5 reject greed
10 tread lightly
5 connect with (the bright side of) community
10 build up democracy

FairShare International: Transforming Lives for a Better World

Who? What? Why?

FairShare International is a diverse, global community of individuals, families and businesses who are taking a stand for a fair share for everyone, always. We are against the unjust distribution and misuse of the world's resources - money, water, energy and minerals. We are for a fair go for all people.

Of the earth's water, energy and minerals used each day, 80% is consumed by 20% the earth's wealthy population (about a billion of us). Leaving almost nothing for the majority of people and compromising the existence of future generations, this consumption is neither fair nor sustainable. By joining the FairShare community, you can help achieve:

How does work?

The FairShare community uses the formula of to put four goals to work each and every day. These goals attempt to give life to new standards for living ethically in the 21st century affluent world. By living each day, you refuse to be a bystander and you elect to take actions that matter by:

5 - Redistributing your personal wealth by giving away at least 5% of your gross annual income to any number of programs that provide direct assistance to financially disadvantaged individuals, families and communities anywhere on earth, and/or for the care of the natural environment, including conservation of the earth's resources.
10 - Reducing your use of water, energy and minerals by at least 10%, based on the national average per capita consumption, and sustaining reduced consumption forever.
5 - Building community through contributing at least 5% of your leisure time annually in direct, face to face assistance to people who could use your help or with others in your neighbourhood who are tackling social or environmental challenges.
10   - Taking significant democratic action at least ten times a year to correct practices associated with greed and injustice that hurt people and the environment. (Letters to politicians, corporations and the media are a highly effective way to initiate dialogue and ultimately, positive social change.)

Friends of FairShare commit to giving directly, at their own discretion and according to their individual passions. The 'FairShare Portfolio' is a concept and tool at the heart of FSI. An example of a 'balanced' FairShare portfolio might include one overseas aid organisation, one education sponsorship in Australia and one in an overseas country, one share of wilderness or natural heritage, one threatened animal or plant, one indigenous peoples project, and one human rights effort. It might also include direct gifts to people who you know are really struggling. And it could, of course, include a gala fundraising dinner or two. So each FairShare portfolio is different - reflecting the interests and passions of its owner.

What Fairshare International is NOT !

Not donating to charities and other funds, but redistributing wealth
While many FSI Friends give to philanthropic organisations, the idea of the first goal encompasses much more than that. It's about making a difference to financially disadvantaged people in Australia or anywhere on earth, and about taking a stand to reduce the gap between rich and poor. This doesn't necessarily have to happen through an intermediary. For example, a person might find a way to assist their local activist who spends half their time planting trees for life. Or they might give direct aid to a financially disadvantaged family they met on their travels. And so forth.

The intention of the first goal, then, is the redistribution of wealth: let there be a redistribution of wealth and let it begin with my money. If enough people said this, and then did it, there would be a huge positive impact in the world. Contributing to funds that support research into health in the First World is great, and FSI applauds this, but we do not construe this as contributing to the first goal: too many people in the Majority World are denied absolutely the opportunity of ever suffering from most of the affluent world's health problems. When FSI thinks 'health', we think about clean water, not a triple bypass.

FSI also focuses on the inevitable disadvantage in store for future generations if there is continued depletion of the environment. That's why the first goal encompasses not only the redistribution of monetary wealth but also the preservation of natural wealth. Many FSI Friends will support environmental organisations and indeed some may feel strongly enough to allocate all of their financial commitment to conservation.

Not self sacrifice but self expression
People who are financially disadvantaged may very well wish to give time, money and talents to help others - doing these things has always been the impulse of what the Dalai Lama calls good human beings. However, FSI discourages 'redistributing wealth' if it means sacrificing a decent standard of living.

Instead, FSI envisions Friends who recognise that they have too much money and too much 'stuff' and so give away some of it thus creating a space for self expression. For example, someone might take up bussing or cycling to work to finance their gifts. Another might swear off new clothes, experimenting to see how long it takes for their clothes to wear out. Someone else might return to mending rather than throwing things out at the first sign of wear and tear. Developing their skills in vegetarian cooking might be someone else's goal, or taking their lunch rather than always buying it. And so on.