Professionalism in China’s Social Sector Catching up with the Rest of the World


Alfred Poon


There was constant talk about impact measurement, transparency, accountability, civil engagement, professionalism and investment strategies. AVPN attended the China Private Foundation Forum in Guang Zhou, held over 22-23 November 2012, which was a spectacular harbinger of the direction that the country’s social sector would be developing towards. Over 500 attendees turned up, and many times, the function rooms were standing-room only, with everyone eager to hear what the industry leaders had to say.

Although the name of the event references “private foundations”, representatives from public foundations, NGOs, government and the media all turned up to address the wide-ranging issues facing private foundations. They represented the stakeholders within the Chinese social eco-system, and topics ranging from utilizing social media to new tools of social investment, and fundraising challenges were raised. After all, the theme of the forum was – Pursuing excellence whilst using resources dynamically. Interestingly enough, there were several calls to change the event name to reflect the entire sector, instead of only the ‘private foundations’. At times, NGOs criticized foundations for harsh funding conditions, and yet others pointed fingers at the government for projects that worsened the economy. It seemed like no subject was taboo and everyone got their voices heard through this platform.

At the end of the 2 days, most speakers were lauding the organisers for a job extremely well done. From the innovative use of different segments to the current and pertinent topics that were discussed, everyone seemed to walk away with new lessons, and, just as crucial, important new contacts.

The main organisers of the forum include China Foundation Center, Narada Foundation, Vantone Foundation, Tencent Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.


A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training


Alfred Poon

Investment Director

Alfred Poon is Director of Digital Transformation of AVPN. He is a geek by nature, adman by passion, and holds a Masters in Nonprofit Communications from Indiana University. Alfred spends his time building communications infrastructure that brings people together. Prior to joining AVPN, Alfred has consulted for Social Purpose Organisations in over thirty countries, bringing his unconventional mix of nimble technology to enable data driven communications

Did you enjoy reading this?

You might also be interested in


Where The Glass Ceiling Is Already Smashed


Listed Companies Can Benefit From Gender Equality in Vietnam