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How to Connect Your Work to the Sustainable Development Goals

Jun 30, 2016

Image credit: World Food Program USA

The United Nation’s recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serves as a uniquely valuable opportunity for philanthropy, nonprofit, and civil society. More than 190 world leaders are committed to 17 global goals that will help us fight extreme poverty, end inequality, and fix climate change across the world. If we want to have a chance at achieving these goals of a more equitable and sustainable world, we'll need your help because of the unique role you play in the social sector. 

The SDGs are applicable to the entire world, constituting a unified global development agenda. Because the SDGs provide a comprehensive, globally relevant framework for development, Foundation Center believes that nonprofits and civil society should familiarize themselves, at minimum, with the indicators of change that have been developed to account for progress towards each goal.

These are the numbers that the world will be watching to see if progress is being made, and they will quickly become one of the most important yardsticks against which the impact of foundations working in an area related to the SDGs will be measured. Be informed and learn how to connect your work to these worldwide goals.


  • Be inspired and learn how and why the 17 global goals impact your work
  • Gain insight on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant to your day to day work in philanthropy, nonprofits, and civil society
  • Discover ways to connect local and regional work to global development progress through partnerships and funding opportunities.

Intended audience:

Organizations at all levels around the world, including:

  • U.S. based nonprofit staff and leadership
  • NGO staff and leadership
  • Foundation staff and leadership

Related Resources:



Lauren Bradfordheadshot

Moderator: Lauren Bradford, Director of Global Partnerships, Foundation Center 

Lauren Bradford is Director of Global Partnerships at Foundation Center, and also manages the SDG Philanthropy Platform including , amongst other major projects and relationships. She joined Foundation Center to create a global strategy to develop and manage bilateral and multilateral partnerships. These relationships have become instrumental in fulfilling Foundation Center’s vision to build a knowledge base for philanthropy and strengthen the philanthropic sector to achieve more effective grant making and development outcomes. Lauren has degrees in both urban planning and international development and understands the global development framework, and its relationship to data, including the creation and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals and the financing of the Post-2015 development agenda.


Jeffrey Szuchman_resized

Jeffrey Szuchman, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID

Jeffrey Szuchman is a Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy in USAID's Bureau for Policy Planning and Learning (PPL). In that role, he works on a number of the Agency’s priority development issues, including implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. He also leads on issues related to sustainable urbanization and represents USAID on the U.S. National Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. He joined USAID in 2012 as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Prior to joining USAID, he was Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA.

Karolina Myzk Callias_resized

Karolina Mzyk Callias, Policy Specialist, Foundations Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development, UN Development Programme 

Karolina Mzyk Callias has led UNDP's philanthropy strategic relations since January 2013. During this time, she has been instrumental in facilitating a global conversation between the UN, foundations and governments on enhanced collaboration for the Sustainable Development Goals. Since November 2014, she has led a global team working in Kenya, Ghana, Indonesia, Colombia, Turkey and Zambia in instituting multi-stakeholder approaches to implementation of the national development plans inspired by the SDGs. During this time, Karolina developed partnerships with global foundations including Conrad N Hilton, Ford, The MasterCard, Gates, Coca Cola, DHL Foundations. Karolina is an author and contributor of many articles, blogs, and publications, all available on her LinkedIn profile


Ana Marie Argilagos, Senior Advisor, Ford Foundation 

Ana Marie Argilagos is currently a senior advisor to the Ford Foundation's Just Cities and Metropolitan Opportunities initiatives and a professor of international urban planning at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Previously she created the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where she served as its first deputy assistant secretary and also served as deputy chief of staff overseeing agency operations. Before re-joining HUD, she spent eight years as a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore where she spearheaded the foundation's work in Indian Country and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Ms. Argilagos received her B.A. in international relations from the American University and her master's degree in public administration from Harvard University.

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