is not tightened, there could be significant unintended and negative impacts on U.S. non-profits.

Global grantmaking and international issues remain a priority for the Council, from our leadership on the Board of WINGS, to programming and resources for global grantmakers and our continued commitment to working on the SDGs. To help lead this work, we welcomed a new Atlas Corps Global Fellow in late March—Caroline Needles—from Canada who will spend more than a year at the Council, helping lead our international program. I hope you’ll connect with her during her time here at the Council!