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Dublin Funding Network event, organised by Philanthropy Ireland, The Funding Network (TFN) and the Matheson Foundation, had set the target of raising €16,000 for four small Irish charities, but on the night it raised an astonishing €63,000 in just two hours with donors giving from €50 up.

The Funding Network (TFN) was founded in London in 2002 to enable individuals to join together to crowd fund social change projects. Since then it has raised well over £6 million for over 800 diverse local, national and international projects. The concept is that four charities present for six minutes to an invited audience, take questions on their projects and then leave the room while donors pledge to the charity of their choice. The idea is to provide seed funding for projects for smaller charities and just as importantly, to create a community of engaged regular donors to good causes.

Philanthropy Ireland, supported by the Matheson Foundation (the philanthropic arm of legal firm Matheson) decided to run a pilot event on the 20th of November to see if there was an appetite for a similar movement in Ireland and set the target of raising €4000 each for four charities Early Learning Initiative, Irish Men’s Sheds, Move4Parkinsons, Blossom Ireland).  However, the event raised an astonishing €63,000 in cash and estimated €45,000 in services pledged on the night. The event, compered by George Hook with music provided by The Hitmen Trio, was the most successful international pilot in terms of funds raised on the night. Sonal Shenai of TFN said “the charities were terrific, the atmosphere fabulous and it was a fantastic, diverse and very generous audience. After last night I would love to move to Dublin.”

Turlough Galvin, of the Matheson Foundation, the firm’s corporate philanthropy initiative, said, “It was a pleasure to host this innovative event. The Matheson Foundation has two clear strategic goals: to encourage corporate philanthropy in Ireland and to help Irish children to fulfil their potential. The event’s extraordinary success has made a real and immediate difference to four excellent charities. We wish the Funding Network Ireland every success in the future.”

Maurice Healy, Chair of Philanthropy Ireland said he was delighted with the event and was now looking forward to bringing the Funding Network to his native Cork in March –  “I would hope that we would match or exceed the amount raised in Dublin.”