Institutional Philanthropy Gets Seat on Key FATF Consultative Forum


In a development that signals an important victory for Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), including institutional philanthropy, a global group of NPOs have secured seats on a key consultative forum of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a policy body that sets international standards for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. At the end of February, the task force formally invited the Global NPO Coalition on FATF to fill four seats on its Private Sector Consultative Forum (PSCF). The European Foundation Centre (EFC) will hold one of these seats on behalf of the Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) for the initial phase.

Engaging with FATF is critically important for all types of non-profit organisations since FATF sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and FATF has far-reaching influence on national governments’ regulation of the charitable sector. More than 190 jurisdictions worldwide are committed to the implementation of its recommendations. While dialogue with the NPO sector has been improved over recent years, the sector called for clearer rules for engagement with NPOs to enable the same meaningful participatory practices adopted by other multilateral entities.

In 2015, the non-profit sector secured a commitment from FATF to engage in regular dialogue, and this commitment has now been formalised through the invitation to become members in the PSCF, giving the sector an opportunity to directly engage on policy planning with governments and decision-makers at FATF.  This is the first time that a diverse array of NPOs will have a formal say at the FATF table.

The PSCF is an annual meeting, hosted by FATF, where issues affecting non-governmental entities subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations are discussed. According to FATF, these meetings allow the multilateral body to better understand how legal requirements are affecting the private sector, and they allow the private sector to raise issues of concern and to offer recommendations on overcoming them.

The four NPO coalition seats will be held by one co-chair of the Global Coalition, an NPO legal expert, a representative of philanthropy/grantmaking and one service delivery/humanitarian assistance organisation. Over the next two years, those slots will be filled by the Human Security Collective (HSC), the European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) on behalf of the ICNL Alliance, EFC on behalf of WINGS, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. The next PSCF will take place from 20-22 March in Vienna and will be followed by one full day of workshops around NPOs and FATF evaluations involving participants from FATF, government delegations, and the NPO/philanthropy sector.

About the Global NPO Coalition on FATF

Since 2013, the Global NPO Coalition on FATF has directed its advocacy to influence positive changes to FATF policies and guidance for NPOs, including its Recommendation 8 (R8) of the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standard. Over 200 non-profit organisations (NPOs) worldwide have endorsed the work of the Coalition. A core group of diverse stakeholders, including the Charity and Security Network (C&SN), the European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL), the European Foundation Centre (EFC), and the Human Security Collective (HSC), has engaged in a specific project around this and facilitates and coordinates the work of the Coalition. More information on this work can be found at For more information, please contact Hanna Surmatz: