SDGs must be part of community philanthropy agenda

Carola Carazzone

The December issue of Alliance focused on the topic of community philanthropy and the concept of ‘durable development’ – shifting power closer to the ground and giving agency to local people and their organizations. Here, Carola Carazzone, a delegate at the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy in Johannesburg, calls for inter-sector synergies and alliances to help deliver the SDGs.

At the Global Summit – the most inspiring event I have attended in the last three years – there was no specific mention of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Back from Johannesburg, I counted how many times the SDGs were mentioned in the 25 inspiring and powerful articles of the last Alliance special feature: once.

My question is then, is it not time to demolish professional specializations and sector silos to build bridges and work for inter-sector synergies and alliances?

Even if most recently the UN and institutional philanthropy have started some significant partnerships, each one pays the price – in terms of lack of mutual understanding, trust, capacity to join common aims and agendas – of having been pursuing parallel, rarely interacting, paths for 60 years.

Community philanthropy can be such an essential player for the SDG agenda everywhere. It can make such a difference for local ownership, accountability and sustainability of the 2030 Global Agenda, and help break down the divide between donors and the ‘beneficiaries’ towards an idea of co-investment where different actors bring different strengths and needs to the table. We can’t lose this opportunity.

Carola Carazzone is the secretary general for Assifero.

For more discussion on the SDG debate, listen to our Alliance Audio podcast.

On the same topic of community philanthropy: ‘How to be effective and responsive to communities?’ by Chandrika Sahai, Impact of new approaches needs to be demonstrated’ by Anna Wansbrough-Jones, ‘Strengthening the bonds of civil society’ by Aimi Zhou and Ine Van Severen, USAID must reform to truly support a community philanthropy model’ by Aisha Mansour, Measuring small-scale contributions to the SDGs’ by Dana Doan

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