We are creatures of habit. And it's not hard to figure out why. Change takes effort. Change is harder than doing what you know you could do in your sleep.
But sometimes change is called for. Sometimes the world presents us with an unexpected opportunity that gives us pause before doing the same thing we did yesterday.
Although I understood intellectually that the process had been underway for some time, I was still stunned to see the Associated Press headline announcing that "UN States Set Goal to End Poverty, Hunger in Next 15 Years." A formal acknowledgement of the realities of unmet human needs and environmental challenges was overdue. That the commitment to addressing them had been accomplished on a global level was moving. I didn't think I would see this in my lifetime. But, in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world now has a common set of aims to guide the work of governments, UN agencies, civil society, and business, should they choose to align their work with them.
One of philanthropy's enduring strengths is its ability to think for itself and to follow a deliberately chosen path, intentionally and faithfully over time, no matter which direction the winds of public sentiment may be blowing. But philanthropy has also begun to understand that collaboration is key to achieving big wins. The SDGs present philanthropy with a collaborative opportunity that could make a fundamental difference on a global scale.
In this vein of collaboration, Foundation Center just launched SDGfunders.org, a website to help those working in the philanthropic sector understand funding flows, find partners, and share stories of impact around the global development agenda. This site and the resources featured in this month's GrantCraft newsletter can help you align the work of your foundation with the SDG framework and one or more of its 17 goals. While this may not be the right path for every foundation, we hope many of you will find inspiration and new ways to expand on your existing work through this ambitious roadmap for a better world.
This letter originally appeared in yesterday's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.