Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Will You Help Me Reduce Suffering?

We live in a world where our actions can have a huge impact on the health, well-being, and even existence, of those who suffer. 
Help me help others.

In one sentence: If you donate to the highly ranked charity the Against Malaria Foundation, I will match your contribution, effectively doubling your donation. 

  • What is malaria? Malaria is a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease. $4 buys one bed net. Each bed net will not only reduce a person's chance of catching malaria, but for every ~150 bed nets purchased, one life is saved!  You can donate now here.

For those seeking more details, the following text elaborates why I am doing this and explains how I will double your donation to save even more lives.
In short, suffering is bad, and reducing suffering is good.  That is my assertion, but I elaborate in this talk on why we should help people.

But how should we do it?

I think it makes sense to examine who suffers the most, which interventions actually work, and what is the largest impact for money spent. While I'm highly concerned with the suffering of others, I'm also very concerned about the evidence that donating to a charity or cause does any good.
Using this logic, I believe it makes the most sense to fight malaria by buying anti-malaria mosquito bed nets from the Against Malaria Foundation. 

Why Malaria? Because:   
  • 1-3 million people die of malaria each year, most of them children.  
  • 500,000,000 people become ill from malaria each year.  
  • Malaria is the number one killer of pregnant women.  
  • Malaria has huge economic costs for numerous countries.  
  • More information here.
Why Mosquito Nets? 
Malaria is transmitted by certain mosquitoes when they bite. The mosquitoes typically bite between 10 o'clock at night and two in the morning, so if we can protect people in affected areas when they sleep at night we have a very good chance of preventing them from contracting malaria. A long-lasting insecticidal bed net is both a mechanical barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night, and something that kills mosquitoes on contact. More information here.
Why the Against Malaria Foundation?
Given these top rankings by reputable organizations, I think it means that the Against Malaria Foundation is one of the best charities on Earth.

Further, t
he Against Malaria Foundation donations are Tax Deductable in Canada, the United States, UK and various other countries (check here). This means that, depending on your country/region, you might be able to deduct 20-50% of your donation from your taxes.

Okay, so what am I offering?

The Initiative:  I've read numerous books and articles on development and charities, and I'm sufficiently impressed by the Against Malaria Foundation (and GiveWell) that by the end of 2013, I am offering to match your donations up to a total maximum of $20,000 (Can).  If you donate $100, I will match it so the Against Malaria Foundation receives a total of $200.
To repeat, if you donate to the Against Malaria Foundation, I will match your contribution, effectively doubling your donation (up to a total maximum of $20,000 by December 31, 2013). That's enough for an additional 5000 bed nets!

The Process: You donate to the Against Malaria Foundation on a fundraising page I have set up on their website here.
Then, I prove that I have matched it on a this different fundraising page.  You can see I started the process off with a donation of $5000 as a gesture of goodwill and to prove my commitment.

I will monitor donations and increase my donations accordingly. Simple as that. 
Let’s save lives together!
Darren McKee


Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Darren,

This is a fantastic initiative. I'm already a supporter of AMF and I hope that this form of advocacy by you may benefit the organisation many times over in the number of new donors you introduce to them.

I would like to participate in your matching initiative. Is it continuing? I noticed you haven't passed on any donations since December 2012 (http://www.againstmalaria.com/Fundraiser.aspx?FundraiserID=6643) but it seems there is $1000 to go (or possibly $11000, I'm not sure if you are accepting donations up to $20000 which you will match with another $20000 of your own).


5:44 AM  

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