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One percent of your pay check could help 14 NZ charities

Wellington based charity One Percent Collective, which invites Kiwis to donate one percent of their pay check, has just hit a $2 million milestone thanks to its unique approach.  

One hundred percent of the money donated is forwarded on to the collective’s 14 charities, which include Sustainable Coastlines, Inspiring Stories, The Neonatal Trust, Fair Food, Mixit, ADC Microfinance, Garden to Table, Bellyful, Kaibosh, Upside Downs, DCM, Spinning Top, Take my Hands and Nga Rangitahi Toa. 

Founder Pat Shepherd says his idea for the collective came after his volunteering work on the Thai//Burma border through Kiwi based charity SpinningTop.

“I was raising funds to support migrant and refugee children on the border and it was after this volunteering trip that I read a book which inspired the idea of small giving on a regular basis.”

One Percent Collective currently has 650 donors who give on a regular basis, with $460k raised in the last financial year and now well over a half a million expected at the end of the next financial year.  

Shepherd says reaching the $2 million milestone is an amazing achievement, keeping in mind the average donation is around $12 a week.

“This funding means our one percenters are impacting thousands of lives in Aotearoa and beyond each and every month. The response from donors and supporters has been wonderful.

“We have a huge focus on the donor experience, we don’t hassle donors for more money, we simply share impact stories and updates on the amazing impact our One Percent’s are having.”

One Percent Collective founder, Pat Shepherd

With the impact of Covid-19, it was expected that the Collective would see a decrease in donations. To their surprise, One Percent actually received new donors and around 30 of the current donors began doubling their donation amounts.

“We’ve discovered a lot of people who are in a privileged position with secure and steady jobs have made a decision to increase their giving because they realise they are more fortunate than others. They are keen to contribute which is really humbling,”  

One Percent Collective donor Dallas, who signed up in April, says she wanted to join immediately but didn’t think she was financially in the best place to give.

“Since everything surrounding Covid-19 has unfolded I have taken stock of my privileges: I’m still employed, I still have a steady income, I have a safe place to live, can afford to eat, and am not struggling with health complications that might make me vulnerable to Covid-19.

“Always, but especially in a time where so many people do not have these things, I have a responsibility to do more than nothing.” 

With all the chairities in New Zealand, One Percent chose their charities based on a number of reasons. Often they are low profile and need funding to survive, have either a local, national or overseas focus and they are a real mix of different sectors.  

The Neonatal Trust

Several of One Percent’s charities have been swamped since the pandemic, particularly food rescue charity Kaibosh which was flat out delivering record numbers of food parcels to families and people facing hardship. 

“We are so grateful for One Percent Collective and their amazing donors who are a key part in enabling us to deliver our important service,” says Kaibosh general manager Matt Dagger.

“Over the past eight years they have donated $231,200 to our organisation or $60,000 every year which equates to around 96,000 meals with of food.”

In order to attract new donors, One Percent Collective is set to launch its Worst Refer-A-Friend campaign ever. Supported by well known Kiwis like Dai Henwood, Paul Ego, Justine Smith and more, the campaign is straight to the point, explaining that no one benefits from the donations, except the charities.

“Many of our new donors are inspired to join after talking to friends, so we wondered how we could support the idea of referrals more,” says Shepherd.

“As a charity, we can’t follow the usual for-profit model of offering financial incentives or giveaways, so we thought what if we go the total opposite and offer absolutely nothing. You get nothing, your friend gets nothing, the charities get everything!”

The team at One Percent Collective have also just launched a Business Giving Page which they will be focusing on more in the new year. Shepherd says while many businesses have had a tough year, there are also many going strong.

“We’re really wanting to ramp up more support of the community. Our platform makes it super simple for businesses to support multiple causes with one regular donation.”

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