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NFP Speed-Funding Reaches $1M Milestone

25 September 2014 at 10:51 am
Lina Caneva
A new Australian Not for Profit organisation that hosts live crowd-funding events for social entrepreneurs as part of a global network called The Funding Network has reach its first $1million milestone since launching just seven months ago.

Lina Caneva | 25 September 2014 at 10:51 am


NFP Speed-Funding Reaches $1M Milestone
25 September 2014 at 10:51 am

A new Australian Not for Profit organisation that hosts live crowd-funding events for social entrepreneurs as part of a global network called The Funding Network has reach its first $1million milestone since launching just seven months ago.

Adopting a model that has flourished in the UK since 2002, TFN says it makes it possible for individuals, foundations and corporations to give collectively, (in increments starting from as little as $100), whilst aiming to raise at least $10,000 for every organisation that pitches at the live events.

TFN members nominate and select four social entrepreneurs with small, Not for Profit organisations, who then pitch for funding from the audience at each event.

The Funding Network’s most recent event held in partnership with Australian Communities Foundation at JBWere saw four social entrepreneurs pitched for $10,000 each to a 100-plus audience.

“The pledges took the total funds generated by The Funding Network at its collective-giving events to over $1m thanks to the generosity of everyday Australians,” TFN Co-Founder and CEO Lisa Cotton said.

Cotton co-founded The Funding Network in 2012 with the late Steve Lawrence AO. Previously, she was CEO of philanthropic consultancy firm Funding Edge and, before that served as Director Social Investment at Social Ventures Australia for seven years.

“These funds, plus substantial in-kind support, have been directed to 36 small, innovative Not for Profit organisations like St Kilda Gatehouse, which captured the audience’s imagination who dug deep to give $31,000 in 10 only minutes with pledges starting at just $100,” Cotton said.

“Launched in February, following pilot events in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth last year, TFN is spearheading an increasingly popular mainstream interest in collective giving.

“One of the casualties of our fast-paced society is the sense of community which often provides identity and purpose.

“TFN is a highly inclusive model that addresses this need. It’s making philanthropy accessible to all and is helping people to understand that they don’t have to be wealthy to be active givers and to make a tangible difference in others’ lives.

“While anyone can attend TFN events, TFN is a member-driven organisation. Members, who join for $100, share a common passion for social change and a desire to learn. They are empowered to select organisations to pitch for $10,000 each at an event.

“TFN weaves together networks and connects the right resources to the right projects. This has been hugely beneficial for the participating Not for Profit organisations that are often challenged with accessing networks efficiently or at a critical time in their growth.

“TFN works with these organisations to help refine their pitches, and then connects them to people who want to do more than give money. Many guests offer substantial in-kind support, volunteer and introduce other supporters.”

Allan English, a former recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and who was recently awarded as 2014 Philanthropist of the Year by Philanthropy Australia is Chairman of the Board at TFN Australia.

English is the Founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Silver Chef Limited, an ASX 300 company.  

“Another dimension of the model has been its ability to swiftly build a wide spectrum of partnerships and alliances,” Cotton said.

“TFN has a national board with directors from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. More than 50 people have joined its Leadership Councils and 160 members are playing an active role in the model’s growth.

“TFN founding partners, Macquarie Group Foundation and AMP Foundation, have hosted events and leading corporations, including Minter Ellison, PwC, JBWere, Bankwest and Pitcher Partners, have provided venues. In addition, Federal Government arts funding body, Creative Partnerships Australia, has provided matched funding as an incentive to drive new money into the social sector.

“A range of corporate and individual donors have provided funding support to run TFN’s operations because they see the model as a new way to draw people into the sector. These include Macquarie Group Foundation, AMP Foundation, Lotterywest, English Family Foundation, Eureka Foundation, Hantomeli Foundation, WeirAnderson Foundation and the Steve Lawrence Social Innovation Fund.”

TFN’s UK Founder, Dr Frederick Mulder’s has also been a key funder.

“Dr Mulder’s dream is to see TFN help shape the knowledge, attitudes and practices of a generation of new philanthropists around the world.  If what’s transpired since TFN Australia began is any indication, the TFN board is confident this can happen,” Cotton said.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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