The One Percent Club encourages people to annually contribute at least 1 percent of net worth or 5 percent of income—whichever is greater—to the causes of their choice.
What has been your main focus on the board?
When I joined the board in 1999, I thought there were a lot of people in their 20s and 30s that the club was missing because it seemed like the target demographic was people of means. What I’ve worked to do is try and be more inclusive of the people that are in my generation (I’m 43) and get them started sooner. Where it hit home for me was giving 5 percent of income. Anybody can do that, whether you’re making $30,000 a year or $300,000 a year. My whole push was to engage people during their earning years so when they get to the point where they have a lot of discretionary income, they’ll have a philanthropic strategy established.
What does being a member involve?
The word “club” intimidates people, but this is a really painless organization. We don’t ask for financial disclosure, we don’t ask that you attend meetings, and there are no dues. It’s a movement, a state of mind, and a commitment to yourself to give a certain amount. It’s basically positive peer pressure and peer awareness. It’s really a lending of your name to show that you support charitable giving.
What have you learned about philanthropy from your involvement in the One Percent Club?
I learned how to focus my charitable giving. I can’t support everything, but you have a hard time saying no. It’s awkward. That’s when I said, I’m going to focus on children because that’s where I saw the greatest return on investment society-wise. You have to at some point be able to say, “I have a strategy, and this is my focus. Thank you very much for the invitation, but I’m going to stick with what my focus is.”
To learn more, visit onepercentclub.org.