ONE does not fundraise from the general public, and we do not receive any government funding. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs.
With the exception of our annual ONE Africa Award, which is given to an effective grassroots organisation in Africa, ONE does not directly fund charity projects in developing countries, work which is done well by other NGOs.
ONE’s staff of policy experts, media professionals, and campaigners working in 7 countries around the globe carry out ONE’s work by:
Educating people, including our 3 million plus members, about the crisis of extreme poverty and the solutions,
Encouraging the media to cover these issues
Working with leaders and activists in Africa and the west to address structural issues, like trade, debt relief, investment and good governance, that are essential for countries to lift themselves out of poverty, and
Pressing political leaders in the US, UK, Germany, Brussels, France and other countries around the world to pass and fund smart policies and programs that help lift people out of poverty.
ONE’s staff is the principle tool through which it fulfills these goals. Reports that have questioned why ONE spends a large percentage of our budget on staff fail to understand how ONE works. ONE’s largest funder, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, put out this statement today to clarify this point:
“ONE is not a fundraising group but an important advocacy organisation whose engagement of its two million supporters has helped to improve the lives of some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people,” said Alex Reid, Head of Media, Europe, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
ONE has been a relentless advocate and we are proud of the role we and our members have played in successfully fighting for smart, effective programs and policies that have saved lives and improved futures in poor countries.
As a result of those programs, today more than 4 million Africans have access to life-saving AIDS medication, up from only 50,000 people in 2002. Malaria deaths have been cut in half in countries across Africa in less than 2 years. As other examples of our work, ONE helped to successfully press for debt relief for Haiti after the devastating earthquake there earlier this year and played an important role in securing new US legislation requiring better transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries – an important step to ending backhanded deals between energy companies and corrupt politicians that hurt people in poor countries.
“In the fight to end injustice and poverty, there are those who assist people in need and those who speak for the voiceless. Both are needed if we are to succeed. ONE is an important voice for the poor and those experiencing injustice. Through ONE’s relentless efforts, world leaders are consistently held to account for their commitments and promises, including those made to the Global Fund, which saves 4,000 lives a day through the prevention and treatment of AIDS, TB, and malaria. The Global Fund is deeply grateful to Bono and ONE for all their work and support” said Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.