CAF America Insider Blog

A Recap of IGS18

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Some of the IGS18 Delegates in front of the Washington Monument!

“The legal environment impacting cross-border giving is changing, and sadly not always for the better. But such laws are just part of a larger picture, an ever-changing tapestry of  environments, both domestically and around the world, that impact our work.Changes to our field can be daunting but they can also be opportunities.”

-Ted Hart, President and CEO of CAF America addressing the delegates to IGS18

It was with these words that the 2018 International Grantmaking Symposium (IGS) began, laying the foundation for fruitful and timely discussions about a multitude of topics pertaining to international philanthropy. The audience—a mix of corporations, corporate foundations, private & family foundations, donor advised fund sponsoring organizations, wealth advisors, and other nonprofit organizations—brought their own perspectives to bear on the issues facing cross-border giving.

The 2018 IGS was held in partnership with The Center for International Business Education and Research at George Washington University (GW-CIBER). A two-day executive training on international grantmaking, the IGS provides fundamental sessions such as “Mechanisms for International Grantmaking” and “Expenditure Responsibility & Equivalency Determination” while also addressing timely topics such as “Giving to Challenging Markets. The Case of China” and “Blockchain in Philanthropy” (the full curriculum can be found here).

This year, the fourth iteration of the IGS, was a special one for CAF America as it coincided with the launch of Cross-Border Giving: A Legal and Practical Guide. Required reading for any professional in philanthropy, Cross-Border Giving features 12 chapters written by 17 expert authors and covers a multitude of topics including: ethical grantmaking, the closing space for civil society, equivalency determination & expenditure responsibility, preparing for an audit, and many more.

CAF America is grateful to all of the speakers who so graciously provided their insights and expertise throughout the two days and to all of the delegates who made this year’s Symposium a great success.

The 2019 IGS will be held on June 5-6 with the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in learning more about the IGS, please visit



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