Today’s episode is a great one. Not only will we be talking about innovation in the field, but we’ll also address how today’s guest, Ted Hart, gives compliance officers a framework by which to think through issues that they face. Ted is the President and CEO of CAF America and brings 30 years of experience in advising global philanthropy.

Ted and CAF

CAF has a unique goal: to provide service to the philanthropic community, specifically to those in the United States who want to give abroad, but have tax issues to face they don’t quite understand. They’ve been in business for 27 years.

Cross Border Giving

CAF America worked with several professionals in the market to write “Cross Border Giving.” The goal was to educate on a topic that can be confusing, so each professional wrote a chapter based on their expertise. The book and workbook together provide a great foundation, to which those who wish to donate to charities outside the US can refer.

The 3 R’s and 7 Principles of International Giving

Regulatory compliance, reducing the risks, and protecting reputation: these three things should be on the mind of every donor as they seek to give outside the US. As for the 7 principles, you’ll find a direct line back to the 3 R’s:

  • Integrity of the process
  • Understanding all aspects
  • Respect for the cultures
  • Responsiveness to changing issues
  • Fairness
  • Cooperation and collaboration
  • Effectiveness

Ted breaks down what each of these principles means in the bigger picture of giving, and how they inform good practices. They help keep the donor central to the process with their vision and mission. CAF works in such a way that donors can see exactly how their gifts are impacting people around the world, even for those people who can’t necessarily donate large amounts for extended periods of time.

Working with Charities

Not all charities are created equally, so CAF includes in its mission a rigorous vetting of charities and making sure they are doing with donors’ money what is expected of them. It’s a system of checks and balances that makes sure the people that donors want to help are getting the most out of the donations they send.

The Legal Side of Cross-Border Donating

Money laundering is a major concern when the same laws we have in the United States don’t apply in other countries, and it’s something CAF takes very seriously. No donor wants to learn that they have been funding terrorist activities. Ted talks about the strong procedures CAF has in place to prevent such things from happening.

On the flip side of that coin, many governments around the world have tightened down and created regulations for money coming into their countries. They want to know where it’s going and how it’s being used. Ted talks about a new Chinese regulation and why CAF is one of the leading organizations compliant with Chinese law.


Ted Hart: 202-793-2232 | | CAF America | LinkedIn