27/02/2013 - 01:03

Connections for charity

27/02/2013 - 01:03

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Connections for charity

PHILANTHROPY organisation The Funding Network will introduce an innovative fundraising format to Perth next week, aimed at encouraging a broader range of people to contribute to charitable projects.

At the event, to be held at Bankwest in Murray Street, the leaders of four projects for social change will pitch their ideas to a crowd of more than 100 people.

The Funding Network Australia Steering Committee’s national director, Lisa Cotton, says the UK-based organisation follows a membership model whereby members are responsible for not only putting forward, but also selecting the projects to be presented.

It is not just members who are able to attend the presentations and pledge money to the projects; members of the general public are welcome and there is no pressure to give to any of the projects.

The Funding Network founder Fred Mulder said the organisation encouraged a range of donations, from the minimum pledge of $100 to pledges of thousands of dollars.

He said people should feel they were part of raising a certain sum of money, not just their individual donation.

Mr Mulder described network events such as that next week as like a public marketplace for charity where people were able to hear about a variety of well-researched projects for social change.

“We wanted to create an organisation designed for busy people who were interested in supporting charity projects, but perhaps felt they didn’t have enough information to give money wisely to projects,” Mr Mulder told WA Business News.

He will be attending the Perth event, which is one of three taking place throughout the country.

The steering committee hopes to make The Funding Network a national concept by the end of the year; as part of realising this goal they chose to do trial events in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Ms Cotton said WA was chosen to host one of the events due to its reputation as an entrepreneurial and sophisticated state with a lot of new wealth.

“The most positive thing about this model is developing a new generation of givers,” she said.

Mr Mulder said he had been impressed by the work of those pioneering The Funding Network throughout Australia, as well as the nation’s response to the concept.

The Funding Network is establishing operations in several countries, with a pilot event to be held soon in Toronto, Canada.

“No-one has prepared the ground like Australia ... Australia is definitely leading the way,” Mr Mulder said, adding that the establishment of the National Steering Committee and three pilot events was very ambitious and was not being done elsewhere.

He also said no other pilot event, apart from Perth and Melbourne, had drawn crowds of more than 100.

“I hope, of course, that the events do well and there is every indication that they will,” Mr Mulder said.

Correction

In last week’s article on the Royal Flying Doctor Service-Rio Tinto partnership, the RFDS’s Grahame Marshall was incorrectly identified in the photo caption as Greg Lilleyman from Rio Tinto. WA Business News apologises for the error.

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