What's Happening | 3 MIN READ

How a Simple Idea Created 50 Million Smiles in 7 Years


Who would have thought…
…a simple idea that was conceived just 7 years ago would turn into 50 million smiles?

These smiles include many special moments.





Imagine a moment when a child who previously could not concentrate on the study with an empty stomach now receives a free nourishing meal at school each and every day… and a moment when a mother in Africa realises that instead of carrying the heavy bucket full of (contaminated) water for hours everyday, she can now use her time to run a small business… and a moment when a little girl who never owned a book receives a library book to take home to read with her parents who also want to learn to read…

Imagine these moments and many, many more – all the joyful moments that YOU have helped create by being part of the B1G1 Community. 50 MILLION of them.

But we must admit something as we reflect on B1G1 initiative’s development since the very beginning: we had no idea HOW to do this!

All we had was our WHY. Why we believed in the world of B1G1, Buy1GIVE1.

We believed in the power of every one of us. We believed in the power of connections. And we believed in the power of giving.

We knew that when we could give in the knowledge that we made something better for someone, we ourselves were happier.

So then we thought: what if all of us had more opportunities to give just by doing what we normally did every single day?

The questions

In order to make this happen, we had to answer many questions. And you and many amazing people helped us answer those questions step by step along the way. We’ve learned that identifying our WHAT and HOW was also important part of it all.

The questions we’ve learned to answer over the years include:

  • How is B1G1 different from all other giving initiatives?
  • How can we select and list projects that are suited to our model?
  • How do we know the integrity of the projects? And how do we maintain the integrity and transparency?
  • How can we ensure 100% of everyone’s giving can be sent to the projects?
  • What systems and processes do we need to have to make everyone’s giving easy, effective and sustainable?
  • How can we help people and organisations create great habit of giving?
  • Who do we need to (and want to) work with right now and in the future?
  • How can we continue to fund our operations without relying on donations?
  • Where should we be? What structure should we have?
  • How can we achieve more with less resources?
  • How can we always remember to be grateful no matter what happens?


We feel like we’ve come up with and received more than 50 million questions so far and worked on answering them one by one (see many of the answers in our latest Impact Report). And yet there are so many areas we can still do much better from here. Our questions (and our quest) never end.

Yes, it’s an overwhelming task. But we know we will achieve more, and more…with you.

Filling up the world with giving (and smiles)
And in the time when there are people who are born with much less than they deserve or there are people who are in painful conflicts, the focus around giving, respect, caring and generosity makes a greater difference than ever before.

It’s not even just about solving the problems we see. It’s about creating a new world where we can all share the gifts we already have, naturally, effortlessly and joyfully.

So… here’s to the next big milestone. To 100 million smiles!

We look forward to getting there with you. And it might be quicker than we think… ☺

About Paul Dunn

Paul is the cheerleader at B1G1 and a hugely respected and admired business leader too. He’s a 4-times TEDx speaker and he frequently travels around the world inspiring businesses with B1G1 and his amazing business insights.