Two groups representing foundations, one in the U.S. and one in Europe, have created a tool designed to help the growing sector of global philanthropy increase its accountability and effectiveness toward both donors and beneficiaries.
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on Foundations and the Brussels-based European Foundation Centre drafted the Principles of Accountability for International Philanthropy, a set of voluntary guidelines for organizations and individuals involved in cross-border grantmaking.
The recommendations are the result of a joint working group that was commissioned in 2005 and composed of members from the two nonprofit membership associations.
The group was charged with gathering a set of best practices affecting accountability to mission, grantees, partners and intended beneficiaries.
A review of such principles was seen as especially relevant in a field complicated by linguistic, cultural and legal differences.
The document identifies seven principles of accountability — integrity, understanding, respect, responsiveness, fairness, collaboration and effectiveness.
In doing its work, the task force consulted member foundations of both the Council on Foundations and the European center, as well as their grantees and partner organizations worldwide.