Achieving the SDGs will require far more resources than are now being applied to them. To end poverty. To combat climate change. To achieve gender equality. To “leave no one behind” and be truly concerned with the most forgotten and disadvantaged people in every society. Foundations can contribute to this ever-growing endeavor in many ways. Some will change how they make grants or how many grants they make. Some will support SDG infrastructure so that funders can collaborate better. Others will match their existing program areas to the SDG targets, in a process we call “alignment.” In the following chapters, this guide addresses three steps for aligning with the SDGs:

1. Plan: Identify how your priorities as a foundation align with the SDG goals and targets.

  • List your foundation’s priority program areas.
  • Look through the 17 goals to find the closest matches.
  • Dive into each SDG you selected to find which targets best align your philanthropy.
  • Consider human rights principles.

2. Assess Progress: Decide how to measure progress and results, and gather and analyze data and evidence.

  • Assess the state of your monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework.
  • Decide on measures and what data to gather.
  • Build capacity to collect the desired data.
  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize data on a regular basis.
  • Synthesize data, and use it for learning and action.

3. Report and Use Data: Prepare to report your findings to target audiences, and use data to improve decisions and actions.

  • Consider stakeholders’ needs.
  • Report on data through your preferred channels.
  • Invite feedback and iterate.