Unlocking Philanthropy's Potential for Development

Content Manager
Event date 25 Sep '19 15:00 - 17:00
Event location Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, Nelson Mandela Room • 320 E 43rd St, New York, 10017, NY, United States


      The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a universal framework, a common language, and concrete objectives for all members of society to achieve sustainable development. The scale and complexity of challenges ahead of the Agenda 2030 require the deployment of massive public and private investments but also the increased effectiveness of existing resources in enabling more inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies. Furthermore, this urgently calls for greater collaboration for delivering better outcomes and impact.

        Philanthropy is just one, and a relatively minor, actor in the broader chain of capital for the SDGs. However, the sector is uniquely positioned to play a catalytic role through risk-taking, agility, innovation, independence, expertise and connections it can bring to the table. The potential appears even more important considering all existing forms of giving, including middle-class donations, grassroots philanthropy, or impact investing.

           As we are just a little over 10 years away from the SDG horizon, we need to think strategically about the barriers to overcome and dismantle in order to unleash private resources for common good. In this sense, building the bridges between philanthropy and other actors, including national governments, development agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector, would be of utmost importance.

About the event: 

      On September 25, 2019, the event on "Unlocking the Full Potential of Philanthropy for Development" was convened during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice in New York. 

       This convening was organized jointly by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS)1 within the framework of the SDG Philanthropy Platform2 and in partnership with Aga Khan Foundation, La Caixa Foundation and Charities Aid Foundation.

    The topics that were discussed during the event include: finding pathways for multi-sector collaboration on the SDGs, and opportunities for accelerating growth and improving the effectiveness of private resources, especially in emerging markets and the Global South. 

For more information, please see the Event's Agenda, Speakers' Bios and Logistics Note attached below. 

WINGS is a network of about 135 philanthropy associations and support organizations in 50+ countries around the world whose purpose is to strengthen, promote and provide leadership on the development of philanthropy and social investment. WINGS members are supporting over 100,000 philanthropic entities.


The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative connecting foundations and philanthropists with knowledge and networks that can deepen collaboration, leverage resources and sustain impact, aligning their interventions with national development plans for the SDGs. To date, SDGPP has established pathways for philanthropy to engage with the SDGs in eight focus countries, namely Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and the US.