In the past years, the concept of outreach and volunteerism revolve around the idea of short-term activities. People think that once your organization visits a specific rural community, it’s already considered volunteer work. A number of them even see volunteering as part of their bucket lists during holidays. Some of their to-do lists include helping in a one-day coastal cleanup, visiting kids with disabilities, or conducting tree planting.
However, that’s not the case anymore. Volunteer projects are starting to evolve into something that has a definite goal. Different organizations are now implementing more and more concrete and long-lasting projects. It is because of the emergence of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
What Is The UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The UN Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs, are global initiatives dedicated to solving the ongoing problems of poverty, environment, inequality, peace, and more. It is composed of 17 areas, determined by the United Nations, which are targeted to be fulfilled by the end of the year 2030.
The SDGs changed the landscape of volunteerism because stakeholders are now geared towards the accomplishment of these goals. Companies usually choose a certain SDG, which is in line with their vision, to serve as a guide for their respective Corporate Social Responsibilities projects.
Why Are The SDGs Important In Volunteerism?
Before, organizations conduct outreach activities depending on what they want to do. However, the SDGs were made for the world to have a universal set of goals. The 17 goals have a total of 169 associated targets, and organizations align their projects to any of these targets for them to be able to contribute to the global objectives.
SDGs also connect the economic, social, and environmental challenges. This strategy enables the whole world to come up with projects focused on sustainability.
How Do Organizations And Companies Create Their SDG-Related Projects?
There are specific required strategies to be able to implement SDG-related projects fully. Here are some simple tips to achieve it:
- Start your project by knowing your target audience. Study the community or group you are planning to serve through market researches, needs assessments, surveys, and observations.
- Once you have determined the areas your organization will touch, review the list of SDGs and pick one which is most connected to your project.
- Each SDG has a list of sub-targets as well. Try viewing the sub-target under your chosen SDG and choose the one which encompasses your proposed project.
- Contact other stakeholders who have the same SDG advocacy as you. These stakeholders may include non-profit organizations, community leaders, foundations, universities, and governments. Always remember that asking for help from others will enable you to have a successful project. They can assist you in logistics, finance, and knowledge transfer.
- Ask for funding. If you think that your program can impact a lot of people, don’t hesitate to send your proposal to potential funders. Do not forget to state that you are advocating for a certain SDG. It will be an advantage to make them agree to your proposal.
There are other mini steps in between the strategies stated above. However, these are the most critical ones if you plan on using the SDGs as your primary platform.
SDGs are agents of change. Quoting a presidential speech of John F Kennedy, “By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it and to move irresistibly towards it.” Adopting the UN SDGs enable individuals, governments, and organizations all over the world to move in a single direction and create the most significant impact.