Global Philanthropy Update - September 2021

Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 3:00 pm EDT
Brian Kastner

With the UN General Assembly (UNGA) just a few weeks away, there is no shortage of challenges that will hinder the world’s capacity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. From the IPCC’s recent devastating climate report and natural disasters in every corner of the world to the refugee crisis unfolding in Afghanistan – all while the world continues to battle COVID-19 and a vaccine rollout crippled by unequal access and misinformation.

In the spirit of collaboration that the United Nations represents, we should build new bridges and connections to continue to strive towards these ambitious Global Goals. As we all address these issues from our institutions, peer connections are an important way to share information and work together to advance the greater good.

Despite the continued necessity for virtual gatherings, there are still many ways to connect and collaborate with philanthropic peers who are working globally, including:

  • Council members can pose questions, share best practices and resources, or simply connect via our Global Grantmaking Exchange.
  • Council members can also consider joining or learning from two new Peer Learning Circles established by members at the Council: the SDG Learning Community that specializes in community foundations or the RINGO Funder Action Pod, an invite-only effort led by the RINGO Project that seeks to re-imagine global development funding.
  • We are happy to share the initial stages of this year’s UNGA Calendar of Philanthropy Side-Events where we’ll continue to share relevant events that may be of interest to you. Like last year, many of these events are virtual and free of charge. If you would like your event added to this calendar, please email me.
  • You may also want to attend the upcoming The Innovations in International Philanthropy Symposium hosted by New England International Donors and The Philanthropic Initiative’s Center for Global Philanthropy, happening September 8-10. Council members may contact me for a special discount of $100 off the conference.

All the best,

Brian Kastner
Director, Engagement



Country Notes are the Council’s resources for grantmaking into specific geographies, developed in partnership with the International Center for Non-Profit Law. Annually, we review and update domestic laws in 38 countries.

We made substantive updates to three notes: Canada, Australia, and the Czech Republic.

  • In Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency updated guidance CG-027 in November 2020, which among other things, clarifies the definition of direct and indirect support of political parties or candidates, and eliminates the requirement for registered charities to report on funds used for political activities.
  • In Australia, the Federal Parliament is considering the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Bill 2021, which if adopted will require all organizations to whom deductible gifts may be made to be a registered charity, an Australian government agency, or operated by a registered charity or Australian government agency. A local expert estimates that this change will require about 2,000 entities currently eligible for deductible gifts to register as charities with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.
  • In the Czech Republic, there is a new progressive individual income tax rate: the individual income tax rate is 15. Individuals will pay a rate of 23 percent on all taxable income exceeding 48 times the average wage in the Czech Republic. Additionally, both individual and corporate income tax deductions for charitable contributions have been temporarily increased to up to 30% for the period between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2022.


The Council is tracking the rapidly unfolding humanitarian crisis occurring in Afghanistan and stands ready to assist our members. For now, we have created a response page where you can find the latest news, as well as some relief funds.



We are deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti that was quickly followed by Tropical Storm Grace. Our response page provides additional information, resources, and response funds.



  • Data from the Children’s Climate Risk Index shows that one billion children are harmed by the various and overlapping effects of climate change. This report from UNICEF includes a list of steps that government, business, and philanthropy can take to protect one of our most vulnerable communities.
  • With less than 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, Global Goals Week will convene the SDG community from September 17-26, 2021 to measure progress so far.
  • Philanthropy can’t solve the climate crisis alone, but neither can any other sector. The status of climate change has escalated from a serious concern to an irreversible threat that requires us all to band together.
  • Slowing vaccination rates plus the highly transmittable Delta variant have worsened the already disastrous COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts from the WHO. In order to manage the virus, approximately 11 billion vaccine doses still need to be administered worldwide.
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