Bono’s campaign to fight global poverty in 2002, started as DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa), an advocacy organization focused on solving major problems in developing countries. After partnering with ten other anti-poverty organizations, Bono and his crew decided to launch ONE, an advocacy organization that mobilizes “Americans from all walks of life” in the fight against poverty.
Through “global online actions [and] an iconic ad campaign, [ONE] succeeded in helping to secure a pledge by the G8 to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010 [and] in less than a year, signed up more than 2 million members,” as a part of a grassroots campaign to support better policies in combating poverty.
Officially combining forces in 2007, DATA and ONE merged into a single organization: ONE. “DATA’s high-level global advocacy and policy depth [and] ONE's grassroots mobilization expertise” form the foundation that executes ONE’s mission.
Kim Smith, ONE’s Deputy Director of Field, has been involved in fighting HIV/AIDS for years. She notes that one of the most attractive aspects of ONE “is that we are non-partisan and that we do not ask our members for money.”
Not the most common formula among non-profits.
ONE has in fact united some 2,000,000 among the wide spectrum of political opinions and views in America to fight against global poverty. By eliminating the draining effort of fundraising campaigns from their agenda, ONE is able to engage its members in “focus[ing] purely on advocacy and us[ing] their voice for the world’s poorest people.”
Reaching out to members of Congress has been ONE’s most major success. Kim explains that in 2008, “the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided more than 2.1 million people with life-saving retroviral treatments,” was reauthorized. While this bill was stuck in the Senate, ONE mobilized its member network to call their Senators to support this “life-saving legislation.”
While ONE does not endorse political candidates, whichever Senators do win the next open 2010 Senate races across America will be well-informed “on the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.” Thanks to ONE members and staff who are educating candidates, no matter their political affiliation, such crucial issues will be on the forefront of the political agenda.
From its inception, ONE has consciously worked (not competed) with other similarly goal-oriented organizations to be a leader in advocacy to fight global poverty.
2 thoughts from 1:
No fundraising needed.
Thanks Kim (and Robyn), for uniting the political front in the fight against global poverty.
Please visit one.org for more information.
(ONE is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization dedicated “to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.”)