We’re very happy to announce that the AVPN and EVPA combined network has surpassed 500 members. This news reflects not only an increasing momentum for the sector, for those experimenting with and shaping the Venture Philanthropy (VP) approach, but also growing opportunities for collective learning, global collaboration and co-investment. In light of this important milestone, we felt it important to pause and reflect on the journey and thank you for your contribution.
When our founders organised the first conference in Amsterdam back in 2004 with 70 like-minded individuals, VP had very few advocates, and even less true practitioners with many challenges to tackle. Today we see an increasingly sophisticated practise integrating tailored financing with capacity building and impact management. We see social impact first approaches and and social impact investing attract more resources and new players. We see banks starting to promote responsible investment and strategic philanthropy, we see governments increasingly looking to innovative policies and new financing instruments, we see foundations experiment with more hands-on, entrepreneurial giving, and corporates looking to create more positive social impact.
Just as the sector evolved, EVPA and AVPN have also evolved. From small, entrepreneurial volunteer-led organisations to professional fast growing networks training, advocating and supporting our membership. Between us, we have members in 46 countries and recently welcomed our first members from Serbia and New Zealand. Our membership is broad and diverse, from foundations and family offices to impact funds, service providers and business schools worldwide. This diversity helps to promote collaboration across sectors and borders to bring more resources to the social sector, maximise impact through the VP model and ultimately offer the solutions to challenges facing our world today.
While our markets are quite different, the value of global knowledge sharing and collaboration between AVPN and EVPA is indisputable—be it through AVPN study-tours to Europe, cooperative content development for our respective conferences, or co-creating research and strategies around corporate impact and non-financial support. The joint network is also a powerful tool for opening doors globally, allowing many members to access Asia from Europe and vice versa.
Looking to the future, we will continue to foster collaboration and grow the ecosystem together with our members, but we’re not stopping here. Recognising that there are many more societal issues to tackle, many more regions in the world with a need for more engaged philanthropy and social investing, and acknowledging that many of our members work across borders, plans are currently underway to expand our global footprint beyond Europe and Asia.
Many of you have been contributing, supporting and co-creating with us and we thank you for your continued partnership.
For our new members and broader network, we look forward to your future engagement. Here’s to the next 500 members!