One Percent Collective - Reuben's journey

One Percent CollectiveWe're extremely grateful to all those who provide their ideas, time, support and donations to The Neonatal Trust. 

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 Neonatal Trust . . .  

Supporter profile, Reuben Harcourt.

Tell us about your journey before starting at One Percent Collective?

My journey here is a funny one. Back in 2015 I arrived home from travelling and a friend introduced me to Pat (One Percent’s ‘Chief Doer of Things’). I’d had a bit of a nuts travel experience where 3 weeks into my time in Nepal, the Anzac Day earthquakes hit and I ended up sleeping rough with the locals and survivors in my little 

Reuben in Nepal

village. Looking back that moment’s pretty much defined the direction I chose to go in – for the next 3 weeks I refused to get on a plane out and started a wee fundraiser where I would travel out to rural villages alongside my new best mate Hari, a local Nepali man with a motorbike and the biggest heart in the world, and take photos and video footage to drive a call for help online. Friends and family from home would send money to help and we’d go out on aid missions together taking photos and writing articles of what the generous people back home had just funded. That was us day and night until I came home looking so gaunt I scared my Mum, and had my first meal that wasn’t rice in a very long time! 

That whole thing definitely showed me how much people wanted to help – the donations and support were incredible – and how much they valued that they were getting truly connected with what their donations were doing. So it was a pretty exciting moment when I met Pat and saw that this One Percent Collective thing was amazing when it came to charity storytelling, passing on 100% of donations, and all the little things that can make donating a really awesome experience. So I pretty much claimed Pat as my mentor and asked "if you were going to hire someone here, what skills would you want them to have?” He gave me a bunch, I set about learning them, started volunteering my time here and eventually he secured the funding to offer me a role!

What do you know now, that you wished you knew back at the start of the One Percent Collective journey?

I wish I knew how much everyone else was winging it too. I’ve always been pretty hard on myself wanting to know everything about something before I’m confident to speak about it, and this being my first job I really really cared about, I got pretty crazy anxious and stayed up all night reading and practicing writing, design, marketing funnels, public speaking and the like and drove myself into the ground. Turns out a lot of the time the people in these ‘high-up’ positions are winging it just as much as you and it’s all ok, everyone wants you to succeed. Especially in the world of charity – most people we work with love the cause, want to help, and want the best – it’s not really a competitive place. 

I also wish I knew basic html and css (coding languages) being in a digital role, as with a tiny bit of training now I can design stuff online in 5 minutes that would have taken me a meeting with a friendly person and an hour hammering my head on my desk before, such a lifesaver.

Mixing with locals in Nepal

If such a thing as a ‘typical week’ existed, what would be on your list of things to do?

Hah! A typical week is all over the place! We publish 3-4 stories from the partner charities a month to keep donors in the loop.  So depending on where in the month we are, it could be anything from managing wonderful volunteer writers and photographers, frantically editing to meet deadlines, designing and loading the content into our website or trying to push these ‘good news’ stories in the media to reach new audiences that might be interested in donating. 

But outside of the stories, it might be anything from helping Pat out with the next issue of The Generosity Journal planning next steps for our tech systems, posting on Facebook, wrangling kind volunteers where there is a need amongst the partner charities, welcoming new donors onboard and keeping in touch with them on the email as so many end up becoming friends – we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a community of geunuinely kind and generous people all the time!

What’s the best thing about your job?

Hands down the best thing is that I get to work alongside people I love. So many of my mates hate their jobs, hate their boss, and feel like work is a battle where every client or customer is out to get them from the get-go. That must suck. I’m so thankful that I get to work with a boss who I genuinely think is the best human being I’ve ever met, and with people from these partner charities who are inspired and passionate about great stuff.

Outside of One Percent Collective, what keeps you busy

Outside of One Percent I’m usually obsessing over the pottery wheel. I’ve been at it for coming up on a year and only just starting to get a hang of it with making nice mugs!  We've got a wheel in the garage so that's me in free time.

What does the future of One Percent Collective look like? What’s the vision?

The dream is to have everyone in NZ giving 1% of their income to the causes they care about. I was smitten as soon as I heard about it, it’s such a great way for people to live their values. I feel it shares a lot of the same appeal that the social enterprise and conscious capitalism movements do, in how it gives people a way to vote with their dollar for the type of world they want to live in. Whether that’s an NZ free of poverty, with comprehensive support networks for all, being an environmental leader or whatever else that people might really want, here’s an easy practical way to make that a reality. 

In the meantime though, the future for us looks like working closer and closer with our awesome partner charities, who we’re stoked to count the wonderful Neonatal Trust in the ranks of, delivering stronger stories with support from great writers, video people and photographers who donate 1% of their skills, and kicking off a big campaign in November to supercharge the movement!!! Look out for that one, exciting times!

large_OPC image - Reuben.jpg



Did you know there are currently over 100 donors contributing to The Neonatal Trust via One Percent Collective?! 
It is a fantasic organisation and one which we are truly privileged to be involved with. Learn more about them here:  A HUGE thanks to all the One Percent Collective Members, Staff, Supporters and Board - plus all those generous organisations and people who support their great events, information sharing, and all they do!

The following graphics articulate the benefits of the One Percent Collective model:





Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners