Guide Urges Funders to Support Sustainable Development Goals

Guide Urges Funders to Support Sustainable Development Goals

A new guide from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors offers advice for philanthropic funders on how to align their missions and activities with the United NationsSustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The publication, Philanthropy and the SDGs, provides practical advice on how to plan, assess, and report on actions that support the SDGs, as well as examples of how other funders are addressing social and environmental challenges. Advancing the seventeen global goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was agreed to by all UN member states in 2015, requires far more resources than are currently being directed in support of the goals, the guide argues, and philanthropy has a critical role to play going forward — not only in providing support for the goals but also in providing risk capital for innovative approaches and in making long-term commitments that public- and private-sector actors cannot or are unwilling to make.

Volume one of the guide, Philanthropy and the SDGs: Getting Started (44 pages, PDF), lays out the economic, social, and environmental issues encompassed by the SDGs and that many philanthropic funders support; explains how the goals can help funders frame issues, connect with other funders, strengthen partnerships, and communicate their progress; and details how they can participate in coordinated cross-sector and cross-border efforts already under way. 

Volume two, Philanthropy and the SDGs: Practical Tools for Alignment (46 pages, PDF), outlines three steps — planning, assessing progress, and reporting and using data — funders can take to align their efforts with the SDGs and increase their impact. The guide offers detailed advice on and considerations for each step, including the importance of applying human rights principles in implementing support for all goals and targets; building capacity to collect and share data; and inviting feedback for use in readjusting program goals and strategies.

"Virtually every cause that philanthropists and foundations support is included in the ambitious scope of the SDGs," said Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors CEO Melissa A. Berman. "Yet there are still many philanthropic funders that are unaware of the SDGs or uncertain how to align with them. We are pleased to deliver this guide to help them see that their missions are affirmed by the SDGs and with alignment can realize greater progress."

"Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Releases SDGs Guide for Philanthropy." Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Press Release 04/29/2019. "Philanthropy and the SDGs: Practical Guidance for Donors to Align with the SDGs." Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors 04/29/2019.