Redmond Mullin, who played a huge part in shaping fundraising as we know it today, has died.
Like many fundraisers, Mullin originally worked in the advertising world, leaving J Walter Thompson to become a director of the Charities Aid Foundation. From there he set up his own consultancy which he ran with clients such as Giles Pegram at the NSPCC.
Pegram describes Redmond as “one of the greatest fundraisers of his generation” and remembers him as someone with a fierce intellect and the “most rigorous person for doing things the right way”.
Mullin worked with the NSPCC to devise its centenary campaign – which raised a then record breaking £15m – in the early 80s and the Full Stop campaign in the late 90s, which remains the most successful campaign in the UK, raising more than £250m.
Mullin was intellectual, charming, argumentative and inspiring. He believed fervently that fundraisers should not settle for second best, but should hold out for the very best they could because that would always bring better results. Pegram says this is an important part of his influence that fundraisers who worked with him will have carried his high standards, and his insistence on doing things the right way with them throughout their careers.
His influence should not be underestimated in fundraising today. He was at the forefront of everything in fundraising, particularly capital appeals. But he also believed passionately that fundraising was a profession and he was one of a handful of people who worked tirelessly to set up the Institute of Fundraising (then the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers). His work for the IoF included devising the first training programme for fundraisers and, with Pegram, organising the first National Convention.
Pegram estimates that Mullin probably raised over £1bn during his long career, and says that with both his work as a fundraiser and his commitment to professionalising fundraising as a career, he “really made a difference to the way fundraising is seen today”.
Mark Astarita, chair of the IoF, said: “Redmond demonstrated to fundraisers, legislators and members of the public the need for a professional body to represent the needs of our profession. Without the commitment and efforts of Redmond and his colleagues, the Institute would not be the well-regarded body it is today.”
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