2 March 2014
After a year of community consultation and pilot events, The Funding Network Australia is officially up and running following our launch in Sydney last week.
Hosted by the AMP Foundation at its Circular Quay HQ, the launch was attended by around 120 guests and featured speeches from our CEO and co-founder Lisa Cotton; our board chairman Allan English; and interviews with CEOs of two social-change non-profit organisations who pitched at the Sydney pilot event last year: Don Palmer of Malpa and Sebastian Robertson of Batyr.
Lisa spoke of how the late Steve Lawrence had been inspired while witnessing TFN in action in the UK, and he immediately saw the potential of the model for Australia. She told of her promise to bring that dream to reality and why she thought it was vital that philanthropy be made accessible to everyday Australians, not just the wealthy: “To create change in our communities we truly believe that we must demystify philanthropy. Imagine if we could harness the collective power of the mass public. And then help them understand that they too can become givers and experience the joy and empowerment that comes with helping others. If we can expose more people to this across Australia, not only will it improve civil society, but also dramatically increase the flow of money to support social innovation”, she said.
TFN Australia chairman, Allan English spoke about TFN’s democratic approach to giving: “The reality is the Australian government is struggling with budgets to support growing community needs. The ramification is that they focus more on crisis management than resourcing preventative innovations. Many of these solutions are provided by social entrepreneurs. TFN is the perfect vehicle to fill the gap in empowering others to support grass-roots organisations”, he said.