Charities should thank major donors quickly, Funding Network founder says

Frederick Mulder gives tips to delegates at the New Ways of Raising Money from the Rich conference in London

Frederick Mulder
Frederick Mulder

Charities should make sure they thank their donors and "say it very quickly", according to the international art dealer and philanthropist Frederick Mulder.

The founder of the Funding Network, which brings together donors to crowdfund social change projects, gave delegates at the not-for-profit consultancy Action Planning's New Ways of Raising Money from the Rich conference in London yesterday his top tips for dealing with major donors.

He said the one basic thing all charities should do is say thank you to their donors. "Say it very quickly and later tell people something specific that their money has helped you do," he said.

Mulder said fundraisers should think about what would make them interested in a project. His other advice was to approach donors with entrepreneurial ideas. "Think of something in their sphere of interest or geography," he said. "We all love to take a punt on something and be involved in something a bit quirky."

After Greenpeace’s first Rainbow Warrior ship sank in 1985, Mulder said he approached the organisation and suggested they ran newspaper adverts at the same time because they were receiving a lot of media attention – and he would pay for the advertising.

"It really worked – I took a risk on behalf of Greenpeace," he said. "Why not bring to donors something they could do and that will often appeal?"

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