By DEBORAH GRACE HADY.

The world today has a very long list of issues and challenges.

As much as we want to make a difference, the reality is we can’t all find a cure for cancer, or fly into a war zone and make a speech that will inspire a ceasefire, or suddenly feed all the starving children in the world. We all want to help, to donate, but we aren’t all millionaires. Now, thanks to 100Percent’s innovative way of fundraising, university students can use their talents and time to transform communities around the world.

100Percent is a charity that’s empowering students to fight issues of social injustice.

Here’s how it works. A student who needs extra help in a certain subject can hire a tutor, and the tutoring fee goes into various World Vision projects. These tutors teach not only to help out their fellow peers, but to raise money for a cause close to their hearts.

Both the tutors and the students are changing lives while sharing knowledge.

A biology tutorial can help feed the malnourished children in Malawi, and a violin lesson can help the child labour situation in Bangladesh. It’s a win win situation. How amazing is that?

We’ve always been told that knowledge is power. 100Percent recognizes this and puts the idea to good use. Students don’t have to wait until they graduate to change the world.100Percent lets them use what they have now to raise money in a unique way, a way which benefits all the parties involved.

They’ve raised more than $25,000, proving that you don’t have to be rich to change the world.

100percent’s name comes from their 100 percent model, where all the money raised from the tutoring sessions goes towards the causes. How do they do this? With the help of some more amazing people and organisations, like Tax Management NZ. World Vision New Zealand is also an official partner.

So, the next time you’re in need of a tutor, be sure to check out 100Percent. Not only will you learn from smart and selfless tutors, you’re also helping to bring about social change.

I was lucky enough to talk to the beautiful brains behind 100Percent, Crystal Diong.

 

Where did the idea come from?

I wanted to start a fundraising project that was more efficient than the traditional approaches I had been a part of in the past. It dawned upon me one day that I would never organise a sausage sizzle to support myself, so why should this be the way we support the poorest of the poor?

My class was filled with smart and talented students and I realised that if we harnessed their time and talent, we could make a significant impact around the world, while helping those around us with their studies. The maths adds up: If 1,600 people volunteered just 1 hour a week, we could raise over a million dollars in less than a year.

 

To you, what’s the best thing about 100Percent?

It is efficient fundraising that allows a volunteer to make an impact locally and globally.

 

Why is the 100Percent model so important?

What are we trying to achieve? Let’s empower people to raise as much funds as possible for causes they care about by providing much-needed services to their local community. By channeling 100% of what our volunteers raise, we are helping them do this as efficiently as possible. Everyone who signs up with 100Percent is so generous in donating their time and talent to contribute to a global solution. Who are we, as an organisation, to take a certain percentage of that away? We’re so committed (100% committed!) to this model that we’ve named ourselves after it – so this is a promise that we will never break!

 

Any plans to expand 100Percent into services beyond tutoring? (Perhaps babysitting, gardening, etc…)

Why not? The concept behind 100Percent is time and talent for social change. Once the tutoring takes off in all the major centres around NZ, there is no reason why we can’t open up our platform to becoming a true market place for volunteerism.

 

Any lessons learned from the whole experience?

So many it’s hard to count! Here are three:

  1. Never underestimate the power of a passionate volunteer.
  2. Who you work most closely with will inevitably influence the direction and ‘feel’ of your organisation – so choose them carefully.
  3. Good websites are hard to build – when you find good techies, hug them and never let go

 

What has been your favourite moment so far with 100Percent?

We’ve certainly had a few big moments but I think it’s the little things that make me smile the most. I remember in 2013, when 100Percent was just a baby, I gave a talk to the second and third year medical students about this idea and that night, so many people signed up that I ended up staying up all night writing and uploading their profiles onto our website. Those very people ended up raising around $10,000 in a few months to help build a solar powered irrigation system to help support a sustainable vegetable garden for the Yangasso community in Mali. This is so beautiful.

 

Have you ever had – or been – a tutor?

I’ve done a bit of informal tutoring throughout high school but I started tutoring as a part time job in my second year at university. That’s when I realised how effective tutoring could be as a fundraising tool. I now teach piano as a tutor for 100Percent.

 

Any advice to other passionate world-changers out there?

Ideas alone do not change the world, you need to act on them. If it were easy, it would probably already have been done, so be prepared for some hard work, late nights, and an incredibly rewarding journey.

 

Want to tutor or be tutored? Find out more here: http://100percent.org.nz/

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