Impact on SDGs 1 – 3

The corporate philanthropic community has been working hard to make an impact in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) over the past 6 years. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the progress the SDGs have made by pushing millions of people back into poverty and reversing years of improvement for goal 1–no poverty, goal 2–zero hunger, and goal 3–good health and well-being. We pulled together some data from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2020 report.1 to help illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on the progress of goals 1 – 3.

CSR Professionals Are Making a Difference

CSR professionals were called upon heavily during COVID-19 to support their local communities and help employees deal with unprecedented circumstances personally and professionally. Circumstances that dealt with the three impacted SDGs of no poverty, hunger, and good health and well-being. We have seen many companies shift their focus on mental health through virtual events, partner with local nonprofits for food drives, and answer the call to be advocates in the hopes of raising awareness around the key issues that plague the community. Here are two examples of companies that have aligned their CSR programs to the SDGs.

Today, CSR professionals are still being called to support these SDG goals. There are many resources that can be leveraged by CSR professionals to ideate on new CSR tactics or even build the business case to gain more funding for a CSR program.

The PwC 2019 Reporting Challenge provides support for business leaders interested in meeting SDGs to embed them in the decision-making process of the organization – its culture, values, relationships, and employee engagement.4 Based on the findings we see the desire to answer this call.

Identifying SDGs through tools like YourCause CSRconnect allows nonprofits to identify which SDGs align to their mission and communicate that information to CSR professionals and their employees. Through the CSRconnect software for employee engagement, companies, and their employees can search for nonprofits that align with a specific SDG ensuring the passion, mission, and company values are in synch for each and every CSR program element.

Measuring social influence with our partner True Impact through a framework focused on optimizing corporate philanthropy in areas such as employee volunteer programs can provide CSR professionals with data and results surrounding the SDGs. Their guide “Measuring the Social Impact of Employee Volunteer Programs on The Sustainable Development Goals” provides 4 steps to help CSR professionals with reporting on SDGs.

  1. Gather Program Outcomes and Costs
  2. Monetize your volunteerism
  3. Calculate the portion of social impact your company can claim
  4. Align to SDGs

You can learn more about True Impact’s framework in this webinar available on-demand. 

On-demand Webinar

Measuring the Social Impact of Giving and Volunteering on the SDGs

We know CSR leaders and the social good community are responding to the challenges each Sustainable Development Goal is set out to address. We hope you review the SDG 2020 report and other references linked at the end of this post to gain a full understanding of the progress of each goal around the world. CSR leaders have pivoted their community engagement strategies to allow for disaster relief in response to COVID-19, Social Justice, and other natural disasters. Our 2020 Industry Review shows that over $9 million was donated to support disaster relief campaigns, a significant increase from the 2019 report. Stay tuned for the full release of the 2020 Industry Review! Many companies have chosen to align with SDGs as a core component of their social responsibility strategy and employee engagement efforts. We’ve also included resources from Impact 2030 on how to align CSR programs with the SDGs in the references.


For more detailed information and data points on the progress of SDG’s around the world checkout these references:

  1. 2020 UN SDG Report –
  2. Data for world progress –
  3. Interactive Map on world performance –
  4. PwC SDG Reporting Challenge –
  5. Blackbaud Institute Comprehensive Social Responsibility Report –
  6. The natural disaster data in this infographic can be found on the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
  7. Resources to help align CSR with the SDGs –

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