Welcome to all after the annual conference! My name is Martina Mettgenberg-Lemiere and I joined AVPN as Assistant Director of the Knowledge Centre in January 2015. It was a pleasure meeting some of you during the conference. It was good to share the Capability Development Model with you and hear what you are already doing well and what you want to do even better. Together with Kevin Teo and Alfred Poon, we will continue developing the Knowledge Centre offerings to enable you, our members, to achieve your goals.
At the heart of the Knowledge Centre is the Capability Development Model (CDM). It rests on five practice areas of venture philanthropy covering pre-engagement, capacity building, impact assessment, portfolio management and multi-sector collaboration. Together, these five areas encompass the entire arc of venture philanthropic engagement.
The feedback on the CDM was very enthusiastic. Hence, the displays and cases can now be found on the AVPN website under the Knowledge Tab and by further toggling ‘Capability Development Model’. While we will alert you at different times via the newsletter, keep an eye on this section as it will grow monthly!
At the recent conference, the Knowledge Showcase brought the Knowledge Centre onsite in numerous ways. Beyond the curated sessions at the conference [now summarised as session descriptions and videos for the plenaries on https://2015.avpn.asia/], we displayed the frameworks for each practice area and specific cases in each area, asked you questions about your practice and walked you through the AVPN Connector in the Knowledge Showcase.
The survey, that many of you kindly participated in, provided us with a snapshot of trends in due diligence, capacity building and impact assessment. For due diligence, most of the respondents claimed to have tools and processes in place for due diligence (58%). Another 7% appeared to be tool-agnostic and focused on assessing the organisation in a customised way.
Other insights in the capacity building section was that 44% seem to be funding both programme and overhead costs and 22% restricted the usage of funds for overheads to 10-30% of the overall funding. Further 6% are unrestricted in their funds, 6% fund both with the focus on the outcome and 4% fund overheads but teach lean operations to reduce costs. In terms of kind of capacity building, we found that Access to networks (88.2%), Coaching/mentoring of senior team (84.3%) and Strategy consulting (74.5%) seemed to the top 3 methods to build capacity. These findings indicate how venture philanthropists in our sample approach building an eco-system in addition to the program costs.
Finally in impact assessment, we found that most organisations measured financial return more frequently (26% measured constantly, monthly and quarterly) than social return (measured biannually by 20% and annually by 26%). The consequence of measurement seemed to be a redefinition of goals (70.8%), change in non-financial support (62.5%) and to unlock or delay next round of funding (47.9%) for the investee.
With your help, this initial high-level picture will evolve together with the cases. By allow us to understand the general trends as well as unique practices of social investing in Asia, we can ultimately help you make your philanthropy more effective!
As stakeholders in venture philanthropy include intermediaries, government entities and service providers (legal, accounting and consulting), we are keen to capture practices of all stakeholders for different purposes.
So we invite you to get involved by sharing your practices in any of the five areas. Email Kevin or myself on [email protected] or [email protected] and we tell you more about the process. Sometime later this year, we will also refine the survey and look to your participation to help us with the big picture.
For now, thank you for your active participation and look forward to working with you in the future!