Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25, 2015, 193 countries formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations. The Council’s president, Vikki Spruill, published an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy last week, which urged philanthropic organizations to partner with others to help achieve the SDGs by 2030. The Council is committed to connecting our members with resources to learn more about the SDGs and understand how these global goals are relevant to their existing programs and strategies, globally and in the US, and provide an opportunity for philanthropy to lead together towards 2030.

This blog is part of the Council on Foundations' 17 Days, 17 Goals series, highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals and how American philanthropy is working in local communities to achieve these ambitious global goals, at home and around the world.

In the days leading up to the first anniversary of the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Council on Foundations will feature US philanthropic organizations and projects that are tackling the goals with a blog series - 17 Days, 17 Goals - as part of our SDGs & Philanthropy Initiative.

Sustainability. Quality education. Poverty reduction. Gender equality. If this list sounds familiar to individuals working in philanthropy or non-profits in the U.S., it should. Our sector is synonymous with these issues in part because our nation suffers from many of them, despite being the wealthiest country on the planet.

The Council is partnering with other organizations to help engage philanthropy in the global conversation on the SDGs. Since 2015, we have hosted webinars, in-person meetings, and convenings to lead together with civil society, government, and the private sector in achieving the SDGs. We look forward to continuing to host convenings, produce resources for U.S. philanthropy to engage in the SDGs, and build awareness of the goals across our sector.

There is no doubt that the US is suffering from what feels like the unravelling of social order. Recent shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas have heightened deep-seated tensions relating to race and criminal justice. The presidential election has felt more like a schoolyard brawl than democracy in action. And anger continues to grow among millions suffering from joblessness, poverty and disenfranchisement.

Council Global Philanthropy Intern McQuillin Murphy reflects on what he learned participating in a Council co-hosted event at the Colombian Embassy on June 9 to introduce 35 foundations from Colombia to American philanthropy. The day featured panel discussions on a wide range of topics, including best practice in advocacy and public policy, new forms of U.S. philanthropy and social innovation, and community philanthropy.

At the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, more than 6000 attendees discussed how the global community delivers aid for the world’s most vulnerable people, especially given commitments to leave no one behind within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The two-day event included a mix of government representatives, civil society organizations, and the private sector, including more than 350 corporate attendees and 79 foundations.

We are pleased to invite New York City-based funders to join the Council on Foundations, the SDG Philanthropy Platform and Philanthropy New York at the 92nd St. Y on March 18th to discuss how work already underway in New York City supports the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).