UNDP engagement with Foundations

women's group

UNDP recognizes the tremendous knowledge that foundations offer in a variety of areas ranging from governance, environment to health and financial inclusion and works with them to utilize their expertise and knowledge capacities. Our partnerships with philanthropy build on a range of assets and comparative advantages to find solutions to common development challenges. Both global and local foundations are providing strong backing for UNDP's development activities. We work in partnerships with community foundations and civil society organizations to better address issues at the local level.

All levels of the organization, including UNDP country offices, regional centers and the HQ, are involved in partnerships and relationships with philanthropy. At the HQ, our focus is on forging global relations which span over a number of countries, while collaboration at the country level emphasizes partnerships to tackle concrete issues, link with policy discussions and national development plans.

UNDP is also actively seeking developing relations with foundations and philanthropic organizations from emerging countries, where philanthropy is growing.

In 2013, UNDP received US$ 14.9 million from 21 different foundations for projects mainly in Africa.

Partnering with foundations in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and shaping the Post 2015 development agenda

Over the past decade, the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, have been critical in mobilizing resources and driving real progress on some of the world’s most pressing problems. With the MDGs’ deadline of 2015 fast approaching, discussion over what should succeed these goals — known as the “Post-2015 development agenda”— is an important collective undertaking for anyone concerned with international cooperation.

We are engaging with foundations in country based dialogues about the implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda. Our activities include new ways of communications, inviting foundations and civil society organizations to policy discussions as well as other outreach events to encourage foundations to participate in the Post-2015 development agenda. UNDP is engaged with foundations to communicate and promote to all foundations guidelines such as Guidelines for Effective Philanthropic Engagement (GEPEs), Disaster Philanthropy and Global Charter on Data.

A new effort to address the challenges, the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy, is designed to help philanthropy understand better the opportunities for engaging in global development goal processes, and their responsibilities as they engage; help governments and the UN system understand the added value of philanthropy’s engagement; help philanthropy play a greater role in shaping the future goals by giving greater voice to grantees. The Platform project has begun in July 2014 with grants provided by the Hilton Foundation and other foundations. There are five anticipated pilot countries: Kenya, Colombia, Ghana, Cambodia, and Indonesia. 

For more information, please contact Karolina Mzyk:
E-mail: karolina.mzyk@undp.org; T: +1 212 906 6853

Strategy for Engagement with Foundations

The strategy for engagement with philanthropic foundations was adopted by UNDP senior management in July 2012. This strategy aims to reposition and strengthen UNDP’s work with foundations vis a vis the new developments in the philanthropic sector and embrace the new partnering opportunities. It focuses on the strategic collaboration for finding common solutions to development, with an emphasis on mainstreaming sustainable human development. It outlines new collaboration models where foundations as valuable partners are positioned as development partners rather than donors and offers space for working together in policy discussions, advocacy and problem analysis. 

view Strategy for Engagement with Foundations