Egg comes first in charity game

$1million Charity Idea
So, as you know, we are chickens of many talents. However, we know you wouldn’t have thought that 3 chickens starting a charity would be considered news in the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Digital Living’ section… whereas we always knew it was just a matter of time. Simon Tsang’s article delves into origins of 1egg1world and our use of social networking as a promotional tool. 

Egg comes first in charity game

Best laid plans . . . the 1egg1world team uses PlanBig to benefit charity.

Three Australians are using social media to create $1 million from almost nothing, writes Simon Tsang.

‘Three chooks and a charity” may sound like a ready-made comedy title but the boys behind the 1egg1world project (“one egg, one world”) have serious goals in mind. In searching for an idea to raise money for charity, university students Christopher Wright and Josh O’Meara needed only to look as far as their own backyard.

There they kept three chickens and an idea was hatched (sorry) to trade an egg up to $1 million to donate to charity. The pair were inspired by Kyle McDonald, the Canadian man who traded his way to a house from one red paper clip.

McDonald loves how the Aussie boys have adapted his trading idea for charity: “It looks like they’re having fun, making trades and making a difference … a complete win all around. I heartily endorse the 1egg1world trading game and hope they succeed in full,” he says.

Wright and O’Meara wanted to make a difference and figured the trading-up concept would be a great way to raise funds. “When we first came up with [the idea], we were just at uni and talking about the fact that we wanted to do some charity work while we’re at uni,” Wright says. “And we decided to just go for something as crazy as possible.”

Soon, they were joined by a third member, Andrew Fincher, who brought along some web design skills … and a duck, “just to be different”. When it came to launching the idea, the trio – all architecture students – posted up the plan on Facebook, which quickly garnered support among friends. It wasn’t their own Facebook page, though, it was one of the chickens’.

“Our chickens actually had their own Facebook page and they really quickly grew [in the number of] friends. And then that just gave us a base to launch off with once we started 1egg1world,” Wright says. The plan became a Facebook group, which became a website.

The trades started small but moved quickly. The egg was swapped for a Coneheads movie soundtrack. “The first five trades happened within about a month,” O’Meara says. They eventually found themselves with a cricket bat signed by Don Bradman, which took nine months to find a buyer, who offered $2200 for it.

While Facebook gave 1egg1world a launch platform, another social media site has taken the charity effort to a new level. PlanBig (planbig.com.au) is a community project site set up by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. It takes the idea of community involvement in a project and puts it online. To use a more popular phrase, it leverages the wisdom of the crowd.

“It’s a website where people who’ve got plans or projects or dreams that they want to bring to life can find the resources and support and expertise to achieve a real-world outcome for their plans,” Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s head of online engagement, Jeanette Miller, says.

The launch of PlanBig came at a perfect time for 1egg1world. It proved to be just what the project needed for its next trade: a two-week African safari for two. Miller is adamant the website will remain a community project launch pad and not a commercial venture.

“We will never sell our products off this site, nor will we market people who are using PlanBig with our latest banking offer,” Miller says.

For its The $1 million raised will be split between three charities the boys have chosen: Cool Australia, The Moringa Project and OrphFund.