Press Release

More Than 80 Philanthropic Leaders Commit to Working Across Borders to Achieve the SDGS in North America

Coming out of a historic meeting that brought together philanthropic leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States, more than 80 philanthropic leaders have joined in solidarity and pledged to work to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for all across North America. This commitment marks the first multinational pledge of philanthropic leaders in North America to connect, learn, and exchange across borders in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The pledge of commitment was announced at the inaugural North American Community Foundations Summit in Mexico City last week where more than 200 philanthropic leaders gathered. The Summit was hosted by the Council on Foundations, Community Foundations of Canada and Comunalia and explored how community foundations can work locally using the SDGs to leave no one behind, including discussions around education, health, economic development, diaspora communities, immigration, and climate change. During the event, partners also launched the new report Local Leadership, Global Impact: Community Foundations and the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the closing plenary of the Summit, Ridgway H. White, President of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, highlighted their new 10-year commitment to invest in networking and learning platforms to ensure community foundations worldwide understand and use the SDGs to develop and share local solutions to global problems.

The shared commitment reads, “Community foundations are critically important local leaders who bring a wealth of knowledge to driving change locally. To address the systemic challenges impacting our communities, we are committed to building coalitions with government, business, the nonprofit sector and others to bring together local voices and create a world that is more equitable for future generations. More than ever, the challenges we face are universal and span across geographic borders. Today, we are also more connected globally than ever before. Rather than succumb to any desire to turn inward, we believe our collective power lies in building learning bridges across the divides that often disconnect us, and empowering a global community where solutions span not just borders, but cultures, ethnicities, religions, politics, racial and economic backgrounds.”

American signatories to the statement include Emmett D. Carson, CEO and President, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, R.T. Rybak, CEO and President, Minneapolis Community Foundation, Javier Soto, President and CEO, Miami Foundation, Ana Marie Argilagos, President, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation, and Ridgway H. White, President of the C.S. Mott Foundation. 

Additional signatories include leaders from the Bermuda, Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary Community Foundations, as well as philanthropic leaders from cities across Mexico, including Guadalajara, Jalisco, Punta de Mita and Monterrey.

To read the statement in its entirety or sign as a signatory, click here.


About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.

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