The Funding Network (TFN) held its Perth event earlier this month, generating more than $56,000 for projects supporting women and girls. This figures brings TFN’s cumulative total of funds raised to $2.5 million to date.

More than 130 guests attended the sold-out WA event – TFN’s 20th live collective giving event – which recognised that an investment in women and girls delivers greater impact for all.

The event was presented in partnership with Rio Tinto and Deloitte and began with a mesmerising musical performance by Sam Maher, a Perth drummer who played a rare metallic percussion instrument called a ‘Hang’. The unique and beautiful sound connected the room and set the tone for the spirited stories that lay ahead. Leaders from Foxglove, Zonta HouseGirls from Oz and Shine each presented a six-minute pitch to the live audience in hopes of receiving support for their inspirational projects.

Kelley Chisholm of Foxglove shared stories explaining the ample benefits of women’s self-help groups in rural southern Rwanda. Zonta House CEO, Steve Parry spoke about education programs for women escaping domestic violence. Nicole Muir, of Girls from Oz, described the positive effects of the performing arts in raising the capacity and confidence of Indigenous girls.

When a man sitting amongst the audience yelled abusive comments to a young woman on the stage, it took everyone a moment to realise this drama was the beginning of Shine’s pitch. Shine founder, Amanda Jolley, then came to the stage to speak about their school-based hairdressing salon that provides vocational training and a heightened sense of self-worth to young girls.

The passion and dedication that has been poured into these programs was felt strongly by the audience who gave with open hearts, through small and large donations. The TFN rule that donations start at $100 was cast aside early in the night when an amount for $250 was pledged and a man in the crowd gave $50 because he wanted the amount rounded to the next hundred. This became a running joke with the audience who began giving odd amounts, like $111, so the enthusiastic giver would give the remaining $89. Repeatedly, he obliged.

An effervescent energy was created through entertaining banter and the joy of collective giving. Individuals joined forces to raise crucial funding, provide invaluable in-kind support for the presenting projects and prove we can do more together than we can do alone. 

Catch The Funding Network’s next events: 

Melbourne, 29 October: Hosted in collaboration with the Reichstein Foundation – attendees will hear from three exceptional nonprofit organisations working in the field of advocacy to address social justice issues.

Sydney, 21 October: Hosted by KPMG – attendees will hear from four outstanding NSW social entrepreneurs.

For more information, head to the TFN website.