Resource Center

Protecting Charitable Organizations

Protecting charities from terrorist abuse is a critical component of the global fight against terrorism. Charities provide essential services, comfort, and hope to those in need around the world. Unfortunately, terrorists have exploited the charitable sector to raise and move funds, provide logistical support, encourage terrorist recruitment, or otherwise support terrorist organizations and operations. This abuse threatens to undermine donor confidence and jeopardizes the integrity of the charitable sector, whose services are indispensable to the world community.

Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crime has developed this Web site to provide information and resources for all stakeholders in four strategic areas:  i) private sector outreach; ii) coordinated oversight; iii) targeted investigations; and iv) international engagement.  Treasury hopes this information will be useful for federal, state, local, and private actors in combating terrorist abuse of the charitable sector.


Private Sector Outreach


Direct private sector outreach is a particularly important element of the U.S. approach to safeguarding charities from terrorist abuse. The government and the charitable sector share fundamental interests in promoting and protecting charitable giving. Through active engagement, the government and private sector can identify terrorist financing risks, clarify obligations and best practices, facilitate compliance with U.S. law, and help promote charitable giving while reducing the threats of terrorist abuse.

Treasury Efforts to Protect and Support the Charitable Sector

OFAC Clarifying Guidance on Humanitarian Assistance to Iran – 08/14/12

OFAC Questions Related to Humanitarian Assistance to Syria – 08/03/12

OFAC Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Private Relief Efforts in Somalia – 08/04/11

U.S. Department of Treasury: Protecting Charitable Giving - Frequently Asked Questions

OFAC Risk Matrix (for the charitable sector as of March 2007

U.S. Department of the Treasury Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices For U.S.-Based Charities

Response to Comments Submitted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities

Typologies and Open Source Reporting On Terrorist Abuse of Charitable Operations in Post-Earthquake Pakistan and India

Testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Daniel L. Glaser before the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Protecting and Promoting Safe Chariatbale Giving - A look into the financial Action Task Force's Latest Report on the Risk of Terrorist Abuse in the Non-Profit Organization Sector


Coordinated Oversight

Treasury works with other departments and agencies from across the federal government and with state and local officials to develop effective policies to combat the threat of terrorist abuse in the charitable sector.  Currently, Treasury is working closely with the National Association of State Charity Officials to create a federal-state working group that will increase communication, cooperation, and information-sharing.

Internal Revenue Service: Charities and Non-profit Organizations

National Association of State Charity Officials

Filing Requirements for Charities


Targeted Investigations

Multiple agencies within the federal government play a role in investigating threats or cases of terrorist financing in the charitable sector.  Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis regularly reviews intelligence pertaining to terrorist financing abuse of charitable organizations.  The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division examines important tax-based information relating to terrorist abuse of charities.   Finally, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control plays an invaluable role by implementing and administering terrorist-financing related designations, including those against charities, pursuant to Executive Order 13224.

Designated Charities and Potential Fundraising Front Organizations for FTOs (listed by affiliation and designation date)

Additional Background Information on Designated Charities

Background Information on Certain FTOs with Aliases Appearing as Potential Fundraising Front Organizations

Background on the authorities governing the designation of charities


International Engagement

Through bilateral engagement and multilateral bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Treasury and other federal agencies share information concerning our national charitable sector, improve global oversight of the international charitable sector, devise methodologies for detecting terrorist abuse of charities, and establish international standards to combat such abuse.

FATF Interpretive Note to Recommendation Eight: Non-Profit Organizations
(Page 56) 

FATF International Best Practices for Combating the Abuse of Non-Profit Organizations

FATF Typology Report on Terrorist Financing
(Page 25)

FATF NPO Typology report issued June 2014

Last Updated: 8/24/2016 4:05 PM