A consistent theme we encounter in our work is the very special people who choose to get involved. From those who give their time and support to the care of neonatal babies, the families themselves who go above and beyond for others, and the social profit space in general.
We’re keen to highlight some of these wonderful people with a regular interview piece. Learn more about the wonderful Pat Shepherd who set up One Percent Collective, who are all about inspiring people to pledge 1% of their income to regularly support the causes they care about, and who are supporting The Little Miracles Trust . . .
Supporter profile, Pat Shepherd.
1. Tell us about your journey before starting One Percent Collective
I’m originally from Scotland and started travelling straight after two years of studying photography. After a year in OZ I was lucky enough to turn up on the fine shores of New Zealand. I continued with photography and also studied graphic design in Wellington after a few years working on the ski slopes in Wanaka. After many years of music photography and design, my life changed when I volunteered with migrant and refugee kids on the Thai/Burma border, this was all moving me towards the world of generosity and how I could use my creative skills to help people.
2. How did you come up with the idea of One Percent Collective?
After one of my trips to Thailand with the charity SpinningTop, I read the book ‘The life you can save’ by Peter Singer. It talked about the 5% wealthiest people in the world giving 5% of their wealth. I thought why not start with people at least doing 1%, as there are so many people who do nothing to support causes they care about. I’m so grateful that book made it into my life and I’m been lucky enough to tell that to Peter Singer when I met him in Melbourne last year.
3. What do you know now, that you wished you knew back at the start of the One Percent Collective journey?
I guess trying things in the easiest and most cost effective way is the best way to test an idea. We started off wanting to make everything perfect and thus it meant it took way longer than we thought and cost more than we thought. I wish I knew the power of cloud based apps like Squarespace, Google Docs, Zapier and all those things that allow a tiny team to be in charge of a big idea!
4. If such a thing as a ‘typical week’ existed, what would be on your list of things to do?
Ha, def no typical week for me. On any one day I might be working on our website, our strategy, new comms campaigns, emails to donors and partner charities, meeting with supporters and constantly making sure that I am doing things that push our ideas and our movement forward.
5. What’s the best thing about your job?
I always tell people that the greatest thing is that I get to work with people who truly give a shit about our planet and our communities. I’m so lucky that I get to be surrounded by these wonderful people, they give me a wonderful sense of optimism about the changes that we can make in the world.
6. Outside of One Percent Collective, what keeps you busy?
I love learning and I love staying active, so geeking up on design, coding, photography and getting out on the mountain bike, getting my zen on through yoga or getting some time on the skis all make me so happy. I of course make sure I can spend good time with my girlfriend and my mates as anyone working on a startup or a small organisation will know that it can consume all your time!
7. What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Well, most people think I’m Irish with the name Patrick, I’ve actually never been to Ireland, one day I’ll def need to get over there as we love the Irish!
8. What does the future of One Percent Collective look like? What’s the vision?
We really see challenges in the future for charities connecting with their donors and for how they gain new donors. The user experience for giving hasn’t evolved much over time and I feel that now we are seeing more companies, charities and individuals starting to do things differently. People want meaning in their jobs and they want to support their communities, in order to do that we need to make it easier to give and we need to inspire people to give at least 1% of their income to causes they care about. We’d love the 1% ethos to spread further so that generations are growing up inspired to support great causes, meaning those causes can get on with solving some of the challenges we are facing in society. Imagine if giving 1% of your income was the norm? What a wonderful world that would be!
To learn more about the Giving Evolution that Pat has created, head to
Pat has spoken about generosity, creativity and philanthropy at a number of
businesses, events, and festivals, including Xero, Powershop, Festival For The Future,
Provoke, Icebreaker, The Body Shop, NZ Post, Philanthropy NZ and more.
If you’d like Pat to speak at your event or business, you can reach him here.