The State Department's Global Philanthropy Working Group, which I co-chair with Special Representative for Global Partnerships Kris Balderston, is focused on creating a global ecosystem that promotes philanthropy and encourages a culture of giving abroad. One of the most effective ways we can do that is by harnessing a quintessential American asset -- the generosity of our own people.
We see that spirit writ large today, as we mark #GivingTuesday, a movement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, volunteer organizations, faith-based organizations, and retailers all dedicated to helping people in need. More than 1,500 partners in all 50 U.S. states have come together to build campaigns that benefit community centers, to support philanthropic efforts to help women and girls around the world, to design programs that teach digital literacy, and to create volunteer efforts.
American generosity has always been robust, particularly at the individual level. In 2010, for example, the collective giving abroad of American foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations, individual volunteers, religious organizations, and universities and colleges reached $39 billion. That total exceeded the U.S. government's foreign aid for that year by almost $9 billion.
The Working Group, is the sixth and newest pillar of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. The Dialogue seeks partnerships with civil society representatives from around the world on topics including democracy and human rights, governance and accountability, labor, religion and foreign policy, and women's empowerment.
Since the inception of the Working Group, we have identified and reached out to foundation leaders, who are emerging as international engines of change, greatly expanding the scope and magnitude of global giving. We have asked them to share best practices and identify shared goals and challenges, so we can learn from one another.
In early conversations, for example, we learned that many charitable organizations are hindered in their giving by restrictive regulations. We worked with the U.S. Treasury and other government departments to reduce those barriers. And in September, Secretary Clinton announced revisions to U.S. tax regulations that will reduce the cost of making equivalency determinations, opening new channels for foundations to expand and support the work of more civil society organizations around the world.
Our mission continues. I am working with Special Representative Balderston, to explore ways in which we can support and strengthen the global network of civil society organizations. By doing that, we can help more people empower themselves to build their own futures, and to bring benefits to those who need it most in their communities, whether they are local, regional, or global.