The 1% Difference Campaign – Neoliberal Front
November 18, 2013

How many one percents of your time or money does it cost to pay for blanket radio advertising?

Surprisingly affordable if ‘The 1% Difference Campaign’ is anything to go by.

Unless maybe you happen to be a front for the wealthy.

Regular adverts are encouraging us to give

The idea is simple. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, we all give the same – 1%. It’s one percent of you.

One percent of your time or one percent of your income, to a charity or cause you believe in.

Easy to give at a time of such taking

 The goal is to raise giving levels across the board in Ireland. It sounds like an impossible goal but it is actually very achievable. The campaign is jointly funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The ‘Corporate sponsors’ section is more interesting however

Vodaphone – pays no tax in Britain
Morgan McKinley – finance and consultancy
Publicis – PR, advertising
Drury – PR – Anglo, Fianna Fáil, golfing with Sean Fitzpatrick etc etc
Healy Group – food/pharma
Matheson – law – probably the biggest player in Ireland’s multinational tax avoidance industry
Byrne Wallace – Law – NAMA,  Anglo etc etc.

The adverts on Matt Cooper says ‘proudly supported by TodayFM’, maybe that means Communicorp is also involved though it doesn’t say it on the website. The TV advert is even more revealing

“giving is good for you”

Another one


100 of Ireland’s “brightest graduates” will raise €1000 each thus delivering 100k to Temple Street Children’s Hospital who they are “partnering”.

And just like that

Onboard here are KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, Google, Linkdin and others

The ‘about us’ section give no indication of who is behind it but I will take a leap on the next gogetter fancying themselves as a ‘social entrepreneur’, who will receive considerable plaudits for thinking outside the box, utilisation of social media etc etc before moving onto the next private endeavour. While every hospital in the country slides into the sea.

Interesting thing here is the “brightest”. The successful hundred would be selected from applicants. Strange limits when presumably aiming to collect the most amount of money poor sick children but the market decides you see…

The 1% difference campaign is “spearheaded” by the Forum on Philanthropy.

If you recall headed by Frank Flannery who before the budget proposed tax exiles be let longer in the country if they made a donations.

Before launching into several pages on tax avoidance opportunities, their 2012 report outlines


The Giving Campaign will form the context or overarching infrastructure for the recommendations of the Forum on Philanthropy and will form part of a wider national recovery strategy designed to restore both the economy and national self-belief.

The Campaign will increase awareness and understanding of the value of Philanthropy and Planned Giving amongst all sections of Irish society (high net worth, business, and the general public), through demonstrating their contribution to improving Irish society and the development of community in Ireland.


According to the latest report on fundraising in Ireland by consultants, 2into3, Irish charities reported an increase of 23% in fundraised income in 2010 over 2009, (or 6% if you exclude international development aid charities), despite the fact that Ireland is still in the grip of a serious recession. The report’s authors stress that if the quality of the ‘ask’ was improved Irish people would give even more.

The National Giving Campaign is an opportunity to get the ‘ask’ right, and elevate fundraising and philanthropy in Ireland to a new level. The Giving Campaign will operate for two years, at which time it will be reviewed and a decision taken to renew the campaign or to implement alternative strategies to grow giving in Ireland.

The steering Committee

will select a team of experts and ‘best of breed’ agencies to design build and run a major public awareness and call to action campaign run over a two to three year period. The design of the campaign (including key messages, tone, etc.) will be driven by empirical research. Possible campaign phasing for 2012/2013 includes:

• Set the Context for Giving  in Ireland,highlighting the benefits that giving delivers to Irish Society;

•Inspire our target audiences – tell them why they should get behind this campaign use role models (Henry Shefflin/Brian O’Driscoll/Bernard Brogan to legitimise effort;

Use partnerships to drive the message to key sectors e.g. IBEC/ Dublin Chamber to the business community, GAA/IRFU to the general public, Trade Unions for workers;

The campaign would begin with a high profile launch with the Taoiseach/ Minister at a suitable venue e.g. Croke Park/Dublin Castle, followed by TV/Radio/Billboard and Digital advertising campaigns. The campaign would then use partnerships with

a national sporting organisation/business organisation to drive a series of regional/county road shows on the good that giving is doing locally and how with a little more investment much more could be done. The impact of the initial media campaign would then be re-enforced by charities launching their own campaigns under the National Giving Brand. The campaign would be positioned as part of a movement for national renewal and restoration not only of the economy but of national self-belief. A key success factor would therefore be high profile political leadership.

Everybody giving the same regardless of means is also an echo of that other favourite, the flat tax.

Individually we can all give 1%, collectively we can do nothing, is the message.

Not least address all that deep deep structural inequality.

Dr. FIVE 18 November 2013

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