About the fund

The 1% FOR DEVELOPMENT FUND was created in 1976 by a small group of United Nations staff members in Geneva, who decided to assign 1% of their salaries to financing small-scale development projects. The movement was inspired by a UN resolution calling upon States to give 1% of their GNP for official development assistance: the Geneva group wanted to show that UN staff could do the same. Subsequently a Fund was established in Rome in 1983 to cover the Rome-based UN staff, one in New York in 1985 and in Vienna in 1986.

The Rome group presently counts 120 members and the entire amount of their contributions, around US$60,000 a year, is allocated directly to projects, without overhead costs since the Fund is managed by members themselves, all volunteers.

In FAO, staff members' contributions can now be automatically deducted from payroll. For other methods of payment, please contact our treasurer.

How does the fund work?

Each member contributes 1% of his salary to the Fund; projects are screened and selected by working groups, and discussed and approved by the General Assembly twice a year.

Assistance is channelled to underprivileged communities who are directly involved in their own development process. The Fund provides money or equipment to enable the projects (wells or dams, small animal husbandry, school gardens, health care centres, etc.) to get off the ground, but leaves the project implementation to the communities. The applicants must clearly define their objectives and how they are to be attained. They are also expected to assemble all other resources available within the group for that purpose, such as manpower, tools or raw materials. The average projects cost between US$2,000 and 5,000. Still, this rather modest amount is enough for a project to have a palpable effect on the lives of the people concerned.

Why join?

  • Because the Fund enables each staff member to play a direct part in the development of particularly underprivileged communities who do not have what we take for granted.
  • Because the Fund offers an opportunity to make a concrete response to a specific objective: allocating 1% of our resources for development.
  • Because 100% of the Fund's financial resources are allocated to projects approved by the members themselves.
  • Because those who benefit from support provided by the Fund often have no other resources but their own strength and determination. The success of their undertaking depends above all on their own efforts, backed up by a truly modest financial contribution.

How do I join?

Simply go to the Join us today! page and fill out the short form.