As Penn seniors leave Locust Walk behind and prepare for, hopefully, a lucrative career, two Wharton seniors are encouraging their classmates to set aside a portion of their starting salaries for those in need.
Wharton senior Lauren D’Amore and Wharton and Engineering senior Shayna Fertig serve as co-presidents of Penn’s undergraduate branch of One for the World, an organization that asks graduates to pledge 1 percent of their income to charity. Founded three years ago by two 2014 Wharton MBA graduates, Kate Epstein and Josh McCann, One for the World has since spread to other business schools including Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
The organization was founded primarily to target graduate students, but last year, Penn became the first school to establish an undergraduate chapter.
“It’s been proven that the earlier you get involved and the sooner you start, the more like you are to [donate to charity] later in life as well,” D’Amore said. Students can pledge to donate on the organization’s website, and sure their support for the movement by signing an online statement.
“A lot of us talk about jobs we’re going into after school, but it would be great to also have people talk about the charities they want to donate to and the impact they want to make in the world,” Fertig added.
Both seniors are quick to note that pledging to donate 1 percent is “a guideline, not a contract.”
“The idea of giving 1 percent is pretty open,” Fertig said. “If you are making a salary next year when you graduate, that’s what we encourage students to do, but we realize that not all students will be going straight into the working world, or will be making a significant income right off the bat.”
“It’s not like the system goes and tracks you down and says, ‘You’re making this amount of money, you must be donating this amount.’” D’Amore said. “It’s totally up to you and open, so you can enter in whatever amount you feel comfortable with.”
As D’Amore and Fertig prepare to begin careers in investment banking and consulting, they will pass on leadership of this initiative to Wharton sophomore Lindsey Li and College sophomore Lauren O’Mara. In an emailed statement, O’Mara expressed enthusiasm for her new role.
“Lindsey and I work well together with our two different perspectives, hers from Wharton and mine from the College. I believe that our experience in different schools will help us to successfully spread the message of OFTW to the entire undergraduate population,” she said.
One for the World has compiled a list of recommended charities including five “Top Picks” such as the Against Malaria Foundation and Population Services International. On Thursday, April 6, OFTW will and explain these recommendations in Huntsman Hall room F50 at 12 p.m.