The IRS and Treasury department issued final rules on equivalency determinations (EDs) on September 25, 2015. These regulations are a direct result of years of advocacy by the Council on Foundations, TechSoup Global, and leading foundations to reduce barriers to global grantmaking through an ED repository that allows for economies of scale and simplifies international giving — to make it more cost effective for foundations, donor advised funds (DAFs), and charities to give to non-U.S. NGOs.
Relief Efforts Respond to 7.0 Earthquake
Already one of the poorest, most struggling countries in the world, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 earthquake in January 2010. The devastation left 316,000 lives lost and 1.3 million people displaced, unemployed, and homeless. The natural disaster put the country in dire need of the relief aid and workers that responded.
An NGO that has been through the ED process with NGOsource once gains an advantage from already having an ED in our repository because multiple grantmakers can affordably request an ED from us for the same NGO using the current information in our repository. This saves time and expense for both the grantmaker and NGO, and avoids the duplication of efforts when multiple grantmakers need an ED for the same NGO.
When our general manager, Ken Tsunoda, was contacted recently by an executive at a leading foundation regarding our capabilities, both of them experienced the benefit of NGOsource’s growing repository of equivalency determinations (EDs).
The foundation was interested in joining NGOsource. But they needed an ED quickly. They asked if we could expedite the request and complete it in four weeks.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been only two short years since we launched NGOsource in March 2013. Milestones like our two-year anniversary are a great time for reflection. I thought I would take this opportunity to offer a few thoughts on our progress so far, and our vision for the future.
$15 billion in damages
16-foot-tall surges of water
On November 8, 2013, the fate of the Philippines was changed forever when Super Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, as it is called by Filipinos, touched down, killing thousands, obliterating entire communities, and making daily life for many “worse than hell.”
When I Was ED for a Family Foundation
Before joining the NGOsource team in 2013, I worked for five years as executive director of a Boston-based family foundation with a lean staff doing international grants. I received an eye-opening education on the challenges facing U.S.-based grantmakers who want to support overseas NGOs.
The NGOsource legal team keeps close track of legal changes that impact equivalency determinations (EDs) and international grantmaking in countries around the world. We found that changes to NGO laws in Mexico now make it more difficult for the nonspecialist to evaluate Mexican NGOs for an ED. Our NGOsource team has always applied this high level of scrutiny, so our ED process already includes such a review.
Worldwide 780 million people lack access to clean water. Each year more than 3.4 million people die from water, sanitation, and hygiene related causes. While we might take for granted our clean water and reliable sanitation systems, millions of people walk miles from their homes to fetch water that is contaminated and unsafe to drink. IRC is helping to change the dialogue around water, sanitation, and hygiene and build the capacity of local forces working on these issues.