SOURCE: TechSoup Global

November 19, 2008 08:00 ET

TechSoup Global to Host New Centralized Repository to Better Enable International Philanthropy

TechSoup Global to Leverage International Expertise, Partner Network and Innovative Technologies to Encourage Global Grantmaking by Streamlining Vetting Processes

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2008) - TechSoup Global, a leading provider of technology resources, information and support to social benefit organizations worldwide, announced today its selection to serve as host of the Equivalency Determination Information Repository, a service that will help U.S.-based foundations that are providing grants to organizations around the world. TechSoup Global will leverage its innovative use of technology and partnerships to create this repository, which will serve as a platform to streamline the process of qualifying non-U.S. grantees as the equivalents of U.S. public charities, also known as an equivalency determination (ED) process, one of the principal ways prescribed by the IRS for making cross-border grants. The new repository is scheduled for launch in 2010.

The result of a successful collaboration between The Council on Foundations, Foundation Center, Independent Sector, InterAction and a number of international grantmaking foundations, the purpose of the repository is to provide an easier means for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world to obtain cash grants from U.S. foundations, and for foundations to vet organizations and provide grants. Currently there are few international standards or treaties that NGOs or foundations can follow to give or receive grants, and foundations spend significant resources determining which NGOs outside the U.S. are considered eligible under IRS rules. The process also places a heavy burden on the NGOs trying to qualify for grants.

Said Rob Buchanan, Managing Director, International Programs, Council on Foundations: "TechSoup Global was selected as the organization best suited to establish and manage the Equivalency Determination Information Repository because it most clearly met all the critical requirements we were looking for: its core mission and strategic goals; its established network of global partners; its highly qualified and integrated team of management and staff; its customer support expertise; its partners' extensive legal expertise, and its innovative use of technology to create similar processes and systems. We anticipate TechSoup Global's work on this groundbreaking project will have a hugely positive impact on grantmaking around the world."

TechSoup Global will now work together with the Council of Foundations and legal counsel to seek all of the necessary rulings from the IRS to enable the repository's operation and realize significant benefits to the sector. One of the key anticipated benefits is that once the repository makes a determination for a particular grantee, multiple funders may rely upon that single current determination. This will save significant repetitive work and cost for both funders and grantees. An additional goal of the repository will be to provide a variety of tools to assist NGOs in more effectively and efficiently collecting, preparing and submitting all of the information required to be considered for equivalency status. Further, the repository will assist NGOs in maintaining up-to-date information and will provide grantmakers with up-to date information about the status of ED processing. Utilizing the repository will potentially help raise the standard and create consistency of quality of making equivalency determinations across the grantmaking sector.

Known for its leadership in innovative uses of Internet technology for social benefit, TechSoup Global plans to utilize leading-edge systems and platforms to make the repository as accessible and sustainable as possible. Further, TechSoup Global plans to advise the repository committee on other possible ways to leverage the repository platform; for example, it may be used as a key resource to help quickly marshal resources in the event of a major natural disaster, assisting donors who are trying to rally on short notice those organizations who can help deliver support.

"TechSoup Global's mission is to ensure that every social benefit organization on the planet has the resources to further their own missions," said Rebecca Masisak, co-CEO, TechSoup Global. "By enabling new models of philanthropy through the effective use of technology, we make it easier for both NGOS and foundations to work together for social good. We strongly believe that the existence of services like the Equivalency Determination Information Repository will support foundations to do more effective grantmaking by allowing them, as well as the NGOs and communities that they hope to support, to spend more time on local engagement, innovation and evaluation as well as critical program delivery. We're proud that the Council on Foundations recognized that as a trusted brand in the NGO sector with global reach and high touch with these international NGOs, we can ultimately help build capacity locally in the philanthropic sectors of these countries."


San Francisco-based TechSoup Global ( is working towards a day when every social benefit organization on the planet has the access to resources they need to fulfill their mission. TechSoup provides technology information to individuals and organizations in more than 190 countries, has provided consulting services in more than 50 countries and, through its global network of capacity-building NGOs, manages product donations to more than 80,000 organizations in 22 countries. The product donations program has enabled organizations to save over $1.2 billion in expenses as of September 2008. TechSoup Global continues to innovate with a goal of bringing increased resources and capacity to organizations working diligently on their social missions. TechSoup Global employs a staff of 170 and deploys a budget of US $22 million.

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