By Hannah Kristine Vos (She/Her/Hers)
This article originally appeared on Alliance Magazine on Thursday, August 24th.
On September 18th and 19th leaders from around the world will participate in the SDG Summit which will be ‘critical in setting the tone’ for the remainder of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Unfortunately, we are ‘far off track’ from achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The urgency for action is further supported by the breaking news last month that our planet experienced four of the hottest days ever recorded, a sign of how far we have to go before achieving SDG 13: Climate Action. As the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 states, ‘Civil society organizations (CSOs), Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks and other institutions can be powerful advocates for change, and can promote accountability.’ In this article, I rely on data from the 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker to discuss the existing relationship between philanthropy and the SDGs, the need for increased data availability, and the importance of engaging with diaspora communities in the move toward localization.
The 2023 Global Philanthropy Tracker (2023 GPT), written and published by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, tracks cross-border philanthropic outflows from 47 countries around the world and places them into the larger context of three externally tracked cross-border flows: remittances, official development assistance (ODA), and private capital investment. The 2023 GPT found that in 2020 (the year for which data was available for most countries) these countries sent $70 billion in cross-border philanthropy.
The SDGs & Philanthropy
The SDG Foundation Giving Estimates Paper opined that a total of $651 billion from philanthropic foundations alone could be unlocked between 2016–2030 for the SDGs. Research from Candid of primarily US-based foundations shows that between 2016–2020 funding focused on the SDGs totaled $217 billion. This may appear to be a drop in the bucket of the estimated $3.9 trillion annual funding gap in developing countries, but experts have highlighted that focusing only on the dollar amount misses the philanthropic sector’s role. The philanthropic sector can react more quickly to changing needs and technology and help catalyze innovation.
Some philanthropic organizations already utilize the valuable common vocabulary and framework that the SDGs provide. From the European Community Foundation Initiative to the Arab Foundations and the East Africa Philanthropy Network, the 2023 GPT highlights how regional member organizations around the world integrate the language and framework of the SDGs into their everyday work.