Summary: FATF's June 2015 Best Practices Paper

July 9, 2015

After draft updates and significant input from the nonprofit organization (NPO) sector, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its revised Best Practices Paper (BPP) in June 2015. The long-awaited revision incorporates almost all of the changes requested by NPOs with a new emphasis on taking a risk-based approach and avoiding a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme.

This latest BPP revision, which offers guidance on FATF Recommendation 8, on laws relating to NPOs, states at its outset that FATF recognizes “the vital importance of the NPO community in providing charitable services around the world, as well as  the difficulty of providing assistance to those in need, often in remote regions.” It also recognizes the efforts of NPOs to promote transparency in their work and “to prevent misuse of the sector by those wishing to support terrorist financing and terrorist organisations.”

UPDATED: Treasury Data Shows Charities Not Significant Source of Terrorist Support

March 5, 2012

The Department of Treasury has made broad statements charging the U.S. charitable sector with being a significant source of terrorist financing and support. But evidence to support these claims has not been forthcoming. As a result, there has been significant disagreement between Treasury and the nonprofit sector on the extent and nature of the relationship between charities and terrorists. The issue is highlighted by the fact that Treasury's Annex to the Guidelines only cites examples of alleged crimnal activity by foreign charities.

List of U.S. charities designated, shut down or both by Treasury

January 26, 2012

The legal authority for the Department of Treasury to designate a person or organization as a Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) (or freeze assets "pending investigation") is based on laws providing for economic sanctions against foreign nations, going back to the Trading With the Enemy Act in 1917 and ending with the Patriot Act. 

The Financial Action Task Force: What Nonprofits Need to Know

May 27, 2015

Barriers to Cross-Border Nonprofit Operations and
The Role of the Financial Action Task Force

Section by Section Summary: Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act

January 27, 2014

HR 3526

The Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2013

Section by Section Summary


To permit humanitarian assistance to civilian populations in areas of conflict or disaster when carried out in good faith and with certain safeguards.

Section 1. Short Title

The Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2012.

FAQ: NSA Surveillance and Nonprofits

October 29, 2013

The U.S. National Security Administration’s (NSA) foreign and domestic surveillance programs have been making headlines since they were first revealed in the summer of 2013. The surveillance activities range from collection of phone data to the recording of electronic communications. These programs are authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.

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The Financial Action Task Force and Human Rights

October 16, 2013

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body that sets anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards that it uses to assess the adequacy of laws and regulations in nearly every country in the world. Since 9/11 it has increased its focus on regulation of financial services and charities.

Summary of 2013 USAID Request for Comments on Partner Vetting System

September 5, 2013

USAID first proposed the Partner Vetting System (PVS) in 2007. It quickly became controversial as nonprofits objected to its central provision: a requirement that prospective USAID grantees turn over personal identifying information on certain staff, leaders and sub-grantees to the U.S.

OFAC Licenses for Humanitarian Aid

July 29, 2013

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Department of Treasury is tasked, in part, with ensuring that money from U.S. persons and entities does not fall into the hands of terrorist groups. An array of sanction laws have been enacted that make it a crime for money to go to certain countries (for example, Iran and Syria) and certain organizations (for example, Hamas and al-Qaeda). OFAC has the authority both to enforce these laws, by freezing the assets of any U.S. group or individual who violates them, and to provide exceptions to these laws through licenses. 

Negotiating for Aid Delivery in Mali

July 10, 2013

July 2013

Mali- Background

4.3 million people in Mali, a West African nation in the heart of the Sahel, are experiencing a humanitarian crisis following the collapse of the country’s central government in March 2012 and a foreign military intervention against armed militant groups in early 2013.  The conflict uprooted thousands of people, and according to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), over 170,000 Malians are refugees in neighboring countries, and another 270,000 were forced to abandon their homes in the north to seek safety in southern Mali.