UK Community Foundations launches Sustainable Develop Goals report

A new report by UK Community Foundations looks at how the place-based community foundation model aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By thinking globally, and acting locally, the report shows how funders can enable local charities and community organisations to play a key role in helping to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. They have been committed to by all member states of the UN and address the global challenges we face. They have ambitious aims including ending poverty and hunger, improving good health and well-being, improving standards of education for all children and taking action to build sustainable communities. They might be global, but the goals apply to us all across the UK and in every local community. We can all play some part in achieving them, as individuals, in our communities and in partnership with others, by becoming more aware of the issues and acting for change.

As highlighted on UKCF’s website here it has been working on aligning its work with the SDGs for more than a year. Using examples from across the community foundation network, it demonstrates how the work of local organisations, the long-term support of donors, and a focus on place are key to driving sustainable change in communities. It shows how community foundations use their place-based knowledge and relationships to convene different local actors around the Goals.

As well as providing examples of how our place-based work fits within a global context, the report also calls for more sustainable funding practices such as multi-year funding and increased flexibility from donors and grant-makers. In addition to this, the report shows how the SDGs can be used by civil society to help communicate its huge impact and to leverage further support from the private sector as it increasingly turns to the SDGs to measure social impact.

The report is relevant to funders, philanthropists, corporates, local charities, and other institutions that are invested in seeing sustainable social change in communities across the UK.

UKCF chief executive Rosemary Macdonald said: “There is an urgent need to join up the dots across civil society and to ensure that the impact of local people is duly recognised. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide the perfect framework for us to do just that. Without losing the nuance of place, they allow us to position our local work in a global context.

“The 17 interconnected Goals are broad enough to encompass the huge variety of causes, services, and people that our sector helps.”

Jon Everett, UKCF’s director of business growth and external affairs, added: “Conversations with corporate partners show the increasing priority they are placing on aligning their charitable giving with both their Environmental, Social and Governance strategies and with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They are also keen to give back to the communities they serve. As a network we are uniquely placed to help organisations target resources to the causes and communities that will benefit most from this approach.”

Through our work we are keen to raise awareness of the SDGs and demonstrate how the activities of local voluntary and community organisations contributes to delivering these goals. The SDGs might be global, but they are goals for everyone, we can all play our part in becoming more aware of how out local activities connect and contribute to global ambitions.

As part of this we have started to map the grants we give to voluntary and charitable groups against the SDGs. In 2020/21 the grants we awarded contributed towards 13 of the 17 SDGs and most significantly to these six - No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities and Sustainable Cities and Communities.

You can read the full report from UKCF here.

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