Charity founder Pat Shepherd is 100 per cent passionate about giving Talia CarlisleOne Percent Collective charity founder Pat Shepherd is inspiring a new way of giving.
You’ve photographed musicians including Shapeshifter, Fly My Pretties, Trinity Roots and The Black Seeds. Are you musical?
No, but when I was 16 I bought a set of turntables online and six vinyls. I sat on my bedroom floor and learnt how to beatmatch. I made a few recordings for myself, but that was about it. I go to gigs as much as I can, but I prefer to stay behind the camera.
You’re from Aberdeen in Scotland
When I was 9 or 10 I started ski racing. We used to go to France, Italy and Austria for races. Eventually I came to Wanaka to ski and kept coming back. New Zealand is pretty much like Scotland, just on the other side of the world. So it was pretty easy to live in. I lived there for three months, then I came to Wellington to study graphic design for nine months.
Where are your favourite places to ski?
Treble Cone in Wanaka. I was spoilt one year when I spent two weeks skiing in Japan. Ruapehu is definitely not as exciting when you’ve been to Japan. I only ski a few times a year now, but one of my day jobs is doing graphic design for New Zealand Skier magazine.
What was your first graphic design job?
I started my own publication about musicians called Exposure Lifestyles. Being a photographer and freelance graphic designer has introduced me to a lot of people. Through a friend I heard about the charity Spinning Top and volunteered for them as a graphic designer. I’ve been lucky enough to work for Spinning Top for five years, so that was my introduction to the charity world.
What’s Spinning Top and The Good Karma Project?
Spinning Top is the chosen charity of the Body Shop. It works with children in Burma and Thailand. The Body Shop pays our wages so everything we make, through products and donations, can go to schools, particularly on education, nutrition, shelter and play. Through them I set up The Good Karma Project, where I spent six weeks on the Thai/Burmese border. Afterwards held an art and photography exhibition in Wellington, where we raised $10,000. I’ve been to the border nine times and the charity was one of One Percent Collective’s first partner charities, so there’s a link there. I still work for Spinning Top one day a week.
Why did you teach art to children in Burma and Thailand?
When I became co-manager of Spinning Top, I set up The Little Lotus Project. We invited 17 artists to come out to Burma and Thailand with us and work with the kids over two and a half years. A lot of them had never even held a colouring pencil and they loved it. We painted the schools and taught the kids art, which wasn’t in their curriculum. We asked them to draw their dreams – either for their future, the world, or what they had dreamed last night. After that I spent three weeks volunteering in Samoa, then I launched the Little Lotus exhibition and two weeks later I launched One Percent Collective. It was hard work and my body was dying at the end of it all.
What made you start One Percent Collective?
To inspire generosity and simplify regular giving. One per cent is such a small amount for people to donate from their income. But when you collectively add all those one per cents, you get a lot. We’ve raised about $133,000 in the last two years supporting six primary Kiwi-based charities at a time. In addition, we publish The Generosity Journal, about people doing good things, and it inspires people to be a bit more generous and support causes. We also do online interviews and essays for our charities and have collective gatherings, where we bring our tribe of supporters together with a speaker from one of the charities and a creative supporter like Thomas Oliver the musician.
Why is it important to be generous?
If we inspire people to think more about others, people start holding the door open more and saying thank you to people at the checkout and they pass those values on to their kids.
Why do the charities change every 18 months?
It gives them their turn on the charitable swing with us. It’s a chance for us to get them new donors, raise their profile, be part of events and connect with our networks. We want to tell the stories of these six charities and the impact they’re having on the world. We’ve just announced six new charities we’re working with – Inspiring Stories, Garden to Table Trust, Medicine Mondiale, Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative, The Neonatal Trust and Downtown Community Ministry. You can learn about the chosen charities at onepercentcollective.org.
How do you make sure 100 per cent of donations go to the donor’s chosen charity or charities?