Global Philanthropy: Harnessing the Generosity of the American People

November 27, 2012
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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.



November 27, 2012

W.W. writes:

against above Philanthropy No to self decalred superbeings -

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Saima A.
November 29, 2012

Saima A. in Pakistan writes:

Hi Scott Beale,

I am happy to read this Global Philanthropy... Recently I am selected as finalist for Atlas Corps Community leaders Initiatives for January 2013 pilot class. I am very excited to contribute in this specific assignment. Wish you all the best for future course of actions. Hope we will stay connected though we are located in different worlds but our vision is same.


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