The Responsible Role for International Charitable Grantmaking in the Wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This Note argues that a collaborative information collection and sharing effort would protect charities from becoming law enforcement agencies and would ensure that U.S. altruism is properly monitored and reaching the areas of the world most in need. A robust system of international charitable giving is a vital element in the promotion of "civil society" and the fight against terrorist attitudes and sympathies. The U.S. government and non-profit sector must combine resources and efforts to continue to promote global charitable participation with an updated approach to grant-making and fund oversight.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  I. GENERAL HISTORY OF DOMESTIC CHARITABLE GIVING
     AND THE POLICIES UNDERLYING THE DEVELOPMENT
     OF TAX EXEMPTIONS AND DEDUCTIONS
     A. Tax Relief Given to Those Organizations
        Whose Activities Reduce the Burden on
        Government by Addressing Poverty,
        Health, Education, and Science
     B. Development and Expansion of This
        Historical Policy to Modern Day
     C. Current Tax Laws Applicable to Charitable
        Organizations
     D. Rise of Global Economic Markets and
        Consequently, the Growing Interest and
        Need of Global Altruism
III. TAX LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES DO NOT PROVIDE
     A DEDUCTION FOR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS
     MADE DIRECTLY TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
     AND THE INDIRECT BENEFITS OF THIS POLICY IN
     THE WAKE OF THE 2001 TERRORIST ATTACKS
     A. Individual Tax Deductions for International
        Charitable Efforts Must be in Conjunction
        with Grantmaking or Operations of Domestic
        Non-Profit Organizations
     B. Ironically a Beneficial Policy: This Limits the
        Scope of Funds Sent Abroad Which Must be
        Scrutinized and Monitored to Prevent
        Diversion to Terrorist Organizations
 IV. RESPONSES TO SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TERRORIST
     ATTACKS HAVE HAD SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS ON
     CHARITIES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
     MAKING INTERNATIONAL GRANTS OR WITH
     ACTIVITIES ABROAD
     A. Executive Order 13224
     B. The Patriot Act
     C. Treasury Department Guidelines: "Voluntary
        Best Practices".
  V. THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT AND CHARITABLE
     ORGANIZATIONS TO LAUNCH A COLLABORATIVE
     EFFORT OF INFORMATION COLLECTION AND
     SHARING
     A. Critique U.S. Responses Intended to Prevent
        Diversion of International Grants to Individual
        Terrorists and Foreign Terrorist
        Organizations
        1. "One-Size Fits All" Approach Does not
           Accommodate the Reality of the Extensive
           Diversity of International Grantmakers
           in the United States
     B. The Council on Foundations and American
        Bar Association's Proposal for a Risk-Based
        Approach Based on Current Practices
        and Procedures Larger Grantmaking
        Foundations Already Observe
     C. Use the Practices and Procedures Already
        in Place, but Make the Information Collected
        Available to All Grantmaking Organizations
        Through the Use of a Secure Database
     D. Charities are not Law-Enforcement Aagencies
        and Should not be Tasked with Investigative
        Requirements to Make International Grants
        as Other Checks Monitor Charitable Behavior
        and such Requirements Diminish Grant
        Efficacy
 VI. CONCLUSION

The Preamble to The Principles of International Charity begins:

   International charitable work fills critical gaps in the global
   socioeconomic infrastructure. Governments alone cannot solve every
   social problem. Businesses alone cannot meet every economic need.
   Without international charity, more people in the world would die of
   hunger and disease, fewer children would learn to read and write,
   and more people would live in poverty. There would be more
   environmental destruction and fewer scientific advances. …