"In a moment of ambitious insanity, I decided to start a nonprofit," says John Peterson, the founder and president of The 1%.
In a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor, Public Architecture’s John Peterson discussed the company’s The 1%. Based in San Francisco, the organization connects nonprofit groups in need of design assistance with architecture or design firms. The program’s name comes from the idea that if firms across the country donate just 1 percent of their time each year to charitable work it would equal 5 million hours. Launched in 2001 – now, more than 10 years later – has more than 1,000 architecture and design firms (which is between 3 percent and 5 percent of all American architectural firms) and 600 nonprofit organizations are participating. Peterson says about 18 new firms join each month.
“If they [architectural firms] can’t keep the lights on and pay their staffs, they can’t do it,” says Amy Ress, program manager of The 1%. “So The 1% needs to educate architect and design firms on how pro bono work can be a healthy part of doing business.”
Shaw Contract Group, along with other groups including National Endowment for the Arts and Formica, has shown its support to The 1%. One percent of the profits of our Homage collection is donated to The 1%. Learn more here.
Design Access, a summit held by Public Architecture this past March, brought together government, design, nonprofit, and funding professionals to better leverage the design of the built environment as a tool for social gain. Over three days, representatives from some of the largest and most influential design firms, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations in the country and leaders in health care, education, affordable housing, transportation, community engagement, environmental sustainability, and the arts worked to collectively provide design services at scale to our most underserved and challenging problems.
This is the first installment of an on-going series about Design Access. Please stay tuned for more video presentations from the summit that will be featured on our blog.
Under the direction of Alex Briscoe, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA), and with support from the California HealthCare Foundation, Public Architecture is working on an inventive initiative that responds to a pressing need in Alameda County, California’s low-income communities for access to primary health care facilities.
Public Architecture is asking for a moment of your time. By moment, I’m talking 1%.
The 1% is a nonprofit organization launched by Public Architecture in 2005. It is unique program that encourages pro bono service within the architecture and design professions. To pledge your time, The 1% asks that firms dedicate a minimum of 1% of their working hours to pro bono service – that’s just 20 hours per employee per year (1% of an 8-hour workday is 4.8 minutes. Over the course of a traditional 2,080-hour work year, that amounts to just 20 hours per year).
If every architecture professional in the U.S. committed 1% of their time to pro bono service, it would add up to 5,00,000 hours annually – the equivalent of a 2,500-person firm, working full time for the public good. Today, over 1,000 firms from across the U.S. have pledged more than 300,000 annual hours of their time. With over 500 nonprofit organizations requesting assistance, the more time we can give, the more design we can share across the country.
Shaw Contract Group shows its support by donating 1% of the sales of our Homage collection to The 1%.
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