Rules to Give By: A Global Philanthropy Legal Environment Index

Autor(es) : Adam Pickering, Elaine Quick, Toni Ann Kruse

Philanthropy and charitable giving are the lifeblood of civil society. The support of individuals and companies, voluntarily choosing to give their money to help others, is vital to the work of non-profit organizations (“NPOs”) around the world. Although this activity is, by definition, independent of government, governments can still play a crucial role in ensuring the right legislative and regulatory conditions for such activity to thrive. This is something that all governments should strive to achieve, as a vibrant civil society sector is a key element of any healthy society. Despite the importance of government support for philanthropy in ensuring the sustainability of civil society, little is known about the overall global picture of how widespread this support is and what form it takes. This report is intended to address this gap in our knowledge and includes recommended international standards for the structures that support philanthropy. Rules to Give By is the first evaluation of the regulatory and tax conditions associated with philanthropy in each of the 193 United Nations Member States. Nexus has worked with McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Charities Aid Foundation over the last two years to gather and analyze comparative information on the legal and fiscal framework for charitable giving around the world that will provide an invaluable new evidence base and advance the debate in this area. This report is the first stage of Nexus’s “Global Campaign for a Culture of Philanthropy”, which advocates for public policies at local and global levels which encourage and enable more effective giving, recognizes the diverse forms in which philanthropy appears, and promotes best practice and role models to inspire greater generosity. We hope that the report and the accompanying index will be of interest to anyone who wants to better understand the legal frameworks governing the tax treatment of NPOs and charitable donations around the world, and how these frameworks can be used to stimulate greater philanthropic giving. This will include those in governments who have the power to design and implement the necessary policies, as well as those who stand to benefit from these policies such as philanthropists, businesses, and civil society.

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Copyright 2014 by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). All rights reserved.