International Giving FAQ
Answers to common questions about giving to international charities
Our FAQs address the topics that people inquire about most. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us.
Give2Asia is a trusted partner for international philanthropy and the leader in donor-advised giving to the Asia-Pacific. Our mission is to strengthen communities in Asia by making overseas giving easier and more effective. Since 2001, Give2Asia has facilitated more than $350 million of charitable grants across 23 countries. Give2Asia is a US-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California with offices in Beijing and in-country experts across the Asia-Pacific region.
Give2Asia works in many sectors throughout Asia that include providing access to quality healthcare, improving rural education, generating new sources of livelihood, empowering women and girls, protecting valuable natural resources and safe guarding against environmental degradation, as well as disaster resilience and recovery.
At Give2Asia, we believe that local knowledge and familiarity with target beneficiaries is integral to the success and long term impact of a project. As a result, our giving reflects the priorities of donors and the needs of the local charities we serve.
Given the breadth and width of Give2Asia’s work, our biggest areas of funding change from year to year. For our latest giving trends, see our Annual Report.
When working with Give2Asia, donors based in the U.S. and China—Hong Kong SAR may benefit from tax deductions while supporting communities in need across Asia. This is often preferable to giving directly to an overseas organization not eligible for tax benefits.
- For US Donors: Give2Asia is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 public charity. The full amount of your gift qualifies as a charitable contribution for federal tax purposes in the United States.
- For donors in China—Hong Kong SAR: Give2Asia Foundation Limited is a tax exempt organization under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Hong Kong IR File Number 91/11865).
Capital gains tax benefits: By contributing appreciated securities to Give2Asia—instead of selling them to donate the proceeds—donors may avoid paying capital gains tax while still benefiting from the full value as a tax deduction.
Current-year deduction and tax-free growth: For our Advised Funds, donors may receive an income tax deduction for the full market value of your donation in the year the contribution is made, regardless of when you recommend grant distributions. This could make a Give2Asia fund a great solution in a year when you could most benefit from a large deduction but are not ready to decide where you want to make grants. Funds contributed to an Advised Fund are invested and grow free of tax on investment income, potentially providing even more funds for grantmaking.
Estate planning tool: Give2Asia funds also can be a useful tool for your estate planning. For example, you may make an Advised Fund the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust, life insurance policy or qualified IRA assets, or make a testamentary gift to a fund in your will. Your fund can continue to be advised by family members or others you appoint.
Information is provided for educational purposes only. Give2Asia does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a qualified tax or legal professional regarding your individual situation.
Fiscal Sponsorship Funds: For charities that participate in Give2Asia’s fiscal sponsorship program, new donations (e.g. via credit card) go into a fund and can be requested by the nonprofit as needed. This process takes 1-2 weeks.
Advised Grantmaking: On average, it takes 6-8 weeks from the time Give2Asia receives your donation for the grantee to receive the grant funds. In disaster response situations, we expedite fund transfers.
Give2Asia is a nonprofit organization, and the majority of our funding comes from the donors and funders we serve.
To cover the cost of facilitating and monitoring international grants, we charge:
- a percentage of the grant amount, which varies based on the size of the grant
- a nominal fee for in-country due diligence (only required for initial grant & after three years for renewal)
Give2Asia does not charge account set up fees for advised grantmaking or donor advised funds. We have no minimum activity requirements for donors or fiscal sponsorship partners.
For large donor advised funds where the fund advisor selects an investment policy (optional), Give2Asia charges a management fee equaling 1% of the fund’s average balance annually (assessed as a 0.25% balance fee quarterly).
To learn more about pricing for your gift, request a consultation with our international grantmaking team.
Yes. In a country where relationships and face-to-face partnerships are key to success, Give2Asia’s 17-year history and in-country staff can help you engage in long-term program building and community partnerships. We were one of the first charitable organizations to officially register a China Representative Office when the ONGO law took effect in 2017, and as such partnership with Give2Asia is one of the simplest and most impactful ways of donating to organizations in China.
Our full offering of services include:
- Advised grant making,
- Value-added research and advisory services,
- Partnership development, and
- Full program management.
For a quick introduction to grantmaking into China, read our blog post on the topic.
For a deeper dive into our China services, download our Donor Guide for Grantmaking in China.
Give2Asia offers unrivaled due diligence capabilities that take every step possible to ensure grant funds are used wisely and as intended. With local staff familiar with the local language and context, Give2Asia identifies world-class organizations, groups with a demonstrated record of success, and organizations with innovative approaches to the challenges faced by the regions’ communities.
WHY DUE DILIGENCE IS IMPORTANT
If a donor recommends an organization that has not already been approved by Give2Asia, we will conduct a due diligence review to establish the recommended organization’s eligibility. This required process has become both more important and complex as government guidelines for funding overseas entities have changed to ensure proper accountability. Give2Asia is committed to ensuring that any grants made to on-the-ground partners are not used to support any form of violent political activity or terrorist organizations. In addition to Give2Asia’s own review of management policies, the due diligence review ensures that the recommended organization complies with Executive Order 13224, the USA Patriot Act, the U.S. Treasury Department Voluntary Guidelines on anti-terrorist financing, and prudent and best practices for funding overseas. We monitor the U.S. Government’s regulations and guidelines regarding anti-terrorist financing and international grantmaking to ensure we are in full compliance with the most recent laws and best practices.
Give2Asia’s due diligence procedures include a pre-grant Eligibility Application for prospective grantees, as well as thorough grant administration, monitoring, and reporting. The due diligence process is described below. However, please note that these are general due diligence steps; Give2Asia reserves the right to flexibly determine qualified grantees, taking into account an organization’s development and management. While Give2Asia is extremely careful about due diligence, the procedure should not overly burden grantees or prevent grants to qualified organizations.
ORGANIZATIONAL DUE DILIGENCE
Give2Asia’s due diligence process includes the following steps:
- Review of prospective grantees’ articles of incorporation, by-laws, and other documentation to ensure the organization’s charitable purpose and that it has an appropriate governance structure
- Confirmation of legal registration
- Check of the organization, board members, and key staff against watch lists of ineligible recipients published by the U.S. Treasury Department and other federal and international agencies
- Review of annual reports and other program reports to determine organizational experience, capabilities and track record
- Assessment of organizational reputation in-country
- Review of financial information, including:
- Current and past budgets showing sources and uses of revenue
- Internal or independent financial reviews and audits, depending on size of grant
- Periodic reports on operations and use of foundation-granted funds
- Accounting practices and systems used by the organization
PROJECT DUE DILIGENCE
Give2Asia also takes the following steps to exercise proper due diligence on each grant:
- Review of grant proposal and budget submitted
- A written grant agreement with specific provisions setting forth mutual responsibilities, signed by both parties
- Confirmation of the receipt of funds
- Periodic written reports from the grantee are required describing the grant’s impact and expenditures – reports which are passed on to the donor at the end of a grant period
- Review of reports and financial statements from the grantee to ensure that the funds are used as agreed and that the project was well managed and implemented
Learn more about why due diligence matters for international donations.
Due diligence can take 4-6 weeks on average, but can be longer or shorter depending on the grantee organization’s ability to submit requested documentation.
No, but Give2Asia does help our grantee organizations identify and complete certain grants that they may be eligible for.
While global philanthropy has become more important in recent years, it also has become more complex and challenging with new regulations requiring specific due diligence activities and in-depth knowledge of grantees. Give2Asia has the expertise to navigate U.S. government regulations governing overseas grantmaking and assures all grants are in compliance with all current laws and guidelines.
- Donor advised fund provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This law includes provisions that define donor advised funds and govern their operations. Give2Asia’s fund and grant administration policies are in full compliance with the Act, which allows international grants provided one of two due diligence procedures are followed. In most cases Give2Asia utilizes the process called “expenditure responsibility,” which requires a pre-grant inquiry, grant agreement, separate accounting for charitable funds, and financial tracking and reporting.
- USA Patriot Act of 2001 (reauthorized in 2005). This law increases existing criminal penalties for knowingly or intentionally providing material support or resources for terrorism.
- Executive Order 13224. This order prohibits transactions with those entities deemed by the Executive Branch and other US agencies to be associated with terrorism, and freezes all assets controlled by or in the possession of those entities that support them. Give2Asia checks the principals of every group we fund against the relevant prohibited persons lists.
- US Department of the Treasury Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: These “Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities” provide guidance for how charitable organizations can comply with the USA Patriot Act and Executive Order 13224. The Guidelines describe how international funders should make grants and transfer funds to non-U.S. organizations. Give2Asia’s procedures, from approving charities through grant administration, take these best practices into account.
Give2Asia actively monitors the changing regulatory landscape governing international grantmaking.
For donations made online, you will receive an automated email that qualifies as a tax receipt. For checks, wires, or stocks donations, a paper receipt is mailed out within two weeks of receiving the donation. If no address is provided, no receipt will be mailed. Please contact us if there was an issue with your receipt.
Facebook is a great platform for reaching your supporters. It can also help you raise funds for your cause.
Our fiscal sponsorship partners can raise tax-deductible contributions on Facebook from US donors by:
- Creating a Facebook fundraiser, selecting Give2Asia as the nonprofit: https://www.facebook.com/fund/Give2Asia/.
- Including your organization’s name in the title of the fundraiser so we know who should receive the funds
- Sharing the fundraiser link with your friends and supporters
Publicizing Give2Asia: Public use of Give2Asia’s name or trademarks must comply with any contracts signed with Give2Asia and with our Brand Guidelines for Partners. Please read this document, as it includes important requirements and guidelines.
Publicizing corporate grants: Grantees and fiscal sponsorship partners should be aware that some funders require written approval before using their name, logo, and/or publicizing a Give2Asia grant.
Grant terminology: In general, the organization that has “made a grant” or is a “project sponsor” is Give2Asia. The donor can be said to have “made the grant possible” or “supported” the organization. The donor can also be said to have “made a donation to Give2Asia for the purposes of supporting education in China.”
This is important for legal reasons that preserve Give2Asia’s independence and the donor’s tax benefits, and not because Give2Asia seeks to deny the donor recognition.
When in doubt, please consult your Country Advisor or Give2Asia Account Manager.
Give2Asia actively monitors the requirements of India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to facilitate compliance for our donors and grantees.
For an overview of India’s FCRA requirements, please see our article on FCRA Requirements for India Grant Recipients.
To learn about the 2020 FCRA update and how it affects grantmaking in India, please read How India’s updated FCRA law affects donors and charities.
To discuss how FCRA will affect your grant to an India-based charity, contact your account manager or request a consultation with our international grantmaking team.
Religion and religious organizations play an important role in many communities across Asia. Recognizing this, Give2Asia and its donors regularly support faith-based institutions based in and working in Asia. When making grants to these types of organizations, Give2Asia adheres to guidelines adopted by our Board of Trustees that stipulate that grants must be used for charitable activities that provide a public benefit within the community.
When considering a grant to a faith-based organization, Give2Asia conducts the due diligence process required for all new potential grantees. As part of this due diligence, Give2Asia evaluates the institution’s professed mission and purpose which should promote social welfare and peaceful coexistence, as well as its demonstrated commitment to non-discriminatory public benefit. Give2Asia also examines the proposed project to ensure that it does not include any disallowed activities.
GRANTS MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE FOLLOW PURPOSES
- Proselytizing or any activities focused on religious conversion
- Pilgrimages and personal religious ceremonies
- Religious rallies and protests
- Activities that discriminate in the selection of beneficiaries
- Activities or support for institutions that profess a doctrine of hatred, intolerance, or violence
EXAMPLES OF PROGRAMS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT
- Schools and educational programs (please note that programs must not require students to profess any particular faith or mandatorily attend classes or activities focused on the doctrine of one faith, except where mandated by government policy)
- Health clinics and services
- Social services for the most vulnerable
- Preservation of facilities and traditions that are of cultural, social, and historical significance