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The Funding Network
Sonal Shenai, Executive Director
T: +44(0) 8453138449
Based in the United Kingdom/United States
With Global Chapters
Additional Contacts:
: +44(0)7966014122

The Funding Network


TFN's mission is to build diverse communities of engaged donors who want to connect with individuals and organizations working for social change and collectively provide them with the resources they need to achieve their goals. These resources will primarily be financial however they may additionally include volunteering, pro bono services and moral support.We do this by staging open events in cities around the world which enable people of all levels of wealth to hear from those working for social change and to participate, should they wish, in an exciting live "crowd funding" process. We then celebrate the "power of the collective" - enabling us all to have a far greater impact than we could have on our own.


The Funding Network (TFN) was founded by four friends - Dr Frederick Mulder (a Canadian art dealer residing in London), Dr Paul Kelland (a GP), Polly McLean (who had inherited wealth and who worked as a translator) and Sue Gillie (a successful real estate agent). They wanted to maximise the impact of their giving by doing it with others and they wanted it to be an enjoyable, social, accessible and uplifting experience which would attract others. They held their first event in London in 2002 and raised over £60,000 for 10 organisations from a group of around 80 people, mainly friends and family. Since then, TFN has grown into the UK's most successful open giving circle, attracting hundreds of people to events all around the UK and Canada and more recently in Australia, Romania and Bulgaria with new groups starting over the coming months and years. As at June 2013, over 150 TFN events have raised over £5million for 600+ organisations from 4000+ individuals giving amounts of £10, £50, £100 - right up to £10,000.

What Makes Us Different:

In the UK, TFN is unique in that events are open to anyone (although there is a small attendance fee), there is no minimum wealth requirement and attendees do not have to give if they do not wish to. We believe that our "live crowd funding" format (as distinct from on-line crowd funding) is original and plays an important part in making giving more visible and open.

More info:

We would be delighted to welcome any one working in the area of giving circles or collaborative giving to come to one of our events and experience TFN first hand. It would be a great pleasure!

Alternatively, please see our short films ( or or our 10 year Impact Report released last year to mark TFN’s 10th anniversary.

Thank you for your interest in our work!

Inspirational Stories:

"The first thing that struck me about The Funding Network in London, where I was a member, is that it has great "heart". I could be on the Underground, or on a bus, or in a taxi - reading the headlines of the day, many of them really quite depressing and then I would walk into a TFN event and through the power of story-telling be transported to different worlds - And encounter issues - not of them comfortable, but each compelling - Which would lead me to engage with some of the most special and committed people on this planet that you're ever likely to meet, the leaders of the projects, that TFN profiles. And leaving, after imbibing the odd glass or two, I'd then realize that - Whatever the doom and gloom merchants of Fleet Street were peddling to me that day, there is a parallel universe of social action and social change, and - That everyone can be a part of it. And be in very good company. So that's a personal reason as why I became a TFN member."

– Clare Brooks

"The atmosphere is always inviting, warm and intellectually stimulating as we work together to tackle real social dilemmas in our community and around the world."

– Sandra Ro

Success Stories:

We were delighted at our first pilot event in Sydney, Australia (Feb 2013) that not only did each of the four projects achieve double the targets they were seeking (AUD$10,000), but one of the projects (which sought to improve indigenous health), was approached by a donor after the event and he has since committed to give them $50,000 a year for the next 3 years. At the same event, another project was offered $10,000 of pro bono technical support to build a much needed website to promote their work. This is powerful evidence of the wider benefits both to organisations and donors of participating in our events.

Similarly in London, social entrepreneur, Crissy Townsend received a modest £5,610 when she presented at a TFN event in 2003, however she used the funds and the confidence she gained to go and to achieve over £10m worth if investment in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived areas of London.

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