“Indigenousness” is a strength of community foundations, however it may also be their weakness. For many years a popular belief among community foundations was that they should focus on local challenges and needs; that only such problems are important. Such belief in no longer valid.
Nowadays success of the community foundation often derives from clever combination of “indigenousness” with a network of partners, organizations and institutions operating far from geographical CF target area. And it is not only the question of financial assets, but also the flow of new ideas, know-how, methods of cooperating with communities, donors and partners.
Global challenges, like Covid19 pandemic, or global warming, trigger local problems: social exclusion or poverty. Moreover, there are natural disasters, like: floods, droughts, water and air pollution. Hence, mutual links are obvious, as well as mutual interactions between global challenges and local solutions.
Therefore, we should not think whether we do have a local contribution in solving global problems, but rather how to tell about it.
How to engage into the discussion on the global level? How to build the language of responsibility and cooperation referencing to common goals going beyond the local level? Goals that are universally accepted? Goals that respond to contemporary challenges of the humanity and natural environment?
On September 25, 2015 we learned the answer to those questions. On that day the United Nations General Assembly approved the resolution no 70/1 entitled: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda introduces 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 relevant targets. It is a great occasion to present local activities in a broader context and bestow more importance to the local projects.
That is why, thanks to the C.S. Mott Foundation support, we are planning to continue the GCLS Program in 2021. Since nothing is more convincing than a good example, we are planning to launch grant competition for the European community foundations and collect another 10 good practices presenting CF involvement into efforts toward achieving sustainable development goals. In order to facilitate the discussion we have established the SDG knowledge hub.
Within this component we will organize online meetings with SDGs leaders and experts outside of the CFs area – for example meeting with representatives of various institutions and corporation leaders to discuss general topics, like the circular economy, menstrual poverty, challenges of education, social solidarity etc., while other experts could present projects implemented locally, e.g. repair cafés by Veolia; all experts would present their ideas to make our world better and, concurrently- implement SDGs.
Each webinar will be preceded by an introductory article prepared by our team or external experts.
We are also planning a research on SDGs among community foundations and a series of on-line meetings devoted to that topic. More information on the activities, as well as plans within the GCLS program is available at https://www.localsolutionsfund.org/ and in a program Newsletter.
Vast communication on SDGs in the CF environment is crucial for their effectiveness. Goal no 17 seems very relevant here: strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Sustainable Development Goal 17, which reads “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”, recognizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as important vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries. Goal 17 further seek to encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships focused on the humanity and our planet. We need such partnerships on the global, regional, as well as local levels.
That is a perfect challenge for community foundations! Let’s start implementing the Agenda for Sustainable Development! Let’s start differently: from the last, but not the least Goal. Let’s start from building local and broader partnerships for the Agenda. For us, for our children, for the generations to come; for the Planet!