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Giving Without Borders

Date: 01/15/2013

January 14, 2013

Published on
Reported by Betsy Brill and Michael Donovan


One of the most notable trends in philanthropy, according to the 2012 Giving USA Study of charitable giving, is that international giving has steadily grown despite a tumultuous economy.  For the past two years, 2009-2011, international giving has experienced a 15.2 percent growth, the largest increase across all of the subsectors the Study tracks and reports.


The growth in international giving can be attributed to many things: increasing digital access to global information, a growing number of international giving networks, and a heightened awareness of the interrelationships of global communities. But even with these evolutions in philanthropic information and access, the international giving landscape has been complex for both donors and their advisors. With no uniformity of regulations, no standard tax incentives and socio/political and economic constraints often in place, it can be difficult to navigate complex government rules and regulations. An example of this are actions taken over the past year by the governments of Russia and Canada to pass new laws prohibiting certain classes of civil society organizations from receiving foreign funds.

In a recent presentation, in Chicago, to the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; Charitable Planning and Organizations Group, the authors discussed current trends in global philanthropy and addressed the legal requirements and challenges facing individuals considering cross border giving.  This article excerpts from that presentation.

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Posted In Philanthropy News