AVPN’s Korea-focused Digital Transformation Fund gets $1m grant from Google.org


Alliance magazine


Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, has donated $1 million to the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network’s (AVPN) Digital Transformation Fund, which will aim to help underserved and impacted communities in Korea. The fund will go towards supporting digital transformation projects at scale, in partnership with local nonprofits, as part of a post-Covid-19 recovery.

The news was announced this week at the AVPN Northeast Asia Social Investment Summit 2021 by Naina Batra, CEO of AVPN, and Harrison Kim, Country Director for Google Korea.

The funds will be targeted at nonprofit organisations with charitable projects that support underserved communities, including small and medium business owners, job seekers affected by Covid-19 that are looking to reskill for the new digital economy.

In addition to the grant funding, these nonprofit organizations may be considered to receive technical support or in-kind support from Google.org. AVPN will also receive $500,000 in donated Search ads from Google.org to raise awareness of its work, share resources with the public, and more. The donation will be administered through the AVPN Google Ad account and will be applied to the marketing campaigns for the grantees and the fund.

Building a philanthropic roadmap for Asia

Looking forward, AVPN will be working with member organizations to explore philanthropic and pooled funds that will tackle other critical social issues. AVPN’s presence on the ground in 12 Asian markets, and direct support in 18 markets, empowers the network to find and fund under-supported social impact opportunities. This is especially valuable while our members face travel restrictions during the pandemic.

‘The potential for collaborative philanthropy in Asia is immense,’ says Batra. ‘Philanthropic collaboratives are in a unique position to pool resources from like-minded stakeholders. No one organization can achieve impact at scale – partnering with unusual allies from across the social investor ecosystem reveals opportunities for delivering greater impact in innovative ways.’

Commenting on Google.org’s support, Google Korea’s Kim added, ‘Small businesses are at the heart of every country’s economy and community. The impact of COVID-19 has reinforced the urgency of supporting SMEs and other impacted communities with their digitalization. With this Google.org funding, we are proud to support AVPN as they work with local nonprofits to help local businesses and impacted job seekers from underserved communities adapt and succeed for the sustainable future.’

By supporting impacted small and medium business owners, job seekers looking to reskill, and other impacted communities, AVPN hopes to demonstrate the value of philanthropic support – and how it can be mobilized for proven interventions at scale and pace. The focus on digital transformation aims to showcase how technology, including artificial intelligence, can be used to achieve social impact for the most impacted groups.

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