International Giving

SVCF supports the diverse interests of our donors and their connections to local, national and global communities, as we recognize that social issues are not confined to singular spaces.

With an in-house international grants team, best-in-class philanthropic experts and numerous initiatives centered on global giving, SVCF enables philanthropic possibilities around the world and serves as a comprehensive charitable partner.

How to give to international organizations

We maintain a global charity database of more than 1,100 international organizations that have been vetted and can accept donations online. For information about credit card donations from outside of the U.S., click here.

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You can also contact us to learn our Consulting & Management Services can help meet your international giving needs.

International grantmaking services for other community foundations

International grantmaking is one of SVCF’s specialties. That’s why we’ve created a way for other community foundations and your donors to make international grants using SVCF as an intermediary. Our Global Charity Database includes over 1,100 organizations representing 85 countries and continues to grow. With our international grantmaking expertise, international vetting capabilities and Global Charity Database, SVCF will be able to support other community foundations in their own strategic grantmaking abroad.

How we work with international organizations

SVCF works closely with international nonprofits that are interested in being vetted and featured on our global charity database. If an international organization is successfully vetted, it will be posted on our global charity database, which includes over 1,100 organizations and represents 85 countries, and U.S. donors can easily give to these organizations. SVCF is committed to keeping the vetting process as smooth as possible, as well as cost effective. 

At SVCF, we implement two forms of vetting: Equivalency Determination and Expenditure Responsibility.

Equivalency Determination 

To ensure regulatory compliance under U.S. tax law, grants to international organizations without a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the United States Internal Revenue Service require further due diligence. This is done through a process called equivalency determination. Equivalency determination is the preferred vetting mechanism. If the organization is found to be equivalent to a U.S. 501(c)(3), it will be eligible to receive a wider variety of grants over a longer period of time. After an organization is vetted, it is added to the SVCF’s master list of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 

During this vetting process, SVCF works directly with an organization’s staff to obtain documents that will determine whether the organization is the equivalent of a U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. If the organization is a public university or government agency, there is a separate process for foreign governmental affiliates. Requested documents include, but are not limited to: governing documents, by-laws, establishing documents and a list of board members and key employees. All documents must be submitted in English, and the length of the due diligence process depends on an organization’s responsiveness and ability to provide the necessary paperwork.

Expenditure Responsibility

To determine if grants can be made to an organization that is not considered a public charity but operates charitable projects, SVCF completes a process called expenditure responsibility. SVCF works with the organization’s staff to verify the charitable nature of the project for which funding is being recommended and to evaluate the organization’s ability to carry out the purpose of the grant. Requested documents vary, but are often very similar to the documents required for equivalency determination.

For additional information please contact