ODFL’s Vision, Philosophy & Mission


ODFL stands for “One Dollar For Life”

ODFL is a non-profit that was founded to address third world poverty by collecting as little as one dollar from each millions of US high school students and then channeling those funds into small-scale infrastructure projects in developing countries. It has since been expanded to allow adults to participate as donors as well. Since our founding we have completed 95 projects in 10 countries in the developing world.



ODFL’s Vision – A single humanity working to reduce human suffering

So many of the world’s problems come from believing we’re different. Yes, we are all unique. Yet beneath our differences, we all bleed red. We all have the same longings for personal growth, healthy children, a meaningful life, and a better world. But when we allow others to live in suffering, especially when it can so easily be changed, we diminish our own humanity.


Also, so many of the world’s problems are now collective. They can only be solved by people working together. Think of ozone depletion, global warming, species extinction, pandemics. No one of us can solve them. And no one of us can avoid them. Only by working together — as a single humanity — can we address these new generations of problems.



ODFL’s Philosophy – The world is made better by creating bigger people. People are made bigger by helping others.

No amount of “fixes” is going to fix the world. Until we grow bigger people, it will always revert back to who we are on the inside. But people aren’t made bigger by having more “goodies.” No number of iPhones, fast cars, toys, or super-sized meals can make us into bigger people. Only helping others can do that.

ODFL allows millions of people to become bigger people by helping others. And isn’t that what we really want, anyway, to become bigger people? Though the cost is small — a dollar! — the impact of working together is huge. It is literally changing the world.



ODFL’s Mission – Engage millions of people in small acts of generosity to improve the life chances for all of the world’s people.

Small acts — as small as $1 — make it possible for anyone to help change the world. It’s when many small acts are combined that their impact becomes powerful. How powerful? Students from Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto are feeding African orphans protein every day for $2 per orphan per year.

No one dollar could have done that, but combined, they are. Is that worth a dollar? We think it is. There are millions of such opportunities in the world where small acts can combine for big impact. Our mission is to create them and carry them out. It’s working.