Philanthropy's Role in Financing Development Highlighted in Addis Ababa Conference
New York, NY, and Addis Ababa — July 13, 2015. At the UN's Third International Conference on Financing for Development, world leaders are looking at ways in which all sources of finance can support sustainable development. The purpose of the conference is to develop a financing framework for the world's new sustainable development agenda, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and ensure that resources support economic development and improve social outcomes in areas like health, education, and employment opportunities, while protecting the environment.
At a side event on Monday, July 13, governments, foundations, business leaders, international organisations and civil society will convene to explore the role of the philanthropic sector in supporting the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The session is organized through the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy — a multi-year initiative of the United Nations Development Programme, Foundation Center, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and a group of leading foundations to facilitate a more active role for philanthropy in the implementation of the SDGs and Post-2015 Agenda. The Platform has received support from several leading institutions including The MasterCard, Conrad N. Hilton, and Ford Foundations.
"Discussions like these are essential to increase awareness of the ways in which we can leverage the skills and talent of the philanthropic sector in support of the SDGs," said Marcos Neto, Manager of the Private Sector and Foundations Team in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). "Philanthropists will play an increasingly important and complementary role in supporting SDG implementation and we aim to maximize this through building a Platform for collective action."
Speakers at the event include the President of the UN General Assembly, senior government representatives from Kenya and Colombia, and CEOs and foundation representatives from North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as UNDP. The discussion will emphasize common ground between different actors and highlight policy choices that accelerate engagement, enabling and improving implementation toward development goals shared across all sectors.
Through an interactive panel discussion, the event will outline how to integrate philanthropy's major pool of capital, intellectual capacity, and experience into the new sustainable development agenda. It will include concrete initiatives in investment areas prioritized by the Financing for Development (FFD) process, such as essential social services, rural development and agriculture, resilient infrastructure, innovation, and financing for small and medium enterprises.
The event will also emphasize opportunities around impact investing, and how philanthropy and social investors can combine a return on investment with environmental and social impacts, as well as the emerging mechanisms and platforms through which foundations blend their investments with those of governments and intergovernmental bodies.
"Philanthropy has long been an engine for positive social change worldwide," said Bradford K. Smith, president of New York City-based Foundation Center. "By advancing the shared goals of foundations, NGOs, and governments, the Partnership Platform will increase their long-term contribution to the global development agenda."
The Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy was launched in November 2014 to help grantmakers better understand the opportunities for engaging in global development processes. It also creates a means for philanthropy to participate more in the discussions on the Post-2015 agenda and to play a greater role in shaping future goals by giving a greater voice to grantee partners.
To encourage knowledge exchange globally, the Platform initiative will launch SDGfunders.org in September, a website that will provide data on philanthropic and other investments for sustainable development and serve as a worldwide hub for sharing case studies and online discussions.
About the United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people around the world to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer a global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.undp.org
About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations, and major foundations. Founded in 2002 and continuing the Rockefeller family's legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. It has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries. www.rockpa.org
About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call(212) 620-4230.
About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
About Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.fordfoundation.org.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada with over US$9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org.