The enthusiasm of philanthropic institutions to engage and support the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in Indonesia is quite high. The research1 results of the Public Interest Research and Advocacy Center (PIRAC) and Philanthropy Indonesia show that the vast majority of philanthropic organizations want to engage and support programs related to SDGs. This enthusiasm is also supported by a high level of understanding of SDG requirements, as well as institutional commitments and capacities. However, the support of philanthropic agencies is not evenly distributed over all SDGs with some taking precedence over others.
This is illustrated within the results of PIRAC and Philanthropy Indonesia’s research on the "Readiness of Indonesian Philanthropic Institution in Supporting Achievement of SDGs". The results of this study were presented at a public discussion held at the Auditorium Kemenko PMK, Jakarta, on Tuesday 13th March. The event was opened by the Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, Puan Maharani, and was attended by philanthropy activists, government officials, academics and parties involved in the pursuit of the SDGs. The event also featured noted speakers, namely Ghafur Akbar Dharma Putera (Expert at Kemenko PMK in the field of Post-2015 Elementary School), and Nur Efendy (Chairman of FOZ / Zakat Forum).
The results of PIRAC and Philanthropy Indonesia research show that 82% of the 85 philanthropic organizations that responded want to engage and support programs related to the achievement of SDGs. Only 13% of respondents who answered did not want to be involved in SDGs. Of these, 51% of them claimed to have previously been involved in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) program. This indicates that philanthropic institutions that were not previously involved in the MDGs showed more interest and enthusiasm for engaging in SDGs. The high interest of philanthropic institutions to engage and participate in SDG programs is seemingly influenced by their understanding and perception of SDGs. The results showed that 73% of respondents knew about SDGs. The Research also defined and mapped three levels of knowledge related to philanthropic institution’s understanding of SDGs. The first level was characterised by respondents only knowing general information about SDGs. The Second level respondents understood the 17 objectives of the SDGs and could link and synchronize them with institutional programs. The Third level showed a clear level of understanding relating to the targets and indicators of SDGs and an incorporation into the organization's current programs. Groups also understood the forms of possible institutional involvement and contributions in supporting SDGs, and the benefits gained by supporting SDGs. Some philanthropic agencies have even managed to mobilize public and private sector support through their linking of programs to the goals and targets of the SDGs.
The results also show that the philanthropic institutions who responded have a good perception of the SDGs. The majority of them agree that SDGs have alignment to the current programs and work of their organisation. This is expected, because prior to the existence of SDGs, philanthropy institutions already had programs to improve the welfare of the community such as health, education and sponsorship, as per the goals of the SDGs. The targets and indicators set by the SDGs are also regarded as an effective means of ensuring that programs are implemented towards, and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. In the implementation of SDG programs, partnerships are of concern to philanthropic institutions. The majority of philanthropic institutions argue that in running the program SDG agencies should partner with governments and stakeholders, such as NGOs, companies, colleges, and other social foundations. The study also critically examined the alignment of philanthropic institutional programs with the 17 SDG objectives. The results of the analysis show that programs run by philanthropic institutions are linked and align closely with the 17 objectives set forth in the SDGs. The convergence of these philanthropic programs will be integral to the achievement of SDGs.
The study found that most philanthropic institutions support and run educational programs (25%), health (18%), sponsorship and social services (15%), disaster and emergency (10%) and productive economies (10%). When associated with the 17 objectives of the SDGs, there is an imbalance of support for each of the SDGs. Research results show that philanthropic programs are particularly supportive of achieving goal 1 (an absence of poverty), goal 3 (ensuring healthy and prosperous lives) and goal 4 (the provision of quality education). The challenge then becomes gaining significant support and resources for the realization of the other goals.
While the study of the capacity of philanthropic organizations in supporting SDGs showed it was generally high, some criteria score higher than others. Of the 16 assessed organizational capacity components, the highest scoring areas were program planning and activities, program development, innovation, monitorization and evaluation, and dissemination and provision of information to the public. The lowest scoring criteria was individual capacity and professionalism of staff, signifying a potential obstacle in the development of programs and organizations.
In order to make contribution of philanthropy institutions more optimal in supporting SDGs, it is necessary to incorporate SDG at all levels of the organization. The lack of understanding of the strategic position and relevance of SDG to organizational, national and regional development agendas has made SDG consideration limited to the international agenda. This has shown itself as a low level of organizational commitment and weak initiative in utilizing SDG as a framework and tools to accelerate program achievement and support national and global development.
In addition, philanthropic organizations should be encouraged to be more open, and to build partnerships with other stakeholders of SDGs. The diversity of organizations and programs of philanthropic institutions should be an opportunity to strengthen and complement each other in the implementation of programs related to SDGs. Program synergies between organizations can complement any deficiencies present within single philanthropic organizations, assist in reaching the program areas in full, and gaining support for the issues being promoted. The Government is expected to play a more active role as coordinator and facilitator to realize this synergism. The government is also expected to provide more conducive policies through ease, facilitation, appreciation and tax incentives for philanthropic institutions that support the achievement of SDGs.
 The research used quantitative and qualitative methods and involved 85 philanthropic organizations as respondents. Data were collected through document / literature reviews, surveys, in-depth interviews and FGDs (Focussed Group discussion)