In the autumn of 2012, the US Department of State launched the Global Philanthropy Working Group to engage with the philanthropic community on the promotion of global philanthropy and civil society. The Council on Foundations and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law have been selected as civil society co-chairs of the working group, which consists of more than 25 US foundations engaged globally.
Related to the working group announcement, the Secretary of State also announced new rules on equivalency determination that remove significant regulatory hurdles to cross-border philanthropy, the result of long-term efforts undertaken by the Council and key allies. The new rules allow US foundations to rely on advice from a broader range of tax professionals, not just attorneys, making the equivalency determination process easier, more streamlined and far less expensive. Thanks to these new rules, NGOsource – a project of the Council and TechSoup Global – can process equivalency determinations in a more efficient, responsible and cost-effective way. And these equivalency determinations can be used by other foundations, avoiding duplication of work by foundations and NGOs.
The working group is committed to encouraging a culture of giving, strengthening the ecosystem for philanthropy overseas, and drawing on the rich tradition of private philanthropy in the US. A number of activities are planned through 2014 to advance this unique public-philanthropic partnership, including:
- Developing a mechanism to bring to the attention of the State Department when foreign countries impose constraints on philanthropy and civil society, as well as providing a forum to discuss potential responses.
- Identifying potential US legal and regulatory reforms to reduce impediments to cross-border grantmaking by US foundations.
- Meeting with and mentoring foreign philanthropic delegations visiting the US.
For more information
State Department Global Philanthropy Working Group: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/198098.htm