1% is all it takes

Pat Shepherd
1% is all it takes

How big an impact can 1% of your weekly income really have? That’s around the cost of a beer at the pub or some nice eggs benedict from your local café. You’d barely notice it gone, so it can’t be that much, can it?

I believe its impact can be massive.

I know how generous Kiwis are, with Philanthropy NZ reporting that 58% of total giving in NZ in 2011 was personal, with over 1 million individuals donating approximately $1.42b through committed or ad hoc donations.

And it’s this Kiwi generosity that helped inspire me to begin the One Percent Collective.

The committed donations that Kiwis make to charities each year carry massive changes to people’s lives, and One Percent’s purpose is to ensure donations flow regularly and simply to small charities, so they can spend more time working on impact and less time on marketing and fundraising.


The inspiration

The seeds for One Percent were planted when I found myself standing on a rubbish dump on the Thai/Burma border five years ago. The experience inspired me to launch my first volunteering/fund-raising project, named The Good Karma Project, working with Burmese child refugees.

This experience working with children’s charities led to the realisation that there was a place for something like One Percent Collective in the world, as I saw first-hand how cold hard cash coming in regularly has a big impact for charities competing for a shrinking pool of grants funding and the attention of the public.


Spreading the word

When starting One Percent, I saw how many charities struggle with marketing, so made that an important part of the organisation’s strengths.

With events, music, inspiring interviews, fresh and edgy videos, and social media campaigns, One Percent is able to get the attention of the desirable 18-40 year old demographic better than ever. These are the people our research told us wanted to give, and One Percent helps make giving as painless as possible.

We’ve also been able to inspire some businesses to set up payroll giving, another easy way to make regular giving part of people’s lives.


How it works

One Percent Collective partners with 6 small to medium sized NZ charities for 18 month periods, anyone and everyone can choose to give 1% of their weekly income through one simple AP or credit card donation. Donors sign up through the website, pick the charities they want to donate to and then 100% of the donations get passed on to the donor’s chosen charities. Our core costs are covered by the generosity of our Future 50 donors.


A little can mean a lot

To date our donors have helped raise almost $80,000 in total for our partner charities which has been able to support thousands of vulnerable children, provide meals to those in need, support environmental projects and create a ripple effect in generosity that goes on to benefit all New Zealanders.
1% may not be a lot to you, but it can mean the world to somebody else. Thank you.


Can 1% really make a difference?

Based on figures from Philanthropy NZ’s 2011 report:

  • Increasing personal giving to 1% of GDP would be equivalent to injecting $426.5 million into the charitable sector. In 2011 it sat at 0.78%.
  • Increasing business giving to 1% of GDP would be equivalent to injecting $1.82 billion into the charitable sector. In 2011 it sat at 0.08%.
  • Based on total working age population between 20–35 years old of 897,900 for 2012, 1% of total income in this bracket represents over $5.8 million dollars to the sector.

Pat Shepherd is a freelance photographer and designer, creator of Exposure Lifestyles, and the founder and director of One Percent Collective.

Pat loves making things better. He’s been doing that for years by publishing Exposure Lifestyles and more recently with his Good Karma Project and Little Lotus Project trips to Thailand to teach refugee children from Burma the joy of art and photography.

He currently co-manages the charity SpinningTop. In 2011 he turned his lens on his own charity project and realised there was a place for One Percent Collective in the world.

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