Connecting the Local to the Global

We are working with our members to explore the many ways in which their work aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The alignment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the work of community foundations is clear. The 5 P’s (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership) in the 2030 Agenda capture the breadth of community foundation work and align with the core mission of community foundations – to drive philanthropy and collaboration across communities for transformative and sustainable change.

Two women sat talking and workingBeyond the Page, supported by the Kent Community Foundation

In February 2020, one of our members convened a UKCF working group to begin sharing knowledge on how community foundations could approach the SDGs. Our work with the SDGs has now broadened in reach across the membership. With the support of the European Community Foundation Initiative, more and more community foundations are wrestling with how they might approach the Global Goals in their local context. Now in 2021, the learning team at UKCF is supporting peer learning sessions for our membership to share resources and stimulate discussions between community foundations on how to align core areas of work with the SDGs. With the support and drive of our membership, the UKCF team is developing our understanding of how to use the shared language and global priorities of the SDGs to interpret our local work and national impact.

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While each of our members is at a different stage in this alignment and each will approach the SDGs in a way uniquely tailored to the needs of their local community, we are very proud of the work that is happening already. Community foundations are beginning to:

  • embed the SDGs into their missions and strategies
  • utilise the SDGs to ensure that their investments align with the activities
  • align their grant-making with the SDGs
  • communicate in the language of the SDGs to advocate for the 2030 Agenda
  • convene conversations with donors and community groups to discuss approaches to tackling the SDGs
Two little boys smiling at camera with their miniture gardensWaltham Abbey Youth 2000, supported by Essex Community Foundation

“The Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Through the SDGs, community foundations are connecting their local efforts to a broader and ambitious global agenda to improve the world around us.”

Community Foundations of Canada

Woman standing checking baby suppliesStripey Stork, supported by the Community Foundation for Surrey

Community foundations recognise that strong, sustainable communities require investments in people and place. Through convening and funding local civil society organisations, community foundations can drive the 2030 Agenda at the grassroots level. Local philanthropy and local action for the global good.

Our work with the SDGs is supported by the Mott Foundation.


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Local philanthropy is vital to thriving communities and is at the heart of what we do, so we can provide funding to those who need it in the future. Our members connect people who care about their community to the causes that most need their support LEARN MORE