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Advocacy Action Center

Grantmakers Without Borders Objects to the Department of Treasury's "Risk Matrix for the Charitable Sector"

Press Release: May 30, 2007
Vanessa Dick
Advocacy Coordinator

Grantmakers Without Borders
Washington, DC

Washington, DC - Grantmakers Without Borders ("Gw/oB"), a philanthropic network of 130 organizations dedicated to providing humanitarian support to the Global South, strongly urges the Department of the Treasury to withdraw its "Risk Matrix for the Charitable Sector" ("Risk Matrix").

Offered as a list of "common risk factors associated with disbursing funds and resources to [international] grantees," the Risk Matrix is intended help charities protect against the diversion of charitable funds by "rogue actors, terrorists, or other sanctions targets." However, the Risk Matrix is an impractical tool that neither helps nor protects US grantmaking organizations. In a recent letter written by Gw/oB to the Department of Treasury, Gw/oB highlights the reasons why the Risk Matrix should be withdrawn. Those reasons include:

  • it stigmatizes a legitimate and valuable method of grantmaking, potentially obstructing further philanthropy in highly vulnerable areas of the world,
  • it uses a framework and risk factors that do little to help charities prevent the diversion of charitable funds and detracts from more effective and proven methods of due diligence that many grantmakers engage in as a matter of course, and
  • is based on broad assumptions about the exploitation of charitable funds by terrorist organizations.

The Risk Matrix is yet another voluntary tool released by the Department of Treasury that inhibits legitimate philanthropic work, while ignoring the realities of international grantmaking.

Further Information:
Gw/oB Circulates Letter and Press Release Opposing Treasury Guidelines