Global Philanthropy Update - December 2021

Friday, December 10, 2021 - 4:30 pm
Brian Kastner

Today is the second day of the 2021 Summit for Democracy, and the issues at hand are too urgent to ignore. While the world faces pressing humanitarian crises like climate change, COVID-19, and racial injustice that threaten global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Summit draws our attention to the equally important issues of fighting corruption and authoritarianism across the world and at home. Join representatives from the Council and across our membership at the Summit to navigate these critical and overlapping international priorities.

Indeed, as global funders, you are perhaps more attuned to the interconnectedness of the challenges facing our country and the world writ large. We at the Council recognize the unique perspectives that global funders bring to bear, as well as the specific barriers and complexities you face every day in your work.

We remain committed to supporting Council members who work internationally. As my colleague Natalie Ross shared during a recent Ask Me Anything on the Philanthropy Exchange: “I am happy to report that the Council's global program continues to be a priority. Next year, we will be publishing the next State of Global Grantmaking by US Foundations report with Candid, developing new global grantmaking training programs, continuing to host the global grantmakers community on the Philanthropy Exchange, and providing resources for global grantmaking - like our Country Notes catalog. Through our global program, we are focused on ensuring that regulations in the US and globally enable cross-border giving. We continue to invest in global partnerships and look forward to working closely with our globally-focused members.”

I hope that despite all the pain and loss 2021 has wrought on our communities, you find time as the year winds down to reflect on the progress you have made since 2020. So many of you have adapted to meet the moment by removing restrictions on grants, pivoting to more flexible operating support, and building relationships and the capacity of your partners across the world. It has not been an easy year to be a global funder, but that has made it all the more important to support communities who are grappling with climate change, authoritarianism, and the pandemic in worse ways than ourselves.

I look forward to another year of learning from you and supporting you however we can. Please keep in touch!

With gratitude,

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 two notes: Mexico and Brazil.

  • Brazil: In February 2021, the Federal Supreme Court determined that states may no longer collect tax on the transmission of inheritance and donations (ITCMD) on donations received from a donor who is domiciled abroad. Thus, Brazilian CSOs receiving donations from foreign donors will no longer pay the ITCMD on those donations. The note has also been updated to include brief information about the Anti-Corruption Law of 2013 and the General Data Protection Law of 2018, which impose certain obligations on CSOs to prevent corruption when receiving public funding and to adopt data protection practices, respectively.
  • Mexico: The note clarifies that if an organization with authorized donee status (i.e. public benefit status) makes more than 50% of its annual income from business activities that are “unrelated” to its main public interest objectives, the organization will lose its authorized donee status. The note also clarifies that American grantors may no longer automatically presume that Mexican charities are equivalent to 501(c)(3) organizations under IRS.


The U.S. State Department recently revoked FARC’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).



It's been five years since China's Foreign NGO Law came into effect. Hear from experts on what we've learned and what the future might look like for international nonprofits affiliated with China. 




The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on these countries, citing human rights abuses, in advance of the Democracy Summit and the relaunch of negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program.



  • Disinformation affects global development efforts across sectors and places a burden on civil society actors. In an October 2021 resource from InterAction, learn more about how NGOs can combat the spread of false information and propaganda.
  • Biden’s Summit for Democracy is a step in the right direction, but by itself, it’s not enough to fend off attacks from authoritarians or achieve the SDGs. Hear from scholars, activists, and public servants around the world as they offer advice on promoting and safeguarding democracy.
  • The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, accelerating conversation around the conditions of a pandemic treaty. At the World Health Assembly Special Session last week, leaders from around the globe began to align on future pandemic preparedness and response strategies.
  • The European Foundation Centre and DAFNE have merged to form Philea. The Council extends our congratulations to our European partners and looks forward to supporting the new organization and our members working in Europe.
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