Giving Compass' Take:

• Donors can help drive progress in cross-sector collaboration and make an impact by deploying funding mechanisms for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

• The article notes that philanthropy can collaborate with governments to bring solutions to scale. 

• Read more about where to begin when thinking of funding the SDGs.

If we as a global community are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the 17 goals that the world’s governments committed to achieving for all people by the year 2030–philanthropy must be a key partner, particularly with respect to local implementation efforts.

Philanthropic funds have historically gone to communities in great need and to localities, such as rural districts and poor urban neighborhoods, who are often last to be given access to government services and private investment. The diverse actors in the institutional philanthropy sector – which include family foundations, large endowed foundations, community foundations, corporate philanthropy and impact investors – can be mobilized and encouraged by more responsive and coherent programmatic planning at the local level, as well as opportunities for leveraging their giving through government budgets and improved policies. In other words, lots of funds are flowing, but often in a fragmented pattern. The SDGs can remedy this disconnect and bring more coherence and impact by bridging across sectors. But this can only happen when the doors are open.

Philanthropy works differently from the UN system and governments, but there is value in the cross-fertilization of approaches that allow local successes to percolate upwards. Just as well, there are advantages to philanthropy partners in collaborating with governments to scale what works. We know that the traditional assumption that pilots will be taken up by governments has been challenged as government budgets are increasingly stretched.

Read the full article about philanthropy's impact on the SDGs at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.