The SDG Giving Landscape, Vol. 2Seven Years of Grantmaking for Sustainable Development
This report tells the story of CAF America’s grantmaking in support of the SDGs since 2016. At the beginning of this journey, we decided to start tracking our funding against the Goals because, as a globally oriented funder, we understood the critical utility of having a shared playbook for charities and donors around the world to work from. The data included in this report is the result of seven years of active reporting and classification, describing the meaning of over $851 million in charitable grants.
In 2023, as the world marked the halfway point of the Sustainable Development Agenda and deliberated on the challenges of meeting the SDGs in time, we were determined to review our data to see what lessons and insights they could support for funders looking ahead to 2030. Since our grants are advised by philanthropists of all kinds in the United States, our grantmaking data tells a nuanced story of how internationally minded donors engage with the challenges of sustainable development. Because we tracked multiple SDG alignments across our grant portfolio, we also examined how issue areas related to each other among the specific projects our donors advised grants to.
Funding Snapshot, 2016-2022
Total amount of grants advised
Number of grants advised
Charities granted to
We were able to interpret a number of key lessons from our analysis, including:
- There is much support for funding specific issue areas relating to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 4: Quality Education, and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Together, grants towards these three Goals totaled over $410 million, roughly 48% of our total funding.
- Examining linked goals across our portfolio, we identified a nexus of impact that indirectly supports SDG 1: No Poverty through interventions that directly impact SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.
- Donors advised the fewest grants to projects relating to Goals and issues that require a deeper reliance on capital funding from the private sector and government. SDGs such as SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation, SDG 15: Life Below Water, and SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy were not a focus of our advised grants. Each of these areas will need to attract trillions of dollars in order to meet the SDGs by 2030, and that funding cannot come from philanthropy alone.
At CAF America we are grateful to work with so many impactful donors and charities in the US and around the world. We invite you to study this report, experience the stories of impact that show how we are making a difference, and continue to engage in our shared journey for sustainable development as we chart a course towards 2030.
Download the Report
SDG Story of Impact Series
These six Stories of Impact feature the top three most funded and bottom three least funded SDGs by CAF America donors. An overview of their work is included in The SDG Giving Landscape Report, Volume 2, but you can read a more about their missions in support of the SDGs below:
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