A new study from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) explores the changing dynamics of U.S. philanthropy to international causes.
The study examines emerging trends in U.S. charitable giving for international issues, provides a look at how funding for internationally focused nonprofit organizations has changed over time, and explores practices that may influence the capacity and likelihood of individuals and organizations to engage in international philanthropic activities.
“The landscape of international philanthropy is changing, and it is important that we understand the factors influencing those changes,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., associate dean for research and international programs at the school. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad to study these factors and provide insights into how they are shaping the evolving picture of cross-border giving.”
“Need for social investment in institutions like those ASHA supports around the world is growing faster than current market-driven institutions’ responses,” said Glenn Rogers, Ph.D., Senior Partnership Advisor for USAID/ASHA. “USAID appreciates this opportunity to strengthen the field of Philanthropic Studies championed by the school. It is a critical foundation for achieving new frontiers in private investment and citizen engagement to address today’s social challenges.”
The study’s findings include:
- Funding sources for nonprofit organizations with an international focus have become more diverse in the last decade. U.S. community foundations, donor-advised funds and impact investing organizations have begun to support international and global causes to address societal and economic needs.
- Technological innovations enhance cross-border philanthropy and public-private partnerships. Online giving to international affairs organizations has been increasing, and more than 50 countries joined the #GivingTuesday movement to raise funds through social media and collaboration in 2018.
- Charitable donations to international causes from U.S. individuals, corporations, foundations and other grant making organizations have seen steady growth over time. Giving from these sources to international affairs organizations has increased every year since 1982, except in 2009, 2010 and 2017.
- The percentage of U.S. households that gives to international causes increased from 4.4 percent in 2002 to 5.2 percent in 2014. High net worth households donate a larger share of their total giving to international causes than do average households: in 2016 and 2018 wealthy households allocated approximately 11 percent of their total giving to international causes.
- The overall global environment for philanthropy has improved, the 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index published by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found. However, restrictive regulations on cross-border philanthropy have hindered the environment for international collaboration and partnerships. These restrictions, which often target cross-border charitable contributions, seem to negatively affect the funding resources of nonprofit organizations with an international focus.
- ASHA grant funding tends to be higher in countries that have a positive overall philanthropic environment, and particularly in those with more positive socio-cultural environment for philanthropy. Data analysis for the new study reveals a positive relationship between the amount of the awards received by ASHA grantee partner organizations and the overall Global Philanthropy Environment Index scores of the countries where grantee partner organizations operate.
- Results of the study suggest that cross-sectoral and cross-border collaborations could be enhanced by advancing information and knowledge about global philanthropy and international partnerships through research, training and conversations.
About USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad
USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) provides assistance to schools, libraries and medical centers outside the United States that serve as study and demonstration centers for American ideas and practices. USAID/ASHA’s record of contributing to and building connections with vibrant networks of civil society institutions extends through 26 U.S. Congresses and 18 presidential administrations. USAID/ASHA currently manages a worldwide portfolio of approximately 110 awards and is an invaluable complement to USAID’s wide-ranging development work. Learn more about us: USAID/ASHA.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy or “Like” us on Facebook.