Charity Profile Series – Pat Shepherd, One Percent Collective

Olivia Panzic

September 27, 2021

For our second Charity Profile, we spoke to Founder & Chief Doer of Things at One Percent Collective, Pat Shepherd. One of our first Superpartners, One Percent Collective is a charity that encourages donors to give just 1% of their paycheck to make a major difference in the community. Pat shares his inspiration behind joining the not-for profit space as well as his pride in the resilience of the sector during the current Covid lockdowns. We hope you find this as inspiring as we do!



How long have you been working in the not-for-profit sector? 

Over 10 years now.



What made you want to work for a charity?

I was inspired after reading an email from a friend, who was volunteering on the Thai/Burma border, for a small charity based out of Wellington. I’d been to Burma when I was younger and I decided to see how I could use my creative skills to help raise funds for the charity, to support all the kids from Burma that they supported. That spark led to a 6-week volunteer trip to the Thai/Burma border and my life being changed forever!



What’s the biggest misconception about charities or working for a charity that you hear?

I guess it’s the usual story that media push, that too much money gets spent on running the charity and not enough on the cause. Most people just take the media’s word for it and don’t realise that without staff and overheads there would be no charity and the positive impact on people’s lives or the environment wouldn’t happen. The more stable a charity is with their income sources, the better staff they can attract, and this all means they can impact the area they exist to solve, even better, which after all is the end result we are all after.



What’s your favourite thing about working at One Percent Collective?

We have to get very creative with limited marketing budgets. This means a lot of thinking outside the box, so where a large for-profit might pay an agency thousands to create a marketing campaign, we must think how we can make use of every skill we have in-house and within the Collective, to help pull off some fun campaigns, which will attract new donors. This has meant we’ve got to work with such a huge mix of generous people, including musicians, comedians, artists, kids, donors and more.



What exciting initiatives/appeals are coming up for One Percent Collective this year?

We’re working on a website refresh at the moment and alongside that, just looking at how we can make better use of our social media and Google ads. We’re really seeing a lot more donors finding us via online search, which is great, as it shows that people are keen to give and just want to work out the best way to do it.



In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that charities in New Zealand face?

Of course the biggest challenge the world is all facing – COVID. This impacts charities in so many ways. Income sources are at risk, while the need in the community grows. So many of our partner charities have had to cancel fundraising events, they’ve had corporate sponsors cancel funding and just have lots of uncertainty about the future. While this is a huge challenge, I also think if any sector is resilient enough to get through the tough times, it’s the not-for-profit sector!



What gives you hope for the future of charitable giving?

This past 18 months gave me hope, while COVID presented so many challenges and impacted a number of funding streams, we actually saw our regular donors raising the amount they donate and also many new donors joining One Percent Collective to give their 1%. Many of them said that while their income had been impacted a little, they knew there were a lot more people in the community having a much tougher time than them and they wanted to help. We originally thought our donations and number of donors would drop due to COVID, but it’s gone the other way. That gives me great hope for how generous the humans of Aotearoa are – supporting the community so we can all get through this together!


Did you know you can make your donations to One Percent Collective go even further by signing up to Supergenerous and choosing to regift your donation rebate? It’s an awesome way to extend your generosity and help them continue their awesome mahi.
You can also claim and regift your donation rebates for any donation you have made over the past four years to a registered charitable organisation in New Zealand. Every bit counts, especially during times of lockdown.

Sign up now