About the Data
SDGfunders.org, the website for the SDG Philanthropy Platform, offers the most comprehensive representation available of foundation giving and official development assistance (ODA) aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Foundation Center developed algorithms for identifying foundation grants and ODA that were consistent with the seventeen SDGs and eight MDGs. Therefore, the representations included throughout this website should not be interpreted as indicating that foundations and other donors intentionally aligned their giving with the SDGs and MDGs, although that may be the case for some funders. In addition, the representations related to the SDGs are of the years of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, even though the SDGs came into effect in 2015. The objective of this analysis is to demonstrate how funding trends and distributions would have looked like for those years, if the SDGs had of existed at that point in time.
Figures identifying funding related to specific SDGs and MDGs reflect the full value of all relevant grants. For example, a grant providing support to reduce child mortality by enhancing women’s reproductive health and rights would be counted in totals for SDGs 3, and 5. As a result, a tally of funding across the SDGs and MDGs for any given year will far exceed the overall total for SDG and MDG-related funding reported for that year. Nonetheless, given the sometimes limited information provided in foundation grant records, figures may still underrepresent funding aligned with specific SDGs and MDGs.
Foundation giving data were compiled by Foundation Center and include giving by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations, giving by a selection of other U.S. foundations, and giving by foundations based outside of the United States that report their grants data directly to Foundation Center. While this represents the most complete data set currently available for examining the distribution of foundation giving globally, it vastly underrepresents foundation engagement—particularly for foundations based outside of the United States. A central goal of the SDG Philanthropy Platform will be to expand the data available on global foundation philanthropy and provide ever more complete updates on foundation support for development.
ODA data are widely used to measure international aid flows and come from the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Foundation Center accessed these data from http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=crs1.
Lists of top foundation funders presented throughout SDGfunders.org include all grants awarded by these foundations consistent with the development goals and/or specified region/country. Included in these totals are grants made between foundations, primarily to support regranting initiatives. However, to avoid over-representing giving, aggregate giving totals exclude all grants made by foundations in the data set to other foundations also included in the set.
Finally, SDGfunders.org identifies the regional- and country-level focus of grants based on location information provided in the grant descriptions. Lacking this information, the regional and/or country focus will reflect the geographic location of the recipient organization. For the purposes of this analysis, only foundation giving and ODA focused on activities and/or organizations located in developing countries are included in this data presented.