At the UN General Assembly this week, countries are taking stock of what we need to do to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The social finance sector helps communities address pressing challenges.  The Investment Readiness Program is building a resilient social finance sector and a sustainable future by advancing all 17 of the SDGs. There are over 800 projects, coast to coast to coast, making a difference.  

See what local communities are doing through the Investment Readiness Program to work towards the Goals.

The SDGs in local community foundations

The SDG Guidebook and Toolkit support local community foundations as they address the SDGs in their own projects.

As the world faces crises on multiple fronts, community foundations can serve as vital leaders in helping their communities bounce back and build toward a better future for all. The SDGs offer a framework to make it happen. Community foundations can use the SDGs as a catalyst for planning, implementing and communicating the work they are doing to create local solutions to global problems like poverty, health, education and hunger.

The over 200 community foundations across Canada are well-positioned to play a pivotal role in advancing the Goals. There is widespread recognition that much of the work implementing the SDGs has to happen at the local level, using community-based approaches. Community foundations are a good fit as SDG champions and implementers because community foundations are:

  • Holders of community knowledge: community needs, capabilities, capacity, assets and priorities
  • Well-connected to diverse stakeholders and partners
  • Community leaders and conveners with the ability to bring people together and spark conversations and action
  • Already doing the work towards the economic, social and environmental goals that are set out in the SDGs.

Using the SDGs to talk about the work of community foundations

A shared language

The SDGs provide a shared language to talk about the work that community foundations do. A shared language is a powerful tool to better communicate with others and shape the narrative of local impact. A shared language also breaks down barriers among organizations and governments, allowing us to identify commonalities and come together with shared vision, goals and measurements.

Address the complexity of local issues

Community foundations work locally on the issues that matter most to the community. However, the issues community foundations address intersect and span beyond community boundaries, and the SDG shared language can help frame broader conversations about systems change.

Using the SDGs is an opportunity for engagement

Engage new and diverse stakeholders, including youth

This is especially true when we embrace the SDG pledge to “leave no one behind.” This is an opportunity for community foundations to challenge themselves to shift the power even more. Youth, in particular, are mobilizing around the issue of climate action (SDG #13). The SDGs provide an opportunity to support and work alongside the next generation to meet the Goals.

New partnerships and innovative ways of collaborating

Expanding partnerships is integral to achieving the Goals. Community foundations hold strong local partnerships and can demonstrate leadership by convening partners. Working towards the Goals will require extensive new and existing partnerships, as well as innovative ways to partner. Our expertise in convening partners will be invaluable in this process.

Connect us across scales

Embracing the SDGs provides community foundations with an opportunity to work on issues that scale beyond local communities. Through the SDGs, community foundations are able to share successes and innovative solutions more widely, as well as learn from others working towards the SDGs. The SDGs unite a global community.