International Philanthropy

Our clients need pragmatic legal solutions to advance their philanthropic and humanitarian work across the globe.  We implement protocols for overseeing charitable activities in foreign countries by addressing important antiterrorism and reporting compliance.

  • Foreign grantmaking
    • Many nonprofit organizations send funds and supplies overseas to international organizations or to individuals in need.  Our attorneys work with clients to establish policies and procedures related to foreign grantmaking in full compliance with US tax laws.  We draft and review grant applications and international grant agreements, perform 501(c)(3) equivalency determinations, and assist clients with understanding record-keeping and IRS reporting requirements.
  • Disaster-relief projects
    • Disaster can happen at any time, and our team is well-equipped to serve organizations that provide emergency relief.  We help quickly establish new charitable organizations to respond to an emergency, ensure legal compliance for disaster-relief projects, and help nonprofits mitigate risks related with taking swift action to provide for individuals in need.
  • “Friends of” organizations
    • When US citizens want to support an organization in a foreign country, creating a separate US organization that provides funding for international programs is often the best way to ensure the tax deductibility of charitable contributions.  These “friends of” organizations must follow certain procedures to comply with anti-terrorism laws and other IRS requirements.  Our team regularly establishes “friends of” entities and provides leaders with the tools they need to maintain their tax-exempt status responsibilities.
  • High-risk and closed regions
    • Some of the areas of the world with the most desperate need for philanthropy are also those with a high risk of terrorism, government corruption, violence, religious discrimination, disease and other hardships.  Many regions are subject to OFAC sanctions or other travel or business restrictions.  Our attorneys work with missionary organizations, relief organizations, and educational institutions to mitigate risks and to develop creative solutions for providing much-needed services in closed regions.
  • Antiterrorism and OFAC compliance
    • To help fight the threat of terrorism and terrorist financing, Congress approved the USA PATRIOT Act, which includes prohibitions against the financing of terrorism and the provision of material support or resources to terrorists or designated terrorist organizations.  Additionally, transacting with entities deemed by the US Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) to be associated with terrorism can result in the freezing of an organization’s assets.  Our office evaluates anti-terrorism compliance for nonprofits, using the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals List and Terrorist Exclusion List, UN Security Council Resolution 13730, and other tools.  We also help nonprofits establish policies and develop creative solutions to continue helping those most in need.
  • Tax and reporting for foreign workers
    • Organizations operating internationally or sending workers abroad regularly encounter issues related to income tax withholding and reporting.  We regularly advise clients regarding the application of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, tax deductions related to income from work performed abroad, income tax treaties and totalization agreements between the US and other countries to prevent double taxation, and foreign social security requirements.  We also guide clients in complying with foreign laws related to US organizations’ international charitable activities.
  • Reporting for foreign assets and activities
    • Nonprofits conducting operations overseas or holding assets in foreign countries or foreign accounts are typically subject to increased financial reporting requirements.  Our team is knowledgeable regarding reporting requirements, including issues related to reporting on IRS Form 990 Schedule F (Statement of Activities Outside the US), US Treasury Department Form 90-22.1 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or “FBAR”), and other financial reporting forms related to international activity.