Foreign Charitable Organizations

Quick links:
Click here to learn how your organization can become eligible with CAF America.

How an Organization Receives Funds

With a Donor Advised Gift

This is generally the best option for organizations to promote.
Once your organization becomes eligible to receive grants from CAF America, donors can then make a Donor Advised Gift recommending that the funds are used to support your organization.  A donor advised gift has a minimum amount of $500. Donor Advised Gifts can be made online or offline.

If you have been approved as eligible to receive grants from CAF America, this can enhance your appeal to new American donors who may not realize they can receive a tax-deduction by giving to CAF America and suggesting your organization as the grant recipient. Below are some ideas you can use in your marketing materials to help make this clear:

“(Organization) is able to accept tax-deductible donations from American donors in partnership with CAF America. Please visit the Give Now page at CAF America’s website at to get started.”

“This organization has been validated and approved to receive grants from CAF America; if you are an American donor wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to support us, you may give to CAF America and recommend that the grant be made to (organization).”

For more information, download the Donor Advised Gift sheet.

Through a Friends Fund

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If you are a charitable organization located outside of the United States and are looking for a way to increase your support from American donors, CAF America has a cost-effective option for you: a CAF America Friends Fund.

CAF America Friends Funds are much simpler and less costly than establishing a separate public charity in the United States; furthermore, there is no requirement to manage a board or staff, and no US government registration, governance, tax, or audit requirement. Your organization does, however, need to be eligible with CAF America. Any foreign charitable organization that is already eligible with CAF America is welcome to open a Friends Fund.

You can choose any name for your Fund and rely on CAF America’s reputation to assure donors of the security of their gifts. Upon establishing a Fund, you are establishing a relationship with CAF America’s experienced staff.

For more information, please download the Friends Fund fact page or the Why Open a CAF America Friends Fund page.

To get started, contact our office.

Grant Eligibility

One of the most common questions we receive at CAF America is: “How can I apply for your grants?”

While we do make grants, our process is very different from other foundations because our grants are recommended by the donors with whom we work. In other words, in order for an organization to receive a grant, two things must happen:

  1. A donor must make a donation and recommend your organization to be the recipient of the grant.
  2. You must have eligibility status with CAF America (see details below).

The next question we usually get is, “How can my organization become eligible with CAF America?”

Any legitimate foreign charitable organization can apply to become eligible with CAF America. The eligibility process usually begins when a donor recommends a particular organization for a grant. You do not have to be suggested by a US donor to apply for eligibility; however, if your organization has not been suggested by a donor, the application review cost is $350 USD.

Becoming an “eligible organization” at CAF America requires the experts on our grants team to determine that the organization is legitimate and will use any grant from us exclusively for charitable purposes. In order to do this, we conduct an extensive 100-point due diligence review on the operations, infrastructure, governance, and activities of an organization. The review process is in accordance with US laws and may also include any additional checks we think are necessary to ensure safe international grantmaking. Those organizations that are approved for eligibility retain that status for up to three years, depending on the country in which the organization is located. Once an organization’s eligibility status is effective, it may receive grants at any time from CAF America and does not need to reapply for eligibility for each grant received.

How it works: To start the eligibility process, your organization must submit a complete, signed eligibility application form, known as the Grant Eligibility Application (GEA). In addition to the general application, an organization will be asked to sign a grant agreement and supply a number of documents, including:

Once CAF America receives your completed, signed GEA and supporting documents, our grants team begins an extensive review of the organization, as required by law.

From the date we receive a completed application, a review generally takes between 4-6 weeks.

For a full description of the eligibility process, please download the Charity FAQ sheet.

To get started, contact our office.

What’s your story?

If you are an organization that has received a grant from CAF America, we want to know your story.

We value the stories of philanthropy that can be found all around the world, and we share these stories on our website and newsletters. If you are interested in adding your story to our collection, please contact our office. A member of our team will conduct interviews, gather information about your mission, and may request photos to accompany an article. This is an excellent way to let more people know about the great work that your organization is doing as a result of the support you receive from CAF America donors.

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