At the beginning of June I went to a gig at the Zanzibar club in Liverpool. It was a benefit concert that my friend Alan O’Hare was playing at for a charity/community group called Be One Percent. The principal is simple. A bunch of people got together and decided to give 1 per cent of their monthly salary which is then given to 5 partner charitable organisations. They work with the poorest, most under privileged people in the world trying to alleviate poverty and suffering by working directly with the people who need it most… there are very few overheads, and all the partner charities are chosen for their low running costs – all under 10%.
The idea of 1% seemed like a brilliant thing to me. I’m currently unemployed so my 1% is relatively little, but someone earning a good salary will still be donating 1% but it will be much more than I donate. But we’re still giving 1%. It’s a levelling thing – I know when I start earning again my 1% will increase but now I’m giving what I can and that is just as important.
I already sponsor a child in Uganda through an organisation called Abaana, so I have first hand experience of the great work that small charities, without the high-profile and associated high running costs, can do. It’s vital that these small groups are not overlooked because the big guys have huge marketing budgets (which are generally funded in part from monthly donations).
There are 92 members of Be One Percent at the moment and over the last 12 months they have raised over £17,000. I’m hugely proud to be among the newest members of this group and I will be blogging about this regularly. A way of raising the profile without an advertising budget I guess. Please share these posts and help me spread the word.
In May those 92 people raised over £3,000 – enough for over 700 families in rural Kenya to receive community healthcare. Community healthcare is vital in areas where mothers are unable to travel to get the medicine and health care they desperately need to help combat the high numbers of infant mortality and disability – the health care workers are able to come to them because of the fundraising done by groups like Be One Percent.
So please think about it. 1%. I can’t give you an example of what this represents – your 1% and mine are totally different. But it’s only 1%. Work out what your 1% is and think about what that might mean to a family living in poverty somewhere in the world.
Then Be One Percent.