Interview: Naina Batra, Chief Executive of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network

The ‘big tent’ is becoming even bigger. This year’s AVPN conference in Singapore hosted over a thousand participants. With such a catchment and as one of the few pieces of pan-Asian philanthropic infrastructure it is poised to play a key role in the region’s development in both the short and mid-term. Andrew Milner asked AVPN CEO Naina Subberwal Batra what she foresees both for social investing in Asia and the network’s role in it.

A lot has happened since last year’s conference in Bangkok. What new initiatives has AVPN launched this year?

We’ve launched a funders’ collective, we are in the process of beta-testing our training academy and we spent the better part of last year exploring the concept of the continuum of capital. I won’t say too much about it here, because we’ve got a new report out but, basically, the idea is that the various forms of support – grants, investments, mentoring and so on – for social purpose organisations isn’t and shouldn’t be compartmentalised, with funders providing one kind of support only. Funders should be open to providing several kinds of support along the continuum depending on what their SPO partners need at any particular point.

Is the training academy a virtual academy? Who is it for?

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