April 23, 2020

EVPA Newsletter April 2020 - Foreword by our CEO Steven Serneels

Steven Serneels web

We are now well into our second month of the COVID-19 crisis in Europe. While funders are reviewing their programmes and investors are screening their portfolios, many Social Purpose Organisations are struggling to survive, and beneficiaries unrelated to COVID-19 have started to feel the collateral damage of being ‘out of focus’.

In this new setting, EVPA is confronted with a dual challenge. On the one hand, we’re a not-for-profit organisation having to deal with a new financial reality: struggling members asking to put membership on hold until things get better, cancelled activities, … At the same time, we also feel responsible and emboldened to continue to support, shape and serve our eco-system of Investors for Impact in these difficult times. Especially now, when ‘impact’ is at the centre and a new socio-economic balance can be defined.

While we are taking internal measures to reduce costs, our main focus is on re-defining our activities and setting up new ones, addressing urgent needs in this survival phase, preparing for the revival phase in 6 to 12 months, and exploring how a new, more equal society should look like in future.

Peer group discussions amongst both our impact fund members and our group of large foundation members in Europe have become re-centred around challenges in times of COVID-19. Additionally, together with our sister organisations AVPN, AVPA and LatImpacto, we have launched a series of webinars for cross continental learning and exchange; and in conjunction with DAFNE, EFC, NEF and the European NABs, today we are launchingUnitus Europe” a European platform where, besides showcasing knowledge and best cases, COVID-19 related supply and demand of resources can be explored.

This new situation also catapults EVPA, like many others, further into the digital space. Concretely this means our trainings will go ‘online’ and the AGM on 4th June will become virtual.

We have also decided, together with the Portuguese community, to postpone our annual conference in Porto to the spring of 2021, and replace the 2020 edition with an online conference from the 21st to the 24th of September, focusing on ‘building partnerships in times of COVID-19: how to deal with the survival, revival and building resilience phases of this crisis’. It will be a dynamic, highly interactive online event, spanning four days and offering participants numerous innovative opportunities to co-shape, re-shape and re-connect. Stay tuned for frequent updates as well as detailed information about the registrations and partnership opportunities on our dedicated website: conference.evpa.eu.com as well as the next edition of our newsletter and social networks.

All these changes require an important effort and an entrepreneurial spirit of the entire EVPA team: being creative, agile and resilient. But with the support we receive from many of you, which is heart-warming and much appreciated, we are confident that we can continue supporting you and building the Investing forImpact community, even in difficult times.

On behalf of the EVPA team, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support. We wish you a lot of strength, courage and wisdom to navigate this unchartered territory.

My best regards,

Steven Serneels,

CEO & Board member


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