CAF America Blog

Investing with Purpose

Socially responsible investing (SRI) is one of the fastest-growing practices in finance and development, and it has further permeated the philanthropic sector within recent years. Amidst a growing recognition in the philanthropic sector that a foundation or individual donor’s investments could actually be undermining their own giving, investments have become more aware and attuned to… CONTINUE READING >>

Substantiating and Reporting Charitable Contributions: Requirements from the IRS

Effective July 30, 2018, the IRS published final regulations for Substantiation and Reporting Requirements for Cash and Noncash Charitable Contribution Deductions. These updates guide individuals, partnerships, and corporations making charitable contributions on how these contributions should be substantiated and reported in order for them to be legally tax-deductible. Reflecting the enactment of the American Jobs… CONTINUE READING >>

Celebrating International Cat Day and Global Conservation Efforts

August 8th is International Cat Day! This day is a celebration of one of the animals most widely-beloved by humans: the cat!  Since 2002 when the day was instituted by animal welfare groups, many of us cat fans take the time to do something special on August 8th. Whether it’s simply showing some extra love… CONTINUE READING >>

Giving to India? FCRA Compliance and More

In Brief Donors in the United States may not give directly to Indian nonprofits and receive a tax deduction in the US. By giving through CAF America, US donors can make tax effective donations to any successfully vetted foreign charitable organization. Giving to a foreign nonprofit without conducting due diligence on the organization and its… CONTINUE READING >>

IGS18 – A Recap and What’s Next

“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… CONTINUE READING >>

11 Facts About Donor Advised Funds and Private Foundations

When evaluating options for best structuring charitable giving, donors often wish to assess the differences and benefits offered by creating a private foundation or opening a donor advised fund (DAF). While private foundations and DAFs enable strategic and tax-effective charitable giving, they differ enough that they can appeal to different types of donors, be more… CONTINUE READING >>

Giving to Canadian Charities? Make Sure You’re in Compliance

From time to time, our conversations with donor clients or charity partners reveal certain misconceptions within the philanthropic sector. One issue that continues to surface is that giving to Canadian charities is easy. Alas, it isn’t so simple. This piece addresses the erroneous belief that grantmaking into Canada does not require any due diligence. While… CONTINUE READING >>

Beyond the Medals

By Alisha Greenberg, Founder of Rounding Third, LLC If you are anything like me, you were glued to the television much of this month following the action in PyeongChang. I look forward to the Olympics as a sports fan and even more so as a sports impact leader. Sports impact, or the benefit that sports… CONTINUE READING >>

Is your Organization Compliant to Solicit Charitable Gifts in the U.S.?

The United States is a key source of funding for charitable organizations and causes across the globe, but soliciting donations in the US can be a complex and burdensome process. To start, let’s stay within the US borders. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certifies the creation and oversees the activities of all charitable organizations in… CONTINUE READING >>

The Latest from the IRS on DAFs, Donor Pledges, and other Donor Benefits

The IRS released an important notice regarding donor advised funds (DAFs) on December 4th, 2017 and has begun soliciting public comments on a number of issues concerning distributions from DAFs. While at this time only Section 4 has been posted by the IRS as guidance taxpayers may currently rely on, there is much to learn… CONTINUE READING >>

IRS Provides New “Checklist” to Determine Whether a Foreign Charity Qualifies to Receive Tax-Deductible Gifts from Americans without Triggering an Excise Tax

For the first time, the IRS has clearly defined and expanded upon what tax attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents should take into consideration when facilitating cross-border gifts to foreign charities. Read the full article on Bloomberg BNA Software Be sure to listen to our Radio show, “What You Need To Know About: New IRS Guidelines… CONTINUE READING >>

Intermediary Organizations (IOs) and Corporate Giving: Partnerships That Can Add Value and Increase Impact

By Chris Park, Corporate Giving Consultant For the more than 25 years that I have worked in corporate philanthropy I have repeatedly had people comment, “How hard can THAT job be?” Yes, directing where a company donates its charitable contributions is a great job, but it isn’t an easy one. And it is made harder… CONTINUE READING >>

Granting to China Made “Easy?”

The China Overseas NGO Management Law, officially the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China” went into effect January 1, 2017. The law requires that foreign NGOs coordinate their efforts with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and provides the framework within… CONTINUE READING >>

CAF America Hosts Diaspora Philanthropy Summit

On November 2nd-3rd, CAF America had the immense honor of hosting its Diaspora Philanthropy Summit at the organizational headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. With CAF Canada and Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies African Studies Center as partners, the Summit brought together representatives from diaspora groups from across the world and served as an incubator for… CONTINUE READING >>

Donor Advised Funds for Retirees: Planned Giving and Bequests

We are about to witness the largest-ever transfer of wealth between generations. Charitable giving has been steadily increasing during the past few years and there is a strong chance that the wealth of the Baby Boomer generation will result in the largest philanthropic boom seen since the era of Rockefeller and Carnegie. The difference being… CONTINUE READING >>

CAF America Celebrates UN Day

On October 24, 2017, the CAF America team gathered in our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to celebrate the 72nd birthday of the United Nations. As an organization that helps Americans support important causes across the world, CAF America has been aligning our grantmaking with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since 2016. As a staff,… CONTINUE READING >>

Charity Spotlight: Haribon Foundation

In Philippine Tagalog, Haribon means King of the Birds. Within the archipelago nation, there lives a true Haribon – one of the largest, most powerful, and rarest birds in the world – the Philippine Eagle. The majestic bird makes its home along the lush forests and coastlines of the Philippine archipelago – one of the… CONTINUE READING >>

IRS Publishes New Guidelines for Equivalency Determination

Many international grantmakers in the U.S. were very pleased when in 2015 the Department of Treasury published its final regulations called “Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations.” With near lighting speed, for the IRS, just two years later on September 14th, 2017, the IRS has released Rev. Proc. 2017-53. These new guidelines clarify the… CONTINUE READING >>

IGS 2017: A Delegate’s Take

Author: Emily Bryant, Doctoral Candidate CAF America’s third annual International Grantmaking Symposium was held earlier this month in Boston. As a first time IGS participant (or “delegate,” as we’re called), I took in a great deal of valuable information and received the opportunity to network with others in the field. Though not a grantmaker myself… CONTINUE READING >>

Fiscal Sponsorship: What Does it Mean for You?

As the leader in global giving, CAF America often receives questions from both prospective donors and charities asking whether we offer fiscal sponsorship services. The existing definition of “fiscal sponsorship” leaves significant space for interpretation, however, it is a term that has been resurfacing with increased frequency. We want to take this opportunity to dig… CONTINUE READING >>

Wealth Strategy and Charitable Giving: A Conversation with Max Barger, Senior Wealth Strategist, PNC Wealth Management

CAF America: How often does philanthropy come up in the conversations that you have with your clients? Max Barger: While it varies based on the client’s needs, I always bring philanthropy up, especially when we are discussing legacy or tax-mitigation. One of my first successes at PNC was working with a family which was contemplating… CONTINUE READING >>

How to Give Abroad: The Mechanisms of International Grantmaking

As we have written before, Americans are increasingly looking internationally to put their philanthropic dollars at work. Once strategies were set, corporations, financial firms, community foundations, wealth advisors, and individual donors alike have found themselves searching for tax-effective solutions to give abroad. As you may guess, identifying the best options for international charitable giving is… CONTINUE READING >>

ED Certificate a License to Give?

Due to the complex nature of making charitable donations to organizations outside of the U.S., it can be challenging for people and institutions to ensure that they’re adhering to all requisite laws imposed by the United States federal government in addition to local country regulations. It has been our business for nearly 25 years to… CONTINUE READING >>

Pledging to Give: The Power of Example

Within the next 45 years, nearly $59 trillion dollars is up for grabs. Don’t run to check your bank account balance or buy a lottery ticket just yet though, as unfortunately, this money is already earned. What this number references is the greatest intergenerational transfer of wealth to ever occur. The much cited study “A… CONTINUE READING >>

“Just Charity”? The Nexus of Impact, Philanthropy, and Investment in the African Context

When we decided that we should take a closer look into U.S. giving to Africa, we were confronted with a troublesome specter called generalization and the looming notion that we would join the ranks of those who talk about Africa as a homogenous nation and not a complex continent with 54 distinct countries. Alas, with… CONTINUE READING >>

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance for Grantmakers: The Good, The Bad and The Regulatory

A recent announcement by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is giving the charitable sector a new reason to celebrate. For years, governments have cautioned potential donors that the entire charitable sector, made up primarily of Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs), is at a greater risk for being used to commit money laundering and other illegal activities. Such… CONTINUE READING >>

Latest from the UN: CAF America Participates in Global Development Week

  September is always a hectic time in New York City. The United Nation’s annual meeting of the General Assembly (GA) occurs every year in September and brings with it a whole host of international government officials, corporate executives, international organization employees, and of course, civil society members and philanthropists. This year, however, the massive… CONTINUE READING >>

Charity Spotlight: Samriddha Pahad UK

Imagine you live in a region of the world that is so remote that you’ve never seen, let alone heard of, a bank. You have very little opportunity to make a living, through no fault of your own. The concepts of self-starter, entrepreneur or business owner might not be completely foreign to you, however, without… CONTINUE READING >>

Philanthropy in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Mosaic of Giving to Bangladesh and the Philippines

In today’s interconnected world, global philanthropy is more within reach than ever before. The challenges of distant countries and peoples feel acutely tangible through live videos, images, and stories that we can access with the tap of a finger. This means that donors in the US can not only witness a natural disaster occur while… CONTINUE READING >>

Tracking the Funding: An Update on Financing the SDGs

As we are nearing the end of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) first year of existence and the planning work towards achieving these goals is fully underway, two main questions remain as common concerns on everyone’s mind — critics and proponents alike — how will we finance these goals and how will we track developmental… CONTINUE READING >>

Reflecting on International Youth Day 2016

Last week marked the 17th anniversary of International Youth Day – a day to celebrate young peoples views, lives and futures while also raising awareness about the issues they are facing. This year, the theme for International Youth Day was “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production“; dovetailing with Goals… CONTINUE READING >>

Charity Spotlight: Delhi Council for Child Welfare

Suman is a cheerful 6 year-old from Delhi, India. She has been living with cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement and muscle tone that prevents her from standing without assistance. On a daily basis, Suman’s parents take her to receive physiotherapy and speech therapy. Every day presents a new challenge that the family must… CONTINUE READING >>

Five Predictions for the Future of Philanthropy

This op-ed by CAF America’s CEO, Ted Hart, was originally posted at npENGAGE and can be found here. When asked about what I think the future of fundraising looks like, my best advice? STOP FUNDRAISING!  In the ever-evolving world of philanthropy, your success is not in the tools you use to fundraise, but in your… CONTINUE READING >>

Latest from FATF: Changes to Recommendation 8

Civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world have recently recorded a victory that could be more than a small step toward regaining access to international funding. Moreover, the 25th of June, 2016, when FATF issued a string of revisions related to the implementation of its recommendations, may even mark – as highlighted by Adam Pickering,… CONTINUE READING >>

A Remarkable Rise in International Giving

The American philanthropic sector welcomed last week the release of the Giving USA 2016 report that shows a considerable growth of charitable giving, with contributions exceeding $373 billion for 2015. A publication of Giving USA Foundation, The Giving Institute & IUPUI, the report focuses on charitable giving trends within the United States and provides valuable… CONTINUE READING >>

Tax relief on charity donations ‘effective’ but often skewed in favour of the wealthy – CAF

May 17, 2016 | New Report Released Tax incentives encourage people and businesses to give more to charity but are too often skewed in favor of the wealthy and causes favored by governments, an international study has concluded. People are significantly more likely to have given to charity in the past month if they live… CONTINUE READING >>

Basketball as a Vehicle for Change: An interview with Mark Crandall, Founder of Hoops 4 Hope

Amidst a growing recognition of sport as a unifying force — no matter where in the world it’s played — CAF America is dedicating the month of April to highlighting the work of  our donors and partners who use sports to promote tolerance, accountability and respect. In a recent blog post, a story of reconciliation… CONTINUE READING >>

Rwanda and Cricket: A Story of Reconciliation

“At one point, I saw my mother try to run away. She made it out of the door, but they killed her under the tree with machetes. When the killing was done, they pulled all the bodies out of the house and into the courtyard. I couldn’t recognise anyone. They were all cut up. Disfigured…. CONTINUE READING >>

Philanthropy and the SDGs: A Real Opportunity or Just Another Set of Buzzwords?

In September 2015, the 193 Member States of the U.N. unanimously adopted the new global agenda. These 17 goals and 169 targets will decide the world’s common action towards tackling some of the most encumbering problems of humanity during the upcoming 15 years. But who, exactly, is this world that is taking action? The proponents… CONTINUE READING >>

Grant Reports: What We Learned in 2015

One of the most rewarding experiences as a grantmaker is receiving and reviewing reports on projects and programs that were directly impacted by your grant. Grantee reports are a wonderful opportunity for charitable organizations to continue building a sense of trust with their donors, to celebrate the successes of their efforts, and to reflect on… CONTINUE READING >>

Women at the Heart of Philanthropy and Gender Equality

SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. This day has always advocated for an expanded view of women beyond their role in the family. As women’s political, economic, and social achievements are increasingly recognized, the world also remembers how far we still… CONTINUE READING >>

Charity Spotlight: The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation

At the beginning of the 20th century, an estimated 1000 Saimaa Ringed Seals populated Lake Saimaa in Finland.  By 1983, only 150 of these seals survived net fishing, which is still to date the biggest threat for the ringed seals. With unwavering and relentless awareness campaigns like that of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation,… CONTINUE READING >>

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Indigenous Women in Guatemala Lift Themselves Out of Poverty

Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. More than half of all Guatemalans live in poverty. A similar percentage of the country’s residents are under age 19. In such an environment, young women are disproportionately vulnerable, especially if they are part of a historically persecuted indigenous communities. In communities primarily of Maya descent,… CONTINUE READING >>

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