AVPN Expands Philanthropic Works in Asia

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Expanding the Impact of Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)

Abu Dhabi has witnessed the remarkable growth of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) since its establishment 11 years ago. As the largest network of social investors across Asia, AVPN brings together 600 funders and resource providers from 33 markets. Its mission is to enhance the flow and effectiveness of financial, human, and intellectual capital in Asia, empowering its members to optimize their resources.
Over the years, AVPN has made significant strides in achieving its mission by facilitating collaborations and knowledge sharing among its members. Through its platform, AVPN has created a vibrant ecosystem where philanthropists, impact investors, and social enterprises can connect, learn, and collaborate towards creating sustainable social impact in Asia.
One of the key ways AVPN has expanded its impact is by fostering cross-sector partnerships. By bringing together stakeholders from the private, public, and social sectors, AVPN has been able to leverage the strengths and expertise of each sector to address complex social challenges. For example, AVPN has facilitated partnerships between corporations and social enterprises to drive inclusive business models that have a positive social and environmental impact. These collaborations have not only generated innovative solutions but have also helped to scale up successful social ventures and create long-term sustainable change.
In addition to fostering partnerships, AVPN has also played a crucial role in building the capacity of its members. Through its extensive network, AVPN provides access to resources, knowledge, and best practices in the field of venture philanthropy. It organizes workshops, webinars, and conferences that bring together experts and practitioners to share insights and experiences. This capacity-building approach has empowered AVPN members to become more effective in deploying their resources and maximizing their social impact.
Furthermore, AVPN has been actively advocating for policy changes to create an enabling environment for venture philanthropy and social investment in Asia. By engaging with governments, regulators, and policymakers, AVPN has been able to raise awareness about the importance of social investment and influence policy decisions that support the growth of the sector. This advocacy work has been instrumental in driving systemic change and creating a more conducive ecosystem for social innovation and impact investment in the region.
In conclusion, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) has made significant progress in expanding its impact over the years. Through fostering cross-sector partnerships, building the capacity of its members, and advocating for policy changes, AVPN has been able to create a vibrant ecosystem where social investment can thrive. As AVPN continues to grow and evolve, its mission to enhance the flow and effectiveness of capital in Asia will undoubtedly lead to even greater social impact in the years to come.

Philanthropy’s Evolution in Asia

The rise in wealth across Asia has led to a greater inclination towards giving back to society. While philanthropy has long been a part of Asian culture, institutional philanthropy is a more recent phenomenon that has gained momentum with the growth of AVPN. Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, acknowledges this shift, stating, “As wealth has increased, people are very much more in favor of giving back. Philanthropy has been around in Asia, and we have always given, whether we give to our church, we give to our temple, whether we give to our mosques, but institutional philanthropy is more new, and it has really grown with AVPN.”
Batra highlights the increasing interest among Filipino foundations to access social funding, including diocesan-based foundations. In the Philippines, much of philanthropy occurs through the Catholic Church. The fact that AVPN has representation from the Catholic Church, as well as Hindu and Islamic organizations, speaks to the network’s ability to adapt to diverse cultures. This adaptability has been a key factor in AVPN’s success.
In addition to the Catholic Church’s involvement in philanthropy, other religious organizations in Asia have also played a significant role in driving institutional philanthropy. Hindu temples, for example, have long been centers of community support and charitable giving. These temples not only serve as places of worship but also as hubs for various social and welfare activities. The Hindu community has a strong tradition of giving, and with the rise in wealth and the emergence of institutional philanthropy, these temples have become even more instrumental in addressing social issues and supporting marginalized communities.
Similarly, Islamic organizations have also embraced the concept of institutional philanthropy. Islamic philanthropy, known as “Zakat,” is a fundamental pillar of the Islamic faith. It involves the giving of a portion of one’s wealth to support the less fortunate. With the growth of wealth in Asia, Islamic organizations have established dedicated foundations and charitable initiatives to ensure the proper distribution of Zakat funds. These organizations work closely with AVPN to leverage their resources and expertise in addressing social challenges across the region.
AVPN’s ability to bring together diverse religious organizations under one network has been instrumental in fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing. By creating a platform that transcends religious and cultural boundaries, AVPN has facilitated a collective effort towards creating sustainable social impact. This inclusive approach has not only strengthened the philanthropic ecosystem in Asia but has also paved the way for cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.
As the landscape of philanthropy continues to evolve in Asia, AVPN remains at the forefront, driving innovation and collaboration. Through its network of members and partners, AVPN continues to identify and scale effective solutions, leveraging the collective expertise and resources of diverse stakeholders. The growth of institutional philanthropy in Asia is a testament to the region’s commitment to social progress and the transformative power of collective action. With AVPN’s continued efforts, the future of philanthropy in Asia looks promising, with the potential to address complex social challenges and create lasting change.

AVPN’s Focus on the Philippines

The Philippines will take center stage at AVPN’s Southeast Asia summit, scheduled to be held in Cebu in September. Batra expresses her excitement about this event, recognizing the Philippines as one of the most generous and beautiful countries in the world. Bringing the summit to the Philippines not only showcases the country’s philanthropic spirit but also provides a platform for collaboration and innovation in addressing social challenges.
The decision to focus on the Philippines for this summit stems from the country’s remarkable progress in the field of social development. Over the years, the Philippines has made significant strides in reducing poverty and improving the lives of its citizens. This progress can be attributed to the collective efforts of various stakeholders, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector entities.
By choosing the Philippines as the host country for the summit, AVPN aims to highlight the successful models and initiatives that have emerged from the region. The event will serve as a platform for sharing best practices, exchanging ideas, and fostering partnerships that can further accelerate social impact in the Philippines and beyond.
One of the key areas of focus during the summit will be inclusive business models. The Philippines has seen the emergence of several innovative enterprises that combine profit-making with social impact. These enterprises, often referred to as social enterprises, have demonstrated the potential to address pressing social issues while generating sustainable economic returns. AVPN intends to showcase these models and explore ways to scale them up, creating a ripple effect of positive change throughout the region.
Furthermore, the summit will also delve into the importance of collaboration and cross-sector partnerships in achieving social impact. The Philippines has a vibrant ecosystem of organizations working towards social development, and the summit will provide a unique opportunity for these entities to come together, share their experiences, and identify areas of collaboration. By fostering partnerships between different sectors, the summit aims to leverage the collective expertise and resources to drive greater social change.
In addition to the discussions and presentations, the summit will also feature site visits to local social enterprises and community projects. This hands-on experience will allow participants to witness the impact of various initiatives firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Philippines.
Overall, AVPN’s focus on the Philippines underscores the organization’s commitment to promoting effective philanthropy and impact investing in Southeast Asia. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, the summit aims to catalyze collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing, ultimately driving positive change in the region. The Philippines, with its rich culture, vibrant social sector, and commitment to social development, is the perfect backdrop for this important gathering of changemakers. Kim believes that international cooperation is crucial for the development of countries like the Philippines. She understands that no single organization or country can address all the challenges faced by developing nations on their own. Therefore, she advocates for a collaborative approach that brings together governments, non-profit organizations, and private sector partners to work towards a common goal.
One of the key aspects of international cooperation is engaging in meaningful conversations with the Philippine government. Kim believes that it is essential to understand the specific needs and priorities of the country in order to design effective development programs. By actively listening to the government officials and local stakeholders, Kim aims to identify areas where the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) can make the most significant impact.
In addition to working closely with the government, Kim also recognizes the importance of involving private partners in development initiatives. She believes that the private sector has a crucial role to play in driving sustainable development. By engaging with companies that align with the goals and values of KOICA, Kim hopes to leverage their expertise, resources, and networks to support various projects in the Philippines.
Kim is particularly interested in funding initiatives that promote inclusive growth, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. She understands that these areas are interconnected and require a holistic approach. By investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and environmental conservation, Kim believes that KOICA can contribute to the long-term development of the Philippines.
Furthermore, Kim acknowledges the importance of building strong partnerships with local organizations and communities. She believes that sustainable development can only be achieved when the people directly affected by the projects are actively involved in the decision-making process. By empowering local communities and organizations, Kim hopes to create a sense of ownership and ensure that the projects have a lasting impact.
In conclusion, Kim’s participation at the AVPN conference reflects her commitment to international cooperation for development. She recognizes the importance of engaging with the Philippine government, involving private partners, and working closely with local organizations and communities. Through these collaborative efforts, Kim aims to support the Philippines in achieving its development goals and creating a brighter future for its people.

Source: The Manila Times

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