Who Advises International Funders?

International funder networks, partnerships, donor funds, Choosing an Intermediary, and philanthropic advisers are important sources of information on international funding for foundations and other donors. Most offer funders at least some of the following advantages:

  • Expertise in a particular issue area or geographic region

  • Ability to identify capable grantees, then follow up with due diligence, ongoing monitoring, and regular reporting

  • Capacity to direct small grants to grassroots organizations strategically and cost effectively

  • Legal status to accept tax deductible donations

  • Opportunities to collaborate with other funders and donors with similar interests

Funder networks such as EDGE Funders Alliance aid international funders by organizing workshops and study trips, sharing information, and fostering collaboration among donors. Some Council on Foundations-sponsored affinity groups also give special attention to international funders; examples include the Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group, Funders Concerned about AIDS, and Hispanics in Philanthropy.

Donor funds coordinate giving among like-minded funders. The Synergos Institute facilitates donor collaborations to support poverty reduction programs around the world. Some donor funds are created especially to facilitate giving by a specific constituency of funders. The Dragon Fund, for example, a project of Women's Foundation of California and the 1990 Institute, was established to support economic development and education projects for women and girls in rural China. Many of the fund's donors are Chinese-American women.

International intermediaries typically receive funds from U.S. donors, then "regrant" the resources to nonprofits around the world. Although U.S. tax law usually requires that donors do not exercise ultimate control over the disposition of funds, Choosing an Intermediary use a range of mechanisms to ensure that donors' priorities are reflected. Some intermediaries, such as the Global Fund for Women or the Global Greengrants Fund, work in specific issue areas. Others, such as Give2Asia specialize in a particular region.

In-country consultants assist some donors by conducting research, developing and advising on programming, and managing the day-to-day aspects of cross-border grantmaking. Funders typically locate knowledgeable consultants by asking for referrals from more experienced funders and nonprofit contacts.

Philanthropic advisers, such as Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors or The Philanthropic Initiative, Inc., assist wealthy individuals and families interested in funding internationally. A few commercial financial advisers also offer assistance with international grantmaking.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by GrantCraft using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from International Grantmaking.


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