Thank you for coming to our website to find out more about ONE. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about the organization, which we hope you will find of interest.

What is ONE?

ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity.

We believe the fight against poverty isn’t about charity, but about justice and equality.

Whether lobbying political leaders in world capitals or running cutting-edge grassroots campaigns, ONE pressures governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empowers citizens to hold their governments to account.

ONE’s supporters, together with other non-profit partners, have played an important role in persuading governments to support effective programs and policies that are making a measurable difference in fighting extreme poverty and disease.

ONE is a campaigning organization and does not raise funds directly for schools, hospitals and the like, but rather advocates for government programs which improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding.

Who are ONE supporters?

ONE is a global movement of millions of people from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum. They’re artists and activists, faith and business leaders, students and scientists. They take action day in, day out — organising, mobilising, educating, and advocating so that people will have the chance not just to survive, but to thrive.

ONE has always said: “We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” ONE supporters use their voices – and their political clout – to persuade their government representatives to support effective programs that spur development and are making a real, measurable difference in the fight against extreme poverty and disease.

How is ONE governed?

ONE is governed by a Board of Directors made up of individuals with extensive experience in advocacy and activism, policy, politics and business. The Board oversees ONE’s work and helps to ensure ONE is making progress against its mission. The full Board meets biannually while the Board’s committees meet more regularly, and as needed. The committees include: Program, Executive, Development, Nominating and Membership, Audit and (RED). ONE’s leadership team, under the direction of CEO Gayle E Smith, guides and implements ONE’s strategy.

What is ONE’s Africa Policy Advisory Board?

ONE’s Africa Policy Advisory Board (APAB), including leading thinkers from a diverse cross-section of civil society, academia, the private sector and media, provides strategic counsel and advice to ONE’s leadership on the latest trends and issues affecting Africa. ONE regularly relies on this advice to inform and adapt its campaigns and policies not only in Africa, but across the global organization.

How is ONE legally structured?

ONE is made up of two legally distinct tax-exempt organizations that have been incorporated in the District of Columbia under US law: The ONE Campaign, which is recognised as a public charity under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and which educates the public and raises awareness about extreme poverty around the globe and the progress being made against it through life-saving programs; and ONE Action, which is recognised under Section 501(c)4 of Internal Revenue Code and which presses lawmakers to support smart, effective policies and programs which are saving lives and helping those living in the world’s poorest countries lift themselves out of poverty.

(RED) is a division of The ONE Campaign, which is recognised under Section 501(c)3.

How is ONE funded?

ONE is funded by a combination of foundations, individual philanthropists and corporations dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease. We do not solicit funds from the general public or receive government funding.

Can I donate to ONE?

ONE does not solicit funding from the general public or receive government funding. If you want to make a financial contribution to help fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, we encourage you to consider one of our partner organizations, the vast majority of which are providing direct services on the ground in Africa and around the world.

If you are a foundation, individual philanthropist or corporation and are interested in opportunities to invest in our advocacy and campaigning work, please contact us.

How do I apply for a grant from ONE?

ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not provide aid directly to individuals, governments or organizations. The single exception is our ONE Africa Award, which is given annually to an African civil society organization that demonstrates commitment and success in advocacy to promote the attainment of one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals. The award is generously funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

What does ONE do if it doesn’t give grants or work on the ground in Africa?

ONE achieves change through education and advocacy that results in increased government support for effective development policies and programs that are saving millions of lives in the world’s poorest countries. While a traditional charity might raise money from the public to directly build an AIDS clinic in Africa, ONE lobbies government leaders to fund effective government programs, such as PEPFAR and The Global Fund, which are themselves funding on-the-ground work. Governments are actually the biggest source of funding for many anti-poverty and global health programs, delivering tens of billions of dollars to efforts each year, but those funds are always at risk as government budgets tighten or priorities change. ONE and its supporters help to increase awareness of the impact of these programs and when they are at risk of being cut, we fight for their continued funding.

In recent years, ONE’s supporters, together with other non-profit partners, have played an important role in persuading governments to support effective programs and policies that are making a measurable difference in fighting extreme poverty and disease. These advocacy efforts have helped more than 10.7 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa today have access to lifesaving AIDS medication, up from only 52,000 in 2002. Malaria deaths have been cut by 66% in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000, and 60 million more children across sub-Saharan Africa are now going to primary school compared to 2000.

In Africa, ONE works in close partnership with government and local leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists to support sustainable development and economic growth. We support efforts that demand greater democracy, accountability, and transparency because we believe good governance and an active civil society are essential to development.

What issues does ONE work on?

ONE works closely with African activists and policymakers as they invest in poverty-fighting priorities, monitor the use of aid, fight corruption, help build civil society and spur economic development. We campaign to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, bring energy access, and demand greater transparency in the extraction of resources in developing countries and in poverty-fighting programs.

What is (RED)?

ONE’s sister organization, (RED), was founded in 2006 to turn companies into a cavalry to fight the AIDS pandemic. Today, that cavalry is also fighting the urgent threat of COVID and its devastating impact on the world’s most vulnerable communities, answering the need for a truly global response.

(RED) partners with the most iconic brands and people to create (RED) products and experiences—all of which raise money for the Global Fund, one of the world’s largest funders of global health. (RED) Partners include: Amazon, Apple, Balmain, Bank of America, Beats by  Dre, Buffalo Games, Calm, Claro, Durex, eos, Girl Skateboards, Louis Vuitton, Mavin Records, Montblanc, NTWRK, Primark, Salesforce, Starbucks, Telcel, Therabody, TRUFF, U-Mask and Vespa. (RED) supporters include: Merck and Roche.

To date, (RED) has generated nearly $700 million for the Global Fund, helping more than 245 million people. The money raised by (RED)’s partners and campaigns goes directly to strengthen health systems and support life-saving programs in the communities where pandemics hit hardest.

What is Bono’s involvement with ONE and (RED)?

Bono co-founded both ONE and (RED) with Bobby Shriver and other activists and serves on ONE’s Board of Directors. He plays an active role as an advisor and advocate for both ONE and (RED).

What was DATA and how does it relate to ONE?

DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) was a global advocacy organization co-founded in 2002 by Bono, Bobby Shriver and activists Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew on the heels of their work in the Jubilee 2000 “Drop the Debt” coalition. Jubilee 2000 was a global alliance of church groups, international justice campaigners and debt policy specialists campaigning for the cancellation of the unpayable debts of the poorest countries to celebrate the year 2000.

DATA proposed the data deal as reflection of Goal 8 of the newly agreed Millennium Development Goals: campaign for debt relief, increased and improved aid especially to fight emergencies like AIDS, and trade reform for developing countries, in return for the leadership of these countries offering their citizens democracy, accountability and transparency. DATA also stood for hard-headed evidence and data-based policies.

In 2004, DATA and dozens of other NGOs helped to create ONE: The Campaign To Make Poverty History, an advocacy and campaigning organization dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease. In the lead up to the Gleneagles G8 Summit in July 2005, Bono, Richard Curtis, DATA and others helped to organise the Live 8 concerts to put pressure on the G8 to endorse the findings of the Commission for Africa, which largely reflected the data deal approach and made a commitment to fighting extreme poverty in Africa.

In early 2008, DATA and ONE combined operations under the name ONE.

Where does ONE get its name from?

Contrary to popular belief, ONE is not named after the song of the same name by the band U2, of which ONE’s co-founder Bono is a member.

The name was inspired by the belief that one voice, coming together with many others – the political left and right, business leaders, activists, faith leaders and students – can change the world for the better. The name was also influenced by ONE’s first US campaign in 2004, which called on the US government to allocate an additional 1% of its budget towards the fight against extreme poverty.

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