Head of Corporate Clients with Charities Aid foundation
Klara Kozlov, Head of Corporate Clients, at Charities Aid Foundation, is witnessing new enthusiasm for more meaningful investment every day.
According to Klara, there is an increasing collective momentum to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015 to be met by 2030. The (17) SDGs appear as applicable to the world of investment as they are to the world of philanthropy. She says companies and communities have started to adopt the SDGs, enabling a shared understanding and a framework for positive action.
Creating new dynamics to solve SDGs
Klara is Head of Corporate Clients with the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation. Established over 90 years ago, CAF works with more than 2,500 companies, including many of the FTSE 100, and over 2,700 individual HNW and UHNW philanthropists. CAF clients support 73,000 charities in 110 countries annually and has supported over 570 social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations with impact investment.
She says: “The SDGs have entered the stage and created a new dynamic to the drama of how we look at and aim to solve global problems.
Rating fund performance to track positive impact
Investors are realising the potential of the SDGs as an additional way to rate fund performance; allowing a new measure for how the companies within those funds are creating a positive social and environmental impact.
“What is noticeable is that there is a real cogency around the language of the SDGs. This encourages a shared understanding, which is reinforced by a set of goals that can be adopted across all sectors. The SDGs can bring everyone around the table to find a common thread; a connectivity that has the potential to speak to everyone”
From a philanthropy perspective, the SDGs are enabling CAF to examine key areas of a donor’s impact.
CAF inspires and enables their individual and corporate clients to move charitable funds from the private sector to the charity sector securely and safely, so it reaches the intended charities, helping transform more lives and communities around the world.
We increasingly see both companies and individual philanthropists adopting the goals as their philanthropic framework, particularly including areas such as health, gender equality, education and, most recently, food waste and harmful plastics in the environment, which is being driven by consumer awareness.
A new way of thinking for clients
Klara explains that the role of funding is changing in the eyes of the donor. Our clients are shifting to consider the impact that can be achieved beyond a pure donation. For example, companies understand that they have a much broader role to play in what is a much more complex picture. “Progressive companies are de-risking and building resilience as part of their sustainability in recognition of future challenges their business, and society overall, might face.”
Donors appreciate that thoughtful philanthropy coupled with measurable impacts and assimilation to the SDGs can deliver meaningful change. That it can provide a much-needed space for critical thinking, which, when coupled with funding and support, can lead to innovative solutions to social and environmental issues.
From an investment perspective, the SDGs are starting to be used to measure a company’s overall social and environment performance alongside other measures and metrics such as ESG and controversy avoidance. On the flip side, from a philanthropy perspective, the SDGs are enabling CAF to examine key areas of a donor’s impact to get a tangible and comparable view of what that positive change means to people and their communities.
It demonstrates the power of the goals to act as one measure with profound value for all.