The preeminent forum grantmakers to come together and learn about the latest rules and regulations governing cross-border giving.

Concept Note

The Eighth Annual International Grantmaking Symposium (IGS) will convene corporate and private foundations, practitioners, philanthropists, advisors, and attorneys dedicated to advancing global philanthropy. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to share best practices and guidance on the latest rules and regulations governing cross-border giving.

In 2023, we will mark the official halfway point of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have grown to play an essential role in guiding international philanthropy. During this year’s Symposium, we will engage funders and philanthropists in debate and conversation around how cross-border philanthropy in the US advances the SDGs and can support global progress.

IGS 2023 will feature leading experts in a series of presentations, panel discussions and workshops focused on the fundamentals of international grantmaking and trends in the international development space.

We are proud to present this year’s Symposium, hosted by CAF America in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Symposium Themes

The main themes for our sessions this year are detailed below. The curriculum will include speakers from CAF America and other leaders in the field.


CAF America’s “3 Rs of International Grantmaking” cover all of the skills and knowledge you need to make effective, compliant international grants within a risk-based framework in the U.S. and local country contexts.

Sessions under this theme will explore critical topics like best practices for approving foreign grantees to receive funding and updated regulations to consider when planning an international giving strategy. These sessions will be hosted by CAF America’s own experts to share how the right approach to charity validation can unlock more funds for those who need it most.


When the UN SDGs were established in 2015, they were intended to provide a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.” 1 In 2023, at the halfway point of the SDGs’ defined lifetime, what progress has been made, and what role does philanthropy play in advancing them?

This theme will facilitate a nuanced conversation around the SDGs; from financing and measuring progress to examining the interconnectedness of the Goals and examining them within the framework of other philanthropic initiatives (e.g., disaster response), we will look at the Goals from all angles and debate how philanthropy in the US can support global progress.


Since 2016, many large INGOs, multilateral institutions, and policymakers have signed onto the Grand Bargain, a broad framework of initiatives seeking to improve the delivery of humanitarian aid. One of the pillars of the Grand Bargain is a call to localize charitable funding, meaning that “local/national humanitarian actors (LNAs) lead, participate in and are adequately funded for humanitarian response.” 2

Localization is a key emerging theme in international development, and one that has many layers to unpack. Sessions related with this theme will explore topics such as:

  • The benefits and opportunity costs of partnering with local organizations,
  • Best practices for handling a funder/grantee relationship across borders, and
  • Impact on disaster response, place-based philanthropy, and resilience building in local communities.
Strategic Grantmaking for Disaster Response

As emergencies create sudden, extreme needs in vulnerable communities around the world, grantmakers in the US need to take a realistic approach to build the vehicles for support before disaster strikes. Sessions under this theme will delve into best practice for investing in a charity or community as part of a proactive approach to disaster response grantmaking.

Stay Up to Date

The teams at CAF America and the United Nations Developmente Programme are looking forward to hosting the International Grantmaking Symposium. Ahead of the Symposium, we will be announcing the full agenda, speakers, and other updates in the coming months.

Sign up to receive real-time announcements and other exclusive offers for this year's Symposium.

Symposium Benefits


A series of thought-provoking presentations, inspiring panel discussions, and hands-on application sessions will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of international grantmaking, while also considering its critical role in shaping society. Focusing on specific challenging markets and legal environments, IGS provides both theoretical and practical knowledge on all regulations pertaining to international grantmaking.


Featuring speakers representing leading institutions, every session promises expert-level knowledge from practitioners who live and breathe their topic. Past speakers have included experts from organizations such as Meta, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Medtronic Foundation, USAID , UNDP, Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and many more. Each workshop and each presentation offers knowledge you can act on to take your efforts to the next level. The Symposium will provide the tools to ensure compliance with domestic and international laws and explore the immediate and long-term implications of current trends on domestic and cross-border philanthropy.


The IGS is unique in the opportunity it presents to connect with each of the Symposium’s delegates, many experts in their own right. Delegates bring diverse perspectives from corporate and community foundations, advisors working with private clients, and more. The connections you forge with other grantmaking professionals committed to advancing international philanthropy will last well beyond the Symposium.

Signup For Updates