AVPN : Action Orientated Philanthropy Network

Lucy Pilgrim
Lucy Pilgrim - Senior Editor
Corporate office puzzle pieces.

Spearheading environmental social investment, we take a look at how the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) drives the corporate sustainability movement forward.

As the most populated continent on the planet, Asia is identified as the biggest contributor to climate change globally. However, by harnessing the vast multitude of companies and corporations across the continent, alongside the investment capital transferred throughout APAC, the region can also facilitate the most change.  

With over 600 members across 33 markets, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is the continent’s leading social investor network. By harnessing Asia’s flourishing investment market, AVPN is a leading ecosystem builder that funnels the increased flow of investor capital in Asia towards sustainable action. This ensures that valuable resources throughout Asia Pacific are effectively deployed via social investment initiatives in areas that will have the most impact.  

The importance of Corporate Civic Responsibility (CCR) greatly underpins the network as it perceives social investment not simply as corporate attitude or positioning, but as an extension of capital. Therefore, investors can combine grants and equities across multiple investment portfolios to have a deep and meaningful impact on Asia’s sustainable landscape.  

Thus, with the support of the world’s most distinguished organisations, ranging from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to toy titans Lego, AVPN has thrived for over a decade. 


AVPN first came to life in 2011, when the network’s founder Doug Miller was keen to create a network of social investment infrastructure in Asia, following the establishment of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) in 2004. His founding mission was therefore to create a comprehensive network of funders and resource providers to work together in moving capital forward and enacting change.  

The initial seed was sewn in 2002, whilst Miller was on a charity fundraising trip with 27 fellow business owners in Vietnam. After a discussion of their respective projects, there was an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction with the impact they were each having. On top of this, what became clear was a lack of transparency and understanding in measuring corporate impact.  

Consequently, it became Miller’s mission to elevate levels of venture philanthropy, aligning the traditional values of business investment with social responsibility and environmental accountability.  

Initially, Miller began to create a social impact network in Europe to ensure that business concepts could align with the social responsibility sector as a whole. He recognised the significance of long-term funding and the important fact that every social purpose organisation (SPO) is effectively a business that needs to be run effectively and offer value to society.  

Subsequently, the success of the EVPA highlighted to Miller the space for philanthropic infrastructures occurring in the APAC region, primarily due to the greater amalgamation of the social and business sectors present in Asia’s portfolio of financial tools.  

Miller set to work creating the scope to effectively facilitate the integration and capture of Asia’s diverse financial tools, the result of which has shaped AVPN into what it is today, successfully serving a spectrum of social investors.

Young people in red.


With such an eclectic business portfolio, AVPN grew from the roots of collaboration to encourage partnerships across sector boundaries, creating a multifaceted system of support that spans private, public, and residential sectors.   

The diversity of the network also speaks to the vast range of charities, trusts, and wider organisations that AVPN provides vital aid to. A noteworthy case of the impact AVPN has is in the APAC Sustainability Seed Fund, initiated through the collaboration between  
Google.org and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  

This forward-thinking collaboration has generated an impressive fund of USD$3 million, which will contribute greatly to innovative solutions led by non-profit organisations to drive sustainable development across the APAC region.  

The APAC Sustainability Seed Fund will scale up initiatives in unsupported communities across Australia, India, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and more, serving 11 countries in total. As a result of the fund, grants will be rewarded to help increase decarbonisation efforts, whilst unlocking biodiversity protection, water preservation, and waste management systems, all packaged in a circular economy.  

Fundamentally, AVPN is the face and voice of collective sustainable change across APAC, leading the world’s greatest organisations to contribute capital towards the betterment of the region.


  • Integrate the work of both philanthropists and investors: Both sectors are dependent on each other for success. AVPN encourages the philanthropic sector to take more risks in supporting start-ups and promoting innovation, providing aid to the business sector as it establishes the roots of its social impact.  
  • Deepen the engagement between corporations and governments: AVPN believes that the role of corporations in providing human and intellectual capital is undervalued. Therefore, as governments control policies across all sectors where the network hopes to see change, the partnership of the two entities is crucial.  
  • Embracing the next generation: The network works to involve future generations to address present problems. This is particularly pertinent in Asia, with an estimated 35 percent of wealth transitioning to the next generation  
    in five to seven years.
Share This Article