[Philanthropy Learning Forum] Philanthropy’s Unique Role to Reach the SDGs
Philanthropy organizations in Indonesia have a significant role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Philanthropic contributions are needed because the success of reaching the SDGs depends on inclusive global partnerships, active engagement from the government, public, and the private sectors, as well as innovative ways to mobilize financial and technical resources. “Philanthropy organizations can offer new approaches that complement other approaches, as well as resources and expertise that government and the private sector cannot offer,” said Franciscus Welirang, Chairperson for the Association of Philanthropy Indonesia Advisory Board, during the first Philanthropy Learning Forum on Thursday 19th November 2015, at Auditorium Wisma Indocement, Jakarta.
According to Franciscus, philanthropy organizations have the ability to take higher risks and to run new projects that favour marginalized communities and neglected issues. Philanthropy can also support new strategic and effective ways to do charity by involving young people and using information technology. “Philanthropy organizations also have a wide network of affiliated non-governmental organizations and local communities” he continued.
SDG are a set of universal goals each with its own target and set of indicators, formalised at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York, September 25, 2015. The SDG program contains 17 goals with 109 targets and aims to overcome global issues, including the eradication of poverty and hunger, the improvement of health and education, the building of sustainable cities, tackling climate change, and protecting the oceans and rainforests. The SDGs are supported by 193 UN member states and will be used to establish national frameworks in countries all over the world for the next 15 years.
To enhance the role and involvement of philanthropy organizations in SDGs achievement, the Ford Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the MasterCard Foundation, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Foundation Centre established the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The implementation of this platform began with four pilot countries: Ghana, Kenya, Colombia, and Indonesia. The main partner of the SDG Philanthropy Platform in Indonesia is the Association of Philanthropy Indonesia (API).
Timotheus Lesmana, Chairman of API’s Executive Board, explained that the SDG Philanthropy Platform aims to facilitate international dialogues and partnerships between philanthropy organizations. This platform is focused on efforts to include philanthropy in the development landscape by helping organizations understand their unique position in global development goals. “This platform will also help the government and UN agencies to understand the value of philanthropy’s involvement, and also to help the beneficiaries and philanthropy partners in defining and achieving development goals,” he explained.
“API will push for an effective implementation of the SDG Philanthropy Platform in Indonesia by facilitating discussion and dialogues aimed at socializing the SDGs, facilitating collaboration and partnerships between philanthropy organizations, government, the private sector and the general public, as well as by advocating against regulations that hinder philanthropy’s contribution to the SDG. One of our main priorities is addressing tax incentives, as they have not been effective in their current iteration, and do not encourage the growth of philanthropy in Indonesia,” said Timotheus.
In general, philanthropy in Indonesia has grown in quantity and in types of contribution. this has been encouraged by local customs, public relations, and religious values. The rapid growth of philanthropic activities in Indonesia is also because of the economy growth that has endowed Indonesia with one of fastest growing percentages of wealthy people in Asia. A Wealth Insight Report has shown that the High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) population in Indonesia has grown by 67% between 2007 and 2011 and that they have a combined wealth of approximately US$241 billion. The rapid growth in HNWIs has also encouraged many wealthy families in Indonesia to establish their own foundations over the last few years. The CAF World Giving Index Report (2014) puts Indonesia as one of the top 10 countries in terms of charitable donations. The report revealed that 66%, or 117 million Indonesians, gave donation to charity in 2013. While the PIRAC and Dompet Dhuafa research (2015) shows that donations from corporations in 2014 reached IDR 12.45 trillion, or IDR 1,04 trillion per month. Islamic philanthropy also grew rapidly with the increase of zakat funds (IDR 3.2 trillion in 2014) and the increasing usage of zakat, Infaq, and alms for social development.