Meet Stephanie, Chair of the City Funding Network
For our first City Funding Network (CFN) newsletter, we spoke to Stephanie, a solicitor at Goodman Derrick and Chair of the CFN Advisory Board. She told us about her experiences working in the City and volunteering with CFN.
CFN’s Women & Diversity event will be held at law firm CMS Cameron McKenna. As a City professional, why do you think it is important that CFN focuses on projects that are specifically working to promote women and minorities?
The City of London’s reputation across the globe is unparalleled. We want to be ambassadors for a City which champions a culture of equality and diversity. Focusing on projects that seek to promote women and minorities is a great way of investing in that vision.
As Chair of the CFN Advisory Board, could you explain a little about your experiences of CFN live crowdfunding events?
I attended the launch of CFN back in July 2012 and immediately became hooked on its unique live crowdfunding model. There is something really rather special about live crowdfunding events that is difficult to articulate. I always leave feeling changed in some way or having gained new perspective about something. I have discovered some wonderful charities facilitating social change in very specific areas of life and I have met some exceptional individuals. Over the past three or so years I have heard deeply moving accounts of tragedy and suffering but also inspiring stories of courage and hope. Each of the social change projects we support has a unique and powerful story behind it which has a profound impact on the audience in a live crowdfunding setting.
CFN’s aim is to encourage City professionals to engage in philanthropy early on in their careers. What do you think the impact of being engaged in philanthropy has on a person?
Engaging in philanthropy cultivates a generosity of spirit which redefines the way you live.
How do you want to see CFN expand in the future?
CFN is a great way to engage individuals and organisations in and around the City. Its very accessible method creates opportunities to hear about small, dynamic and innovative charities working for social change. Ultimately I would love CFN to develop strong partnerships with corporates in the City. The CFN model could be easily adopted by other organisations so it would be very exciting to see others in the City community adopt it in some way and extend the reach of our influence.
CFN has supported a number of really inspiring projects since it began in 2012. Is there a project you are particularly proud of CFN for supporting?
In addition to TFN, I am a trustee of a fantastic charity called e:merge (formerly FAST) which works with young people in London, Bradford, Sheffield and South Yorkshire. It seeks to break cycles of deprivation and endemic worklessness by empowering young people in some of the most deprived and neglected communities in our nation. Team Up is another brilliant charity that we recently supported. It trains university students to tutor children from low income backgrounds in order to raise their aspirations. I think it is particularly important for CFN to advocate social mobility and support causes which focus on investing in the next generation.
Becoming a corporate member of TFN has a number of benefits, including all employees having the opportunity of attending live crowdfunding events for free and nominating projects they support. You can read more about our corporate membership and how to sign up as a TFN member on our website.