Giving isn't a single solitary act. Giving is a conversation.
Over the last few year's I have donated my birthday to charities. I started a five year long commitment to donate each birthday, from 26 to 30 to the most effective charities I could find. I did this in hopes of opening a dialog with those around me about charity work and where we choose to donate. Often we think of our philanthropic work as secret or something we shouldn't or can't talk about because it would be seen as boastful.
Sadly this means that many of us don't get to celebrate each other and ourselves for the fantastic work we do in the world. It also means that we don't always talk about how we choose the charities and causes we donate to. Because we regard our philanthropy as so private we loose out on the opportunity to share notes and compare stories around giving. We loose out on the opportunity to learn about new programs, and think critically about our giving decisions.
This year I am donating to the Against Malaria Foundation. Malaria is a preventable disease that still kills thousands around the world, most of whom are children under the age of five. AMF has continuously been shown to be one of the most transparent, through and life saving nonprofits around, which is why I choose to support them.
As a way to encourage people to donate, and a way to be able to talk about these causes year round, I agreed to get a tattoo to commemorate each charity I raise money for if we reach our goal. Each tattoo in the series is an element and the complete set covers a wide spectrum of giving opportunities. The main symptom of malaria is a high fever so this year's elemental tattoo is fire. http://www.sydsbirthdaychallenge.com/
We have already raised nearly $2000, all of it from friends and family who likely would not have donated this money otherwise. Another friend has even decided to match every $27 donation in our fundraising efforts, as a way to encourage everyone to donate more.
I have spent a lot of time talking with friends, family, acquaintances, and even people I barely know about how and why I choose the charities I do and why I spend my birthday asking other people to give. My interactions are almost universally positive, and people usually as insightful honest questions. Opening the dialog about our giving has inspired many to give, or give more, and has inspired them to talk about their choices with others.
Giving isn't a single solitary act. It isn't something we do just for ourselves in the dark. It is something we do to make the world a little brighter and the more we shine a light on it and celebrate great philanthropy the better and stronger we will be.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I am proud to be involved with the Against Malaria Foundation. I am regularly updated on the work the the foundation is doing, and on how I have contributed.
Great clarity; they tell you exactly where your money has gone and what it's been used for. Great for making sure your donated money is being maximally used for the greatest good possible.
For me there's two big reasons I support Against Malaria Foundation. The most important is that the work they do – distributing insecticide-treated nets to prevent kids dying of malaria – is incredibly effective at saving lives for a very small cost. The second is that the organisation is very transparent, and great at communicating with donors as well as auditing its own activities. So you can be sure your donation is actually helping.
A small amount of money goes a long way with the Against Malaria Foundation... kept up to date with details of the charity's spending and how the nets are making a difference.
Proud to be associated with the Against Malaria foundation. Regular detailed insight into the how and where of net distribution helps the feeling that your donation is well spent and makes a difference.
AMF are highly rated by Give Well, Giving What We Can, etc., so you know that your donation is making a real difference. AMF are also very transparent about what they spend money on, sending regular updates about where they have provided mosquito nets. Highly recommended.
Against Malaria Foundation is one of the best charities to give to if you want to create maximum impact with the money you give. And with impact I mean real impact - not just based on lofty evaluations, but based on sound research. Being a professor and working in this field and I can really appreciate that.
I have often been reluctant to donate to organizations doing good work because I did not want what very little money I have to donate to go to that organization’s overhead, (even as I understand that overhead is a necessary expense as well.) However, knowing that 100% of my meager annual donation of $25 to AgainstMalaria.com goes to the purchase of mosquito nets, makes all the difference for me. And receiving periodic updates on how donations have a direct and immediate effect on the lives of the recipients, also makes a big difference for me. All I can say is keep up the good work AgainstMalaria.com!