Philanthropy leaders call for greater role in tackling global challenges defined in new Sustainable Development Goals

Sep 24, 2015

New York— Today, more than 150 leaders from philanthropy, government, UN agencies, civil society, and business are meeting to consider how the philanthropy community can connect more with the Sustainable Development Goals over the next 15 years. “Philanthropy Engaged: Implementing and Achieving the Post-2015 Agenda” is being hosted by the SDG Philanthropy Platform, a partnership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Foundation Center, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA).

World leaders will gather tomorrow in New York for the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit where all 193 UN Member States are expected to formally adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are 17 ambitious goals, accompanied by targets and indicators for all countries to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The SDG Philanthropy Platform envisions a proactive role for philanthropy in achieving the SDGs. Held at the Ford Foundation, today’s event aims to deepen connections between philanthropy leaders and others, and assist foundations in better understanding the opportunities for joining efforts to realise the SDGs locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.

“Governments alone cannot address the critical challenges of sustainable development, nor can we expect philanthropy to achieve its maximum potential operating in isolation,” said Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme Administrator. “The SDG Platform for Philanthropy will create the linkages necessary to achieve the SDGs, and, ultimately, a more just and equitable society.”

Launched over the past year, with support from The MasterCard, Ford, and Conrad N. Hilton foundations and others, the SDG Philanthropy Platform connects local and international philanthropies with ongoing development programmes, including government-led discussions on localizing the SDGs. At the global level, the Platform connects philanthropy to global development resources, ensures that funders are included in the development of policy agendas, and facilitates partnerships among foundations, governments, the UN, the private sector and other civil society organizations.

At the national level, the Platform has begun work in Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana, with plans to expand to additional countries in the coming year. In Kenya specifically, the Platform contributed to establishing the Kenya Philanthropy Forum, which is a vehicle for collective engagement of Kenyan philanthropy in advancing national development plans.

Today’s event also features the launch of, a website designed by the SDG Philanthropy Platform to facilitate funder engagement in the global development process. Through knowledge sharing and access to critical data, the new website enhances opportunities for collaboration across sectors — philanthropy, government, UN agencies, civil society, and the private sector — to increase the effectiveness of work that addresses common social, environmental, and economic challenges. creates a centralized place for sharing data and knowledge and visualizing progress towards global development outcomes, while fostering collaboration. Powered by Foundation Center, the site offers interactive maps and dashboards tracking key funding data (both from foundations and official development assistance) to individual Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), SDGs, countries, and population groups. It also lists top funders and recipients working on specific SDGs; provides access to a collection of literature, including case studies and interviews with global experts; and will host an online community that serves as a hub for discussions and knowledge sharing worldwide.

“With, we have a real opportunity to start the SDG process with strong baseline data, track the investment of philanthropy and the global community, and take on the difficult challenge of measuring true progress,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center.

In its next phase, the Platform will expand collaboration opportunities for philanthropic engagement in SDG-related issues, work with in-country philanthropic partners to build data collection capacity, and develop additional services for foundations to help them identify relevant points of entry into the work.

The SDG Philanthropy Platform is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Foundation Center, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), with funding support from The MasterCard, Ford, and Conrad N. Hilton foundations and others. The Council on Foundations is the newest partner in the Platform and will encourage its U.S. foundation members to work towards achieving the SDGs nationally and globally, and to improve their own capacity to make contributions of data and knowledge to the U.S. domestic effort, serving as a model for other developed countries.

SDGfunders is accessible at
Follow the discussion on Twitter: #PhilSDGs and @PhilSDGs

About the United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people around the world to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer a global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations, and major foundations. Founded in 2002 and continuing the Rockefeller family’s legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. It has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries.

About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit

About Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information, please visit

About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada with over US$9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information on the Foundation, please visit:

Contact information

Karolina Mzyk Callias;Tel: +90 545 854 94 56

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