Firms moot idea to set up non-profit investment lobby

Binali Suhandani is the CEO of AVPN India. She was the keynote speaker at the Social Investment Conference that took place at Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi [Gardy Chacha/Standard]

A lobby for corporates and not-for-profit organisations is angling for the registration of a membership organisation that will focus on social investment and promotion of philanthropy.

This emerged recently during a social investment conference in Nairobi, where benefits of social investment were discussed.

The organisation dubbed Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) will be headquartered in Nairobi.

“We expect that by June this year, the organisation will have been fully registered and the secretariat up and running,” said Lee Karuri, co-chairperson of the team overseeing AVPA’s registration.

Mr Karuri, who doubles up as the chairperson of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Foundation, said AVPA will bring together a network of firms, social investment companies, and non-profits that will revolutionise how aid money is used for development.

“AVPA’s core mandate will be to improve African communities but in a manner that ensures permanent and long lasting change,” he explained.

The Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) Executive Director Janet Mawiyoo said social investment remains critical for African countries. AVPA’s membership will be drawn from profit and non-profit worlds. The lobby will ensure availability of capital to drive innovative and offer solutions efficiently and sustainably. So far Safaricom, audit firm KPMG and Chandaria Group have committed to joining AVPA.

Others are KCDF and Rattansi Educational Trust.


AVPA has been adopted from the more successful European Venture Philanthropy Alliance launched in 2004.

“Traditional approaches to addressing social needs such as grant-making have proven insufficient. Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment has enabled businesses, individuals, and organisations that want to make a difference to deploy resources with discipline, transparency, and accountability,” said AVPN Asia Chief Executive Binali Suhandani at the event.

“We want to move away from giving free charity because it removes responsibility from the receiver. Instead of free money, we want to focus on an investment whose impact can be determined,” Mawiyoo said.

She rooted for a model where organisations invest in a way that they gain independence from aid and are able to pay back the social investment afforded to them.



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