Sue Lewis talks to Pat Shepherd, founder of not-for-profit Kiwi charity One Percent Collective, about the power of investing in others.
Give a little, gain a lot
The benefits of giving are well known. Investing in others, be that through time, skills or financial donations, can bring a sense of purpose, fulfilment and connection. This in turn can increase personal happiness and well-being.
Pat Shepherd believes our life experiences can influence our investment choices. After working with Burmese migrant and refugee children – many of whom had lived on a rubbish dump and sold plastic to recyclers – he started the One Percent Collective.
Shepherd wanted to ignite change and “spark people to care more for others not as lucky in life as themselves.” His vision was to see New Zealanders giving to other New Zealanders, and he wanted to inspire people to give one per cent of their income to Kiwi charities. Whether that was a single dollar or $500, collectively it all adds up. Shepherd says: “The positive change it has on those who give and the ripple effect it inspires, mean that every dollar is worth it.”
The changing tide
Shepherd believes there has been a shift towards philanthropic investment. This change has been driven by people becoming more aware of issues in their communities and realising their collective investment can make a difference.
Shepherd has seen a significant change in the business world, with employers often being asked by potential employees about “the work the business does for the community.” This was rarely a consideration in the past.
“Younger generations want to create change now,” he says. “They see that it’s easy to take action, whether through donations of money, time, products or in a number of other ways.” He also sees the change being driven by individuals within large organisations, believing in and championing causes.
From bouncing babies to greener gardens
One Percent Collective has brought “colour and creativity” to the giving evolution in New Zealand. More than 200 people have raised close to $200,000 so far. Whether people choose to donate and invest as an individual or gift ‘Karma Cards’ that enable receivers to give too, the outcome is positive. Giving means better healthcare, more “bouncing babies and supported New Zealanders, and greener gardens in schools.” And, of course, all the good karma that comes with it…