Would you give 0.7% of your income to change the world?

TORONTO – A new global initiative is encouraging people to donate 0.7 per cent of their income or time in hopes of making the world “a better place.”

“Everyone deserves to have access to basic human essentials, like clean water, education and basic healthcare,” said Paul Calway, one of the collaborators of the Give 0.7% project.

Launched Thursday, the campaign aims to bolster government efforts by encouraging businesses, celebrities and citizens to contribute to global aid budgets by donating to charities such as UNICEF and Oxfam.

“The recent Ebola outbreak is a good example of why foreign aid is important,” said Calway.  “Without help and resources, the disease would be much more difficult to contain and would then in turn pose a greater threat to the rest of the world.”

So how much does 0.7 per cent of a monthly income amount to? If you earn $2,800 per month after taxes, for example, you could contribute about $0.64 a day or just under $20 a month. How much would 0.7 per cent of your income cost? Find out here.

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Why 0.7?

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The notion behind 0.7 per cent is from an official United Nations target that dates back to 1970. The idea was that every year, western governments would give 0.7 of their wealth to developing countries in hopes of putting an end to extreme poverty and boost economic growth.

In 2013, a total of $131.2 billion was committed to aid by the world’s richest nations, amounting to just 0.29 per cent of their national wealth.

Last year, the United Kingdom became the first G7 country to contribute 0.7 percent of its national income in aid.

“We understand that if we invest in countries before they get broken, we might not end up spending so much on dealing with the problems, whether that’s mass migration [or] new threats to national security,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.

Campaign collaborators say it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, “all it takes is 0.7 per cent to build a fairer, safer, more sustainable world for us all.”

“You may not even notice that it’s gone, but the impact it could have on the world is mind blowing.”

Calway said that while he understands not everyone can afford to give 0.7 per cent of their income to charity, he hopes that a film that lasts for 0.7 per cent of the day—or just 10 minutes and five seconds—will have a big impact as people share it online.

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Give 0.7% of your day

Calway says that while he understands that not everyone can afford to give 0.7% of their income to charity, he hopes that a film that lasts for 0.7 per cent of the day—or just 10 minutes and five seconds—will have a big impact as people share it online (you can watch it above).

“While watching a video may not change the world, if the public responds positively and the issues of poverty are raised, it will in turn hopefully raise the profile of the issue and help influence government legislation in the future,” he said.

The film uses culturally relevant “and often extremely funny YouTube clips to explain why we should all Give 0.7%,” while celebrating those who already do like the football team FC Barcelona and tech giant Google.

“The goal of the Give 0.7% campaign is to capture the public’s imagination and instill a sense of shared responsibility amongst its global audience,” said Calway.

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