06 October 2022

AF@50: Largest Philippine NGO network celebrates its 50th Anniversary

The Association of Foundations (AF), the country’s most extensive network of non-government organizations (NGOs) and foundations with 217 members on its roster, is celebrating its 50th founding anniversary vis-à-vis its 50th General Assembly on October 14, 2022, at Novotel Manila Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City.

“Our member organizations are geographically-dispersed and are involved in a diverse array of programs including education, micro-finance, livelihood, health and nutrition, and environment, to name a few.  While diverse in terms of both areas of focus and geographies, all our members are collectively working towards attaining equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development.” AF President Cecile Dominguez-Yujuico said in a press conference on October 6, 2022.

Old, but still going strong

AF has just developed a 3-year strategic plan covering 2022-2024 that aims to secure new milestones for the 50-year-old network. The plan includes establishing the LEAD to Serve Academy, increasing collaboration among members, formalizing engagements across sectors, and establishing AF as a source of reliable information on Philippine philanthropy.

Nurturing next-in-line NGO leaders

“AF responds to an urgent need to attract and keep a pool of highly skilled and committed NGO talents. Our ‘Leaders Empowered and Dedicated to Serve through the NGO Sector’ or LEAD to Serve is a program that trains young NGO professionals to become future NGO leaders,” says AF Executive Director Oman Jiao. Currently, AF is implementing the third run of the LEAD to Serve course with 23 NGO next-in-line leaders enrolled in the program. The competency-based module is preparatory training for an NGO executive position. AF will soon have modules for other NGO positions as they launch the LEAD to Serve Academy.

“A critical part of an NGO’s succession plan is the training of younger staff to prepare for leadership roles. This ensures the organization’s sustainability and continuous service delivery for an NGO’s beneficiaries,” he added.

AF and LGU CSO Academy Partnership  

AF Executive Director Jiao also shared that recently, a milestone has been achieved through a partnership between AF and the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of South Cotabato  on the establishment of the CSO Academy.

The Memorandum of Agreement signing was held last September 27, with Jiao and  AF Trustee and Vice-President for Mindanao, Ryan Vidanes, representing AF.

“The CSO academy will build the capacities of local Civil Society Organizations to effectively participate in local governance processes. We thank and commend the Provincial Government of South Cotabato under the leadership of Gov. Reynaldo S. Tamayo, Jr. for their commitment to being a pilot LGU partner for the Academy,” Jiao said.

Building a resource of information on NGO work

“With over 200 member organizations as a captured source of information on development work, AF has been consolidating data to share information on the contribution of the network to development efforts. AF publishes the AF Network Aggregate Report or NAR annually based on data collected from its member organizations,” says Ms. Dominguez-Yujuico.

The 2021 NAR showed that over PhP13 billion has been spent by AF members on various development initiatives serving approximately 35 million Filipinos across the country. Based on programs, AF members spent over Php 4 billion on health and nutrition, placing it as the highest program area in total expenditure. This was followed by education (Php2.5 billion) and emergency response (Php1.2 billion). Together, these three program areas account for 61% of the total AF network contribution in 2021. 

AF aims to foster an enabling environment for philanthropy in the Philippines by raising awareness of the significant contribution of non-government organizations (NGOs) and foundations to enhancing individual, community, and national development. 

As AF celebrates its 50th year, AF will continuously spearhead initiatives that educate the public on the good works of its members and other NGOs. They hope they can amplify stories to increase recognition of the importance of civil society organizations in the country’s development.

Information related to the NAR and other relevant and timely information about NGO work and development initiatives will be shared by AF on its website at and on Facebook at

The 2021 NAR is accessible via

For a copy of this PR and other reference materials, please access our PRESS KIT at


About the Association of Foundations

Established in 1972, AF is a vibrant community of reputable foundations working together and engaging other stakeholders for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development. The AF membership enhances its capacities for good governance and social impact and collaborates with other stakeholders to attain the development agenda of the Philippines.

For more information about this press release, please contact:

Ms. Joey Alegre