Giving for Sustainable Development Goals Focused on Education

Giving for Sustainable Development Goals Focused on Education

A new report from the Charities Aid Foundation of America highlights trends in philanthropic giving in support of the United NationsSustainable Development Goals.

Based on grants recommended by CAF America's individual, corporate, and foundation donor-advised funds between January 2016 and April 2019, the report, The SDG Giving Landscape: An Insight Into Philanthropic Giving to the SDGs (33 pages, PDF), found that the five goals receiving the most support over that period were quality education (SDG 4, 22.26 percent of total grant dollars), good health and well-being (SDG 3, 18.89 percent), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11, 12.79 percent), no poverty (SDG 1, 9.61 percent), and life on land/sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity (SDG 15, 9.32 percent). On a year-over-year basis, however, the share of total funding directed to ending poverty fell from 17.69 percent of the total in 2016 to 7.13 percent in 2019, while giving for life on land//sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity rose from 0.92 percent to 12.97 percent.

According to the report, ensuring equitable quality education was the only SDG that appeared among the top five across all nine global regions, while life on land topped the list in Africa, poverty ranked first in Central America and the Caribbean, health and well-being topped the list in North America and Russia/Central Asia, sustainable cities and communities ranked first in Oceania and Western Asia, and zero hunger (SDG 2) topped the list in South America.

The report also found that for the top five SDGs overall, corporations and individuals accounted for the bulk of giving by CAF America donors, with foundations providing 18.19 percent of the grant dollars for quality education, 22.92 percent for ending poverty, and a smaller share for the other three goals. The top five issue areas supported by foundations were education, poverty, sustainable cities and communities, peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16), and health and well-being.

"Philanthropy plays a vital role in tackling humanity's most pressing problems worldwide, the very challenges that SDGs target," said CAF America founder and CEO Ted Hart. "The results of this first-ever look at CAF America's giving data demonstrate the interconnectedness of the SDGs, and how progress on one goal translates into progress toward others. Through our work connecting donors to the international causes they champion, we're inching the world toward the vision of a sustainable planet, peace and prosperity, and a future without poverty."

"On United Nations Day, First-Ever CAF America Report Shows Philanthropy’s Role Toward Achieving Sustainable Development Goals." Charities Aid Foundation of America Press Release 10/24/2019. "The SDG Giving Landscape: An Insight Into Philanthropic Giving to the SDGs." Charities Aid Foundation of America Report 10/24/2019.