This portal includes materials examining the international funding of civil society organizations (CSOs).
This article catalogues constraints on the cross-border funding of civil society, summarizes governmental justifications, and outlines the international legal framework governing this issue.
- General Principles on Civil Society's Right to Funding (2014): This set of “general principles,” issued by the UN Special Rapporteur and the Community of Democracies, summarizes key aspects of civil society's right to receive international funding.
- UN Special Rapporteur Report to the Human Rights Council on Foreign Funding (2013): In this report, the UN Special Rapporteur explains how the freedom of association includes the right to seek, receive, and use resources from domestic, foreign and international sources.
- India: Special Rapporteur’s Legal Analysis Argues Restrictions On Foreign Funding Contrary To International Law (2016): Legal analysis of India's Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
- The Closing Space Challenge: How Are Funders Responding? (2015): This report by Thomas Carothers, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, explores the trend of increasing restrictions on foreign funding for civil society around the world and how Western public and private funders committed to supporting civil society development are diversifying and deepening their responses.
- Allies or Adversaries? Foundation Responses to Government Policing of Cross-Border Charity (2015): In this paper, Professor Oonagh Breen explores the legal and policy underpinnings for restrictions on cross-border charity, which are often imposed in the name of enhancing development effectiveness or efficiency.
- States, Public Space, and Cross-Border Philanthropy: Observations from the Arab Transitions (2015): In this paper, Professor Barbara Ibrahim explores key issues shaping policy regulation of an important aspect of civic life - the mobilization of funds for public purposes. The paper focuses on international funding flows for philanthropic purposes, with examples drawn from Egypt and Tunisia.
- International and Comparative Law Analysis of the Right to and Restrictions on Foreign Funding of Non-Governmental Organizations (2015): This paper by the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights explores the legal framework for cross-border funding as a protected right at international, regional, and national levels.
- United States International Grantmaking Project (2015): In partnership with the Council on Foundations, ICNL has prepared 35 country summaries to assist grantmakers and their advisors to meet IRS requirements when making grants abroad. The country summaries include explanations of local tax laws and other legal provisions that may affect cross-border grantmaking.
- Mapping Initiatives to Address Legal Constraints on Foreign Funding (2014): Delivering on a commitment made at a 2013 UN General Assembly side event, ICNL prepared a briefing paper that: (1) provides an overview of existing responses, and (2) presents concrete recommendations to private donors on how they can effectively create a more enabling environment for cross-border philanthropy and international assistance.
- Defending Civil Society Report, Second ed. (2012): This is the second edition of the Defending Civil Society Report endorsed by Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Vaclav Havel, and other internationally-recognized civil society leaders. It catalogues legal barriers constraining civil society and details international legal principles to protect civil society. Chapter VI on page 26 addresses barriers to resources.
- Legal Framework for Global Philanthropy: Barriers and Opportunities (2011): In this paper commissioned by the Council on Foundations, ICNL outlines barriers to cross-border philanthropy and options to overcome these barriers.
- Global Philanthropy in a Time of Crisis, Global Trends in NGO Law (2009): This report from ICNL's Global Trends publication examines legal developments affecting global philanthropy.
- Human Rights Defenders Briefing Papers: Right to Access Funding (2009): This paper from International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) specifically examines the right of human rights defenders to access foreign funding.
- International Investment Treaty Protection of Not-for-Profit Organizations (2008): In this ICNL paper, trade experts analyze the protections that investment treaties provide to cross-border funding of CSOs.
- Principles of International Charity (2005): Developed by the Treasury Guidelines Working Group of Charitable Sector Organizations and Advisors, this paper provides guidelines for responsible international charity operations.