A Practical Guide to International Philanthropy
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Organizations Promoting Philanthropy

The best sources of information on establishing and maintaining private foundations are the following:

  • Council on Foundations, 2121 Crystal Drive, Suite 700, Arlington, Virginia 22202; Web address: www.cof.org.  Although this is a member organization, the Council’s website is extraordinary resource for anyone working with private foundations.  Most of the publications from previous issues of the Council’s periodicals can be readily downloaded, and helpful leads to additional resources are easily accessible.  The Council provides valuable guidance to the entire charitable sector in publishing surveys of compensation for officers and directors of private foundations, information which is not available from any other sources. It is also an excellent source for a number of topical publications relating to all aspects of organizing and administering private foundations.
  • National Center for Charitable Statistics, a project of the Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, 2100 M. Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037; Web address: http://nccs.urban.org/ .  The Center takes raw data from the information returns filed by public charities and foundations with the Internal Revenue Service and generates a broad range of statistics, which show the extent and scope of charitable and nonprofit endeavors in the United States.
  • GuideStar, 4801 Courthouse Street, Williamsburg, VA 23188; Web address: http://www.guidestar.org.  This organization has created a database using all of the information provided by the Internal Revenue Service on Forms 990, 990-PF and 990 EZ.  Any member of the public can access data on any tax exempt organization from this website.  Subscribers can create customized reports on specific exempt sectors.
  • United States International Grantmaking; Web address: http://www.usig.org, is a joint venture project of the Council on Foundations with the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law.  The web site contains valuable information on numerous international issues, focusing on legal issues of interest to U.S. charities engaged in international grantmaking.
  • Internal Revenue Service web site for charities and other non-profits is at http://www.irs.gov/charities/index.html.  Ready access can be gained to the current versions of all official IRS publications and forms, as well as general guidance on forming and maintaining a tax-exempt charity.
  • National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University Law School, 110 West 3rd Street, Room 205, New York, NY 10012-1074; Web address: www.law.nyu.edu/ncpl/. This organization maintains a comprehensive bibliography of all English language resources pertaining to the law of nonprofit organizations.
  • The Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Avenue/ 16th Street, New York, NY 10003 and 1627 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036; Web address: http://www.foundationcenter.org. The Foundation Center compiles a significant amount of data on the nonprofit sector, which is made available on its web site. According to a Center publication, it “maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants -- a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector.  It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance philanthropy at every level.”
  • Foundation Source, 55 Walls Drive, Fairfield, Connecticut 06824, www.foundationsource.com, is a leading provider of outsourced administrative services  to foundations.  The organization can provide back-office resources and management to smaller private foundations with insufficient resources to justify administrative staffing.

All of the above web sites contain numerous links to other organizations offering additional resources on charitable activities on the web.

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