Global Philanthropy

This month, work on public policy that impacts philanthropy has been a large focus across the Council. Most relevant to global grantmakers, I’ve been working with partners on the US Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). There are more than seven bills currently proposed in the House and Senate that will impact FARA, which could have significant impacts on US foundations working with global partners.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is front page news in the wake of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Since its enactment in 1938, FARA has been rarely enforced, but Congress is currently considering six bills to increase its implementation. This online briefing, cosponsored by the Council on Foundations and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), discussed these concerns, recent legislative action in Congress, and possible fixes that would enable stronger enforcement of FARA without the unintended impacts on non-profits.

Last week in Mexico City, the Council co-hosted the first ever North American Community Foundations Summit, which brought together more than 200 leaders to discuss how we can truly leave no one behind and achieve the SDGs in North America by 2030.

Coming out of a historic meeting that brought together philanthropic leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States, more than 80 philanthropic leaders have joined in solidarity and pledged to work to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for all across North America. This commitment marks the first multinational pledge of philanthropic leaders in North America to connect, learn, and exchange across borders in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Community foundations are critically important local leaders who bring a wealth of knowledge to driving change locally. To address the systemic challenges impacting our communities, we are committed to building coalitions with government, business, the nonprofit sector and others to bring together local voices and create a world that is more equitable for future generations.

Local Leadership, Global Impact: Community Foundations and the Sustainable Development Goals highlights the growing presence and impact of community foundations around the world and teaches community foundations how to apply the lens of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to their work. The report recommends ten steps for community foundations to get started on using the SDGs as a tool to improve quality of life in their communities. These steps include learning about the SDGs, mapping the SDGs to local challenges, using data to create local goals, building cross-sector ownership of solutions and monitoring progress.