In 2015, the countries of the world came together at the United Nations and signed on to a historic agreement called “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which included a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Most philanthropic funders will see that their missions are affirmed by the SDGs, as virtually every cause that philanthropists and foundations support is included in the ambitious scope of the SDGs, which encompass a wide range of issues in the economic, social, and environmental spheres.
Funders may also find that the SDGs can help them frame issues, connect with other change-makers, strengthen partnerships, and communicate about their progress—all for greater impact. Foundations and their grantee partners can take part in this global effort by contributing funds, implementing programs, sharing knowledge, and aligning their objectives with those of the SDGs.
Coordination action is under way at all levels and in all countries. This includes local sustainability efforts such as the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s partnership with the city of Los Angeles. There are also impressive national efforts to align with the SDGs, such as the Kenyan government working with philanthropy and other partners. Equally important is the work across national boundaries supported by such funders as Humanity United or by the United Nations itself.
Foundations of all shapes and sizes can meaningfully take part. Ultimately, the SDGs present funders with an unprecedented opportunity to join and build a forward-thinking effort that sees all nations and all social, environmental, and economic challenges—and solutions—as related.
Earlier this month, our partners at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors produced two guides. The first guide, "Philanthropy and the SDGs: Getting Started", is meant to show foundations how to align with the SDGs to increase their impact on the issues they care about. The second guide, "Philanthropy and the SDGs: Practical Tools for Alignment", provides practical steps for philanthropic funders that are ready to align with the SDGs.
For more information, please see the guides below.
The guides were authored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, posted on wings.issueslab.org on April 25, 2019.
Photo credit: Tom Gainor
The views expressed in this article and the report attached are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative that connects philanthropy with knowledge and networks that can deepen collaboration, leverage resources and sustain impact, driving SDG delivery within national development planning. It is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), and supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Brach Family Charitable Foundation, and many others.