Money & Business

Resource Helps Groups Map Contributions to U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

By / Oct 2, 2017

Global Impact, Blackbaud, the Council on Foundations, and the Foundation Center partner to help organizations align and track their contributions to the U.N.’s sustainable development goals.

Global Goals Mapping, a new resource launched by Global Impact, Blackbaud, the Council on Foundations, and the Foundation Center, gives organizations a way to map their charitable contributions to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

SDGs are a set of 17 objectives that were adopted in 2015 by 193 countries as part of the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [PDF]. These goals, and the 169 targets associated with them, address pressing global challenges, such as ending poverty, reducing the impact of climate change, and promoting human rights.

Using the IRS National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities and International Classification of Nonprofit Organizations codes to classify charitable activities and programs, Global Goals Mapping gives organizations the power to map employee donations, grants, and volunteer hours to the SDGs and related targets.

For years, the Council on Foundations has been educating its members about the SDGs. The group has convened in several cities to help its members—and the broader nonprofit sector—understand why the SDGs are relevant to their work. With this partnership, the Council on Foundations will be joining forces with three organizations that have also been working on connecting the nonprofit sector to the SDGs.

“We came together to make sure we could put forward something that was united, instead of each developing our own tools,” said Natalie Ross, senior director of global philanthropy and partnerships at the Council on Foundations. “For us, this tool is really building on the existing work that we’ve done.”

Unlike the other SDGs, goal 17 focuses on the building of partnerships to achieve sustainability. With trillions of dollars needed each year to achieve the SDGs, Ross said government will not be able achieve these goals on its own. “By doing this in partnership, it’s really living the meaning of goal 17,” she said.

Like its partners, the Council on Foundations is working to incorporate Global Goals Mapping into its various offerings. The resource will be integrated into the Blackbaud software that so many of the group’s members use. The Council on Foundations will also promote this resource online and in future publications about the SDGs.

While foundations are interested in the SDGs, Ross said they aren’t always able to see how it aligns with their existing grant-making. Ross hopes Global Goals Mapping serves as a “technological solution,” while also advancing the group’s mission.

“[This resource is] linked to our work to amplify how philanthropy and foundations are contributing to global sustainability and contributing to improving the planet,” she said.

Thorne McFarlane

Thorne is an assistant editor for Associations Now and a literature buff who loves a great story. Have something interesting to share? Send it his way. More »

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