It was November 2010 and I was wondering how on earth we fund the start-up of a new charity with hopes to run a model which hadn’t been done before in NZ. I also wanted to make sure that our partner charities got 100% of their donations and we weren’t taking any fees. Here’s the story so far…
Luckily my friend Ben was there in my time of need and got the pen on the whiteboard to break down what an initial year of set-up and operating could look like with a $40k budget. He was pretty fast to ask me if I could get 40 people to fund us at $20 a week for a year, so a total donation of $1,040 over 52 weeks. Let’s just say I didn’t have 40 people up my sleeves, but I certainly wasn’t scared to reach out and ask who would like to be part of what we named the Founding 40.
I started with businesses and people I knew who had a wee bit of money to their name. You guessed it, I had NO luck at all. After weeks of trying and barely any replies, I decided to reach out for help. I asked friends and family if they knew of any people I could approach. It was so inspiring what happened next. They all started saying they would be one of our Founding 40, as many of them said “It would be an honour to be part of starting a generosity movement in NZ.”
After many emails, coffees, beers and a few months of reaching out, I was excited to see that we had reached our 40 and could get One Percent Collective off the ground!
As with many young charities, we thought by the time our year of funding was over that we would have corporate sponsors to support our cause. We were wrong. We were still growing the charity and didn’t have the numbers to attract corporate support. We then had some pretty stressful times with 9 months of no funds for operating costs, so I was excited when one of our Founding 40 members suggested we keep on with the idea of lots of people giving small amounts, the ethos we live by, thus the Future 50 was born. This time it wouldn’t just be for 12 months – just like a flatting situation, if anyone needed to step away and move out, we would give them a massive high five for their support and find another Future 50 member to take their place.
We have been lucky enough to have such incredibly generous humans in our Future 50. Whether it’s through their personal support or through their business, they have allowed us to raise $50k per year to run One Percent Collective and to ensure that we can pass 100% of our donors dollars on to their chosen charities.
In June 2015 there was a phone call to The Biz Dojo, the wonderful co-working space that has generously sponsored us with desk space for almost three years! On the phone was a young fella named Reuben who heard we were having a gathering of our new partner charities that night, could he join us? It was a private event, but I loved the fact that he reached out and asked, how could I say no! Reuben joined us that evening and continued to volunteer one day a week for 6 months, until we realised we had to get this guy onto the crew, so by Feb 2016 we needed to find some funding to cover his role!
Early 2016 saw an incredible amount of support for us bringing Reuben on board, grants from Bishops Community Development Trust and Namaste Foundation helped us get the ‘Head of Digital’ role going and then a wonderful beer with The Original Cocoa Traders saw us gain interest from our first corporate sponsor. They saw a wonderful alignment with the generosity movement and started their monthly support in February. Not long after, there were high fives all around as Trade Me confirmed that after a year of attending our events and learning more about why we do what we do, that they would love to be our second corporate sponsor.
It means the world to us that such an amazing amount of people believe in what we are doing here in Aotearoa. Their support of One Percent Collective allows us to work on inspiring more generosity and simplifying the regular giving experience. As a result, we have inspired hundreds of people to support our partner charities, and we're stoked to say that Collectively we have now hit a quarter of a million dollars raised for those awesome charities. All this was possible through a Collective of individuals and businesses who really want to see a more generous New Zealand, for that, we salute you! Thank you.
Founder & Chief Doer of Things
p.s. We have one more corporate supporter spot available, to find out more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org