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Meet a Member: Richard Sved

Meet Richard Sved, one of TFN’s newest members! As a new member and organiser of the upcoming TFN St Albans event, we chatted to Richard to see what he likes about TFN and how he’s feeling about bringing live crowdfunding to St Albans.

Why did you become a TFN member?

I’ve worked and volunteered in the charity sector ‘man and boy’ – for over 20 years, but felt I’d lost touch a little with the joy of the philanthropic side of things. I wanted to learn about new charities to support, find out why people are passionate about them, and give collectively with other people who are similarly interested. TFN ticks all of those boxes, so it was an easy decision to become a member!

What do you enjoy about coming to TFN events?

I’ve been to two so far, and enjoyed everything about them! Firstly and most importantly, I loved the charity pitching that I experienced. I’m a fundraiser by training, and it’s such an important skill. They’ve all been of such high quality, so the coaching must have been effective too. Learning about these organisations has been fascinating; working out in a short space of time why they’re important. I also thought the questions asked by the members in the room were of a very high quality – really considered, thoughtful, and also pretty taxing! But that’s as it should be. Also, I’ve found the events to be extremely positive and energising, and I loved the theatricality of the pledging session.

What are some projects you’ve been impressed by at TFN events?

I was particularly impressed by the pitch given by North London Cares recently and found the work of Year Here fascinating. To be honest, all of them have grabbed my attention. And I also loved the feedback from projects that have previously been supported. Friends of Kipkelion’s project was fantastic, and an object lesson in how to tell a compelling story in pictures.

Why have you decided to hold a TFN event in St Albans?

It’s where I live! I think there’s a strong sense of community there, as shown by successful volunteer run events like the parkrun (which I’m also involved with) and the restoration of the Odyssey cinema. And I think (and hope) that people are pretty generous there! I don’t think anything like this has happened in St Albans before, so I’m hoping it will be a successful test case, and maybe even the first of many.

What kinds of projects are you hoping to discover and support at TFN St Albans?

The beauty of it will be in the discovery. I’d like the projects to resonate with St Albans residents, so that they can feel more connected to the vibrant community sector that is around them. I know from talking to the local CVS that there is a real need for this kind of support (financial as well as pitching coaching) so hopefully we’ll have a good number of projects to choose from. Small charities (and projects) are at the front line in our community, and I want to bring their brilliant work to the attention of people who may be able to support them, if only they knew more.

You’re leading the pledging session at the TFN St Albans event – how are you feeling about doing this?

I alternate between being very scared and very excited! When I’m scared, there’s a little worry that there’ll be complete silence rather than a forest of hands of potential donors, though I’m sure that won’t be the case. And when I’m excited, which is much more of the time, I’m envisaging the groundswell of enthusiasm and support for local projects that will be generated. It’s going to be awesome.

The deadline for nominating projects for the St Albans event is 20th June, so you have a few days left to apply! All the details can be found here

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