Co-author: Sangeetha Watson
3 minutes read
This article is part of AVPN’s Faith and Giving initiative.
Faith has long driven giving, especially in Asia. Yet, discussions about the role faith plays in deciding where and how to give are largely absent from conversations about philanthropy, impact investing, and sustainable finance. Faith-led giving is viewed as a private and personal undertaking.
With an escalating amount of capital needed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the contribution from faith-led givers towards addressing humanity’s most pressing needs can’t be overlooked. To better understand the practice and to explore how to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of this capital in generating impact, AVPN has launched a multi-year initiative focusing on faith and giving in Asia. It aims to deepen knowledge, encourage collaboration, and spur action across the continuum of capital.
“Philanthropy is hard enough without putting labels on it such as secular philanthropy or faith-based philanthropy. I think both groups can learn from each other because both groups actually share the same core, and the same reasons why they choose where and how to give,” – Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO, AVPN
AVPN CEO, Naina Subberwal Batra, launched the initiative at the Spring Rain Global’s 7th Asian Philanthropic Development Conference in Cebu, Philippines, a rare example of a regional forum held specifically to explore the nexus of faith and giving. Organised by Spring Rain Global (SRG), the event saw 200 experts in fundraising and development – many of whom also work as grassroots and religious leaders – as well as social investors, intermediaries and philanthropists come together to develop and deepen collaborative and strategic approaches to generating impact.
SRG, headquartered in Cebu, was able to gather a representative group from across the Catholic community in the Philippines because of its longstanding capacity building work with churches and other faith based organisations. SRG’s work is in helping them to better tap on philanthropic funding and investment in order to scale their activities and strengthen the sustainability of their programmes.
The conference provided a fitting moment for AVPN to launch the Faith and Giving initiative because it was evident that faith-led practitioners are not only seeking out ways in which to become more strategic in their practice, they are grappling with many of the same questions being asked by philanthropists, impact investors and other stakeholders in the wider ecosystem about how to maximise impact.
Sessions touched on approaches to impact management and measurement and the collective power of the faith-led ecosystem to work collaboratively to support the UN SDGs. It was a clear indication of growing momentum in the faith-led giving community towards being more transparent and aligned with regional and global impact objectives.
AVPN will kick off the Faith and Giving initiative by first understanding the landscape of the ecosystem in Asia-Pacific to uncover motivations, best-practice, innovative solutions, and collaborations. Starting with the four largest religions in the region – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam – AVPN aims to chart a path for social investors of all stripes to better leverage the diverse and unique perspectives, expertise, and resources of the ecosystem as a whole to unlock more capital for impact.
We welcome organisations and/or institutions that are currently working or interested in faith and giving to be a part of this initiative by contacting [email protected].
About Spring Rain Global
Spring Rain Global aims to coach philanthropic development organisations, religious congregations, non-profits, and other organisations in Asia, Africa, and beyond towards sustainability. Through an international team of highly-experienced professionals in the development, philanthropic, and financial planning sectors, SRG helps its clients network and raise funds, supporters, and other resources necessary to continue serving communities in need through the SRG 6-Pillar Capacitation Model©.