AVPN Philanthropy Fellowship

Strategic Philanthropy in Asia: Maximising Impact

AVPN Academy, in partnership with the Cambridge Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, is curating a fellowship programme that seeks to help practitioners better understand and unleash the opportunity of philanthropy for sustainable, scalable and measurable impact.


31 October 2024 – Induction and kickoff event (virtual)
4 to 7 November 2024 – Learning (virtual)
Two days in December 2024 – Learning (in-person)


USD 2,000 for AVPN members
USD 3,000 for non-members
No additional cost for AVPN Suite Pass Subscribers


Be an AVPN Philanthropy Fellow

Learn what it means to be strategic and how to ensure programmes are evidence-based. Understand how to leverage brand equity for collaboration so that partnerships can be mutually rewarding. Explore the range of financial instruments and models that can help you deliver sustainable outcomes at scale. Leave with a new perspective on increasing the impact of your philanthropy in the developing world. Build a community of peers committed to catalysing greater philanthropic impact.

The programme explores how philanthropic capital can best be deployed to deliver impact and long-term system change. Fellows will analyse many of the challenges and opportunities that face emerging market philanthropists in trying to align work with national development plans, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need to deliver high-impact sustainable outcomes at scale.

This is a hybrid programme involving a mix of virtual sessions and an in-person convening at the AVPN South Asia Summit 2024.

The programme will be co-facilitated by the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP), a research centre based at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. The CSP is a leading hub of actionable knowledge working to catalyse greater philanthropic impact from the world’s fastest growing regions.

Successful registrants will be notified via email.


Who should join

  • Professionals working in philanthropic organisations
  • Individual philanthropists seeking to create new funds or programmes
  • ODA officials, government officials, and policy makers looking to engage philanthropic capital to support the SDGs
  • Academics seeking insights into operational challenges facing philanthropic practitioners
  • Corporate professionals looking to deploy commercial capital for social impact
  • Philanthropy advisors


Programme key themes

Understand how best to deploy philanthropic capital for impact and long-term system change

Understand the challenges and opportunities that face emerging market philanthropists

Learn how to deliver sustainable outcomes at scale

Programme benefits

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Networking, Partnership, and Collaboration Opportunities

Executive Education with a
Certificate of Attendance

Leadership Development and
Strategic Thinking


Planned faculty

Prof. Shahzad Ansari

Professor of Strategy and Innovation
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Dr. Shonali Banerjee

Visiting Research Fellow
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Andrew Jenkins

Visiting Fellow
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Dr. Simon Learmount

Professor in Corporate Governance
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Dr. Lionel Paolella

Associate Professor in Strategy & Organisation
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Dr. Arnil Paras

AVPN Academy

Prof. Jaideep Prabhu

Professor of Marketing and Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Roshini Prakash

Chief Knowledge Officer

Prof. Thomas Roulet

Professor of Organisational Sociology & Leadership University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Clare Woodcraft

Visiting Fellow
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School

Dr. Eden Yin

Associate Professor in Marketing
University of Cambridge
Judge Business School


Faculty list to be updated


Fellowship programme

31 OCTOBER 2024

Induction and Kickoff Event

Join Academy

4 November 2024
5:00 PM SGT
Strategic Philanthropy: Why and How?
The first module of this programme explores what strategic philanthropy means and offers a framework for understanding what constitutes ‘effective philanthropy’. Looking at how businesses evolve and refine their strategies, it will identify some of the key considerations when evaluating your operational models.

Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
Recognise indicators that show when power dynamics are impeding partnerships’ efficacy in addressing huge societal problems such as climate change, poverty and health.

Philanthropy for Entrepreneurs
Explore the philanthropic journey of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading philanthropic organisation empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalysing job creation across all African countries, and increasing women’s economic empowerment. Learn about the challenges that the foundation has faced in tangibly and inclusively scaling up the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, given the enormous demand for entrepreneurship support across the continent, and how its lessons can be applied in different regions.

Join Academy

5 November 2024
5:00 PM SGT

Identifying Gaps to Maximise Impact 
This module focuses on three key elements of maximising philanthropic impact: ‘looking inside’ by choosing your cause, ‘looking outside’ by scoping the field and ‘looking forward’ by defining your theory of change. You will look at how to find the ‘sweet spot’ by examining your context, existing initiatives, your needs and your organisational capabilities.

BRAC Case Study on Scaling Impact
Using the case study of BRAC, the world’s largest NGO, you will look at how the organisation scaled for impact. The module explores the different methods
for impact evaluation and how you can monitor impact for the long-term.

Collaborating for Impact
This looks at how to identify the right partners by analysing the need for resources and mapping the stakeholder network in your field. You will also address the issues surrounding information-sharing once you have selected a partner.

Join Academy

6 November 2024
5:00 PM SGT
Impact, Measurement and Leadership
This part of the module examines leadership, where you will look at the key skills needed for leadership, and different leadership theories. You will also learn how to use storytelling to get ‘buy-in’ from board members to secure investment in your projects. This module looks at why you should measure impact; what you should measure and the common mistakes made when measuring impact.

Building Brand and Scaling Programmes
Discover how the Tanoto Foundation evolved its business model in order to facilitate multi-country scale up, partnerships with government and build a leadership position in regional philanthropy. This case study shares the Foundation’s journey looking at both internal and external engagement and how it built its own capacity to maximise impact.

Leveraging the Brand for Impact
This part of the module looks at why branding is important for philanthropic organisations, how you can build a strong brand, trust and opportunities for partnership.

Join Academy

7 November 2024
5:00 PM SGT
From Traditional to Strategic Philanthropy
Using the case of the King Khalid Foundation of Saudi Arabia, you will examine traditional and strategic types of philanthropy and some of the key challenges that foundations face when moving to more innovative, collaborative operating models. These include working more closely with the private sector, supporting the growth of the broader ecosystem and securing government endorsement.

The module will look at governance: what it is, why it is important, why it can be challenging and its importance for building trust, honing an organisation’s values and building strong collaboration.    

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In-Person Convening
Connect with other fellows from different parts of the world with a two-day in-person convening to be held at the AVPN South Asia Summit 2024.

Join Academy

Important Note: Dates may be subject to minor revisions depending on feedback from confirmed fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications will open in September 2024. Registration of interest is already open. Successful applicants will be notified via email.

The programme will start with a one-hour virtual kickoff and induction event on 31 October 2024, Wednesday.

The time commitment consists of 19 hours of virtual learning, and two days for the in-person convening.

  • Kickoff and Induction Event – 1 hour
  • Virtual Modules – 18 hours (4.5 hours x 4 days)
  • In-person Convening – 2 days

The registration cost is USD 2,000 for AVPN members and USD 3,000 for non-AVPN members.

Please note that flight and accommodation costs for the in-person convening will be covered by the participant.

There will be no refunds. Please make sure your schedule will allow you to participate for the full duration.

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Learn with AVPN

Unlock your impact potential by building your social investment skillset at the AVPN Academy.

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Companies may choose to adopt an inclusive business model or approach that provides goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis to people living at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Depending on the nature and size of the organisation, companies can do this by directly incorporating the BoP in their core value chain, or by piloting inclusive business initiatives through their corporate impact efforts.

Adapted from: Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN)


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Creating Shared Value Through Inclusive Business Strategies

By CSR Asia

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This paper by CSR Asia outlines how inclusive business (IB) strategies can create shared value and walks through practical steps companies can take to develop an effective IB strategy. It makes a case for inclusive business and demonstrates how companies can leverage aspects of their value chain to create opportunities for low-income communities. You will also find a number of case studies from around the Asia region.

Corporate Foundation

Corporate foundations (or company-sponsored foundations) are philanthropic organisations that are created and financially supported by a corporation. The foundation is created as a separate legal entity from the corporation, but with close ties to the corporation. Corporate foundations tend to make grants in fields related to their corporate activities or in communities where the corporation operates, or where their employees reside.

Source: Council of Foundations

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Corporate Social Impact Accelerator

Companies may establish Social Impact Accelerators to help enterprises looking to address a social problem over an extended period of time with a mix of financial and non-financial support, including seed funding, mentorship, training, networking and working space.

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Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is any formally organised support or encouragement from companies to leverage employee time, knowledge, skills or other resources to support impact organisations. Employee engagement can vary from corporate volunteering (hands-on or skill-based, virtual or on-site volunteering) and/or corporate giving (payroll giving, employee matching) to co-investment programmes.

Source: EVPA, 2018

Learn more about Employee Engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to strategies that companies put into action as part of corporate governance that are designed to ensure the company’s operations are ethical and beneficial for society. These may include initiatives to support the environment, fair labour practices, philanthropy and/or sustainable business practices.

Adapted from: Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

Learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Impact Fund

Corporate impact funds enable companies to make investments that are aligned with and amplified by their strategic priorities, market position and resources in order to generation measurable and mutually reinforcing social, environmental and financial returns and outcomes.

Adapted from: Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), 2021

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