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Request for proposals for IHRFG San Francisco Conference, ‘Innovation and Iteration In Human Rights’

Posted By WINGS, Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2015

Sign up to learn more about the conference topic and proposal process, and to talk through your session ideas. What's new, improved, or different in human rights advocacy and grantmaking? What would you like to tackle with a little help from your friends?

IHRFG's 2016 San Francisco Conference (January 20-22, 2016) will showcase how human rights philanthropy can most effectively "up its game" and feature new and different actors, strategies, perspectives, and tools in human rights grantmaking.

In the spirit of innovation, we are aiming for a "panel-free" conference, and urge proposal writers to experiment with novel and creative formats in their sessions. Do you and your colleagues face a common, entrenched problem? Lead them in a "strategy-storming" session to come up with approaches and action steps to tackle it! Is there a skill or practice that you think your peers would benefit from? Share it in a "skills-share" session! What new tools and strategies in technology, organizing,  movement-building, or communications have you come across? Present it at our Innovation Expo. Let's take the field to a new level by disrupting or changing the curve on social change. Share your innovations in San Francisco.

See the Request for Proposals for more information. Find more information about the proposal process, and the Request for Proposals form here.

Learn More about the RFP and Conference. We encourage you to learn more about the conference theme, some tips and guidelines for successful sessions, and the different session formats available during an informational teleconference in advance of the submission deadline. You are also welcome to discuss your proposal idea with us. To join one of the scheduled teleconferences, register here.

THIS WEEK: Wednesday, October 7, 12:00 pm EDT
JUST ADDED: Tuesday, October 13, 3:00 pm EDT

IHRFG conferences are an opportunity for participating grantmakers to engage with leading human rights practitioners and peers on timely human rights issues and human rights grantmaking challenges.

If you have any questions, contact Keith Armstrong, +1-646-381-7586.

Tags:  events  North America 

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Message to CAF America donors on reliance standards for making good faith determinations

Posted By WINGS, Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dear CAF America Donors and Partners,

As we have shared with you many times, the IRS provides for two protocols that allow CAF America to make international charitable grants advised by you - these are Expenditure Responsibility (ER) and Equivalency Determination (ED).

The reason I am writing to you today is to share with you the welcome news that the IRS has recently issued very favorable new regulations to guide the practice of Equivalency Determination also referred to as ED.

To further assist in the understanding of these new regulations, we have scheduled a new edition of the CAF America Radio Network Show for October 8, 2015 at 2:30 E.S.T. You are encouraged to join us for this show (please invite colleagues and friends). The live show and subsequent podcast will be available here.

Effective September 25, 2015, the IRS and the Department of Treasury have published final regulations concerning the practice of Equivalency Determination (ED). The Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations is welcome news for grantmakers, as it clarifies the standards to be applied by international grantmakers in the process of making a good faith determination that a foreign organization is the equivalent of a public charity; thus, grants made to that foreign organization may be qualifying distributions and not taxable expenditures.

Since 2012, CAF America has been conducting its activities abiding by the proposed IRS regulations that were released at that time. CAF America donors and partners can therefore expect a seamless implementation of these permanent regulations.

The Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations clarify multiple aspects of conducting equivalency determinations (ED). Here are some of the key points we would like to bring to your attention:

  • The final regulations now confirm that ED can be used by sponsoring organizations of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) - such as CAF America - in determining whether a foreign organization is the equivalent of a public charity.
  • Grantmaking organizations seeking to complete an ED - such as CAF America in its role as an international grantmaker - can now rely on written advice from “Qualified Tax Practitioners” such as attorneys, certified public accountants, or enrolled agents when conducting EDs. CAF America has always prepared ED certificates with written advice from our attorneys.
  • This written advice must have substantial factual basis and must rely on current legislation and current documents provided by grantees; however, an attorney-client relationship is not necessary for this advice to be considered valid under law. This is a change from previous ED regulations where a grantmaker was able to rely solely on a grantee affidavit to make their determination. It is now necessary for the facts stated within the affidavit to be substantiated. CAF America has never relied solely on a grantee affidavit and has been very concerned about the practices of those organizations who have. CAF America has always provided a much more comprehensive due diligence evaluation for ED. The Department of Treasury is allowing a 90-day period for foundations to comply with this change. CAF America is already in compliance with these regulations.
  • If the ED is based on a 5-year public support test, the ED is “current” for two years following the end of the test period. The previous regulations were vague on the amount of time that an ED remained valid.

Beyond addressing the standards applicable in ED, amendments were made to bring the final regulations into full compliance with statutory amendments made by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Pension Protection Act of 2006. You can access the entire text of the final regulations on the IRS portal.

What does this mean for CAF America donors? 

When the proposed regulations were released in 2012, CAF America took significant steps to develop best practices for our Equivalency Determination (ED) protocols to match those regulations. For many grantmakers, the new restriction prohibiting reliance solely on a grantee affidavit may be a difficult and costly adjustment. However, CAF America has always made it a policy to substantiate the grantee affidavit by requesting supporting documentation from grantees, researching local nonprofit law, and verifying the income sources reported in the public support test.

We maintain this best practice both for the EDs we complete for our own grantmaking as well as for the ED certificates that we develop for other donors. These final regulations not only provide us with the affirmation that CAF America can rely on EDs as a sponsoring organization for DAFs, but they validate the high standards and best practices that we have been applying to our work in this area all along. Moreover, the IRS final regulations now provide for all ED certificates prepared by CAF America to be valid for two years which means that the costs for an ED will remain the same for CAF America donors and it holds more value because of the longer duration of reliability.

Please join us on October 8, 2015 for the CAF America Radio Network live call in show to explore these new regulations further, or feel free to call us at 202-793-CAFA.


Theodore R. Hart, ACFRE, CAP® 
CAF America

Tags:  North America 

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Fall 2015 State of Grantseeking™ Survey

Posted By WINGS, Friday, September 18, 2015

The Fall 2015 State of Grantseeking™ survey is the 11th semi-annual informal survey of nonprofits conducted by GrantStation to reveal the current state of grantseeking in the US.

By taking this survey  you can help the grantseeking community stay on top of trends and provide benchmarks for organizations to compare their grantseeking efforts with those of other, comparable organizations. The resulting reports and webinars are free and spotlight recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. Take part in the State of Grantseeking™ survey today.

Tags:  North America  opportunities 

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WINGS to join discussions on Post-2015 Agenda and SDGs

Posted By WINGS, Thursday, September 17, 2015

Next week WINGS will participate in special meetings in New York around the Post-2015 Development Agenda and optimising philanthropy’s potential to fast-track the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In September, world leaders will gather in New York for the United Nations Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda where they will set the course for tackling the world’s social, environmental, and economic challenges in the years to come. But what role can philanthropy play in the Post-2015 Development Agenda? And how can the sector help governments successfully implement and achieve these new goals?

On Thursday 24, a special meeting hosted by the Ford Foundation, Philanthropy Engaged: Implementing and Achieving the Post-2015 Agenda, will bring together a growing group of social justice leaders—government negotiators, representatives of UN agencies and diplomatic missions, and leaders from philanthropy, civil society, and business—who share a common interest in answering these urgent questions and fully engaging the philanthropic sector. Download the Agenda.

On Friday 25 we'll join an early morning discussion with funders and partners to jointly explore how the SDGs are applicable and relevant to the United States. And later, an invitation-only OECD netFWD event, The Roundtable on Optimising Philanthropy’s Potential to Fast-Track the SDGs, will bring together senior representatives of governments and foundations, as well as other like-minded actors (e.g. impact investors, business) who share an interest in discussing how philanthropy and other development actors can accelerate impact towards specific SDGs at the field level, on the basis of the preliminary framework of the Accelerating Impact Initiative 2030 and efforts led by netFWD and some of its members. Download the Draft Agenda, Background Note, and Concept Note.

Stay tuned for more on these initiatives — subscribe to our monthly newsletter at

Tags:  events  leadership  North America 

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