As part of its program to promote global implementation of its anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering recommendations, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be conducting an evaluation of U.S. compliance in late 2015 and early 2016. FATF is expected to review the evaluators’ report and make any recommendations in October 2016.

On July 6, 2015 the Charity & Security Network and the Council on Foundations submitted a detailed memo to the FATF Secretariat that provides the evaluation team with background information on U.S. counterterrorism laws, the impacts on nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and how this compares to FATF standards. It found that U.S. law fails to meet the FATF criteria of a risk-based approach, proportionality, protection of legitimate NPOs and consistency with human rights and humanitarian law. In a cover letter, the groups asked that the FATF evaluation team meet with representatives of the NPO sector as part of the evaluation process. The outcome of the report, and the recommendations, could provide an important opportunity for the U.S. to make its laws more civil-society friendly.

Key findings include:

  • A Risk-Based Approach to NPOs is Lacking

  • Definition of Prohibited “Material Support” is Overly Broad

  • Chilling Impact: The Law Disrupts, Rather Than Protects, Legitimate NPOs

  • Laws and Regulations Restricting NPOs Lack Proportionality

  • Inconsistent with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL)

  • NPO Access to Financial Services is a Growing Problem

  • Outreach to NPOs Needs Improvement