In 2015, malaria killed around 438,000 people including approximately 306,000 children. However, malaria is preventable with the effectual and affordable treatment of insecticide bed nets. The Against Malaria Foundation is a highly effective nonprofit that not only fights a malaria by funding please bed nets but also distribute the nets, train how to use the nets, and monitor the usage of the nets to mainly people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Why The Against Malaria Foundation?
Giving Well, an organization that tracks, analyzes and recommends charities and non-profits to individual donors, has rated Against Malaria Foundation as one of their most highly recommended organizations for many years in a row. Giving What We Can, another organization that recommends charities, has rated Against Malaria Foundation as a top rated charity since 2012. And The Life You Can Save, an organization that also recommends charities, has rated Against Malaria Foundation as one of their top rated charities since 2012.
Part of the reason that this charity is so effective and impactful is that 100% of every public donation goes toward buying a long-lasting insecticide bed net. Another reason that this is such an important charity is that the solution to this problem is simple, affordable and highly effective. On Against Malaria Foundation’s website, they answer the question of “Why Malaria?” this way: “Malaria kills half a million people every year and 400 million fall ill. Before bed nets were made available, it was three or more times that. Nets are a proven intervention – a more effective a way of saving lives than any other. There is still a long way to go and every death from malaria is preventable.”
Why Bed Nets?
How are these bed nets so effective? Malaria is a parasite that is carried by mosquitoes that bite people in order to get blood meal. The malaria parasite is then passed from the mosquito to the bitten person. Mosquitoes bite most frequently between 10 o’clock at night and two in the morning, which is one thing that Against Malaria Foundation believes is fortunate because the nets can protect sleeping individuals from contracting malaria.
According to the Against Malaria Foundation website, “Each net costs about $2.50, lasts for 3-4 years, and protects, on average, two people. The statistics are well known given the scale of the problem. Every 100-1,000 nets we put over heads and beds, one child doesn’t die.”
About the Against Malaria Foundation
Against Malaria Foundation was started when the founder, Rob Mather, was watching television in June of 2003. He saw a program about Terri, a two-year-old girl who suffered a 90% body burn in a house fire. Mather was so affected by this story that he gathered a couple friends to raise money for her by swimming. However, the three-person swim meet so snowballed over a seven-week period into 100,000 people doing 150 swims in 73 different countries. “Swim for Terri” took place on December 6th, 2003 and 100% of the money raised went to Terri’s fund. The excitement of this event prompted the question: “What are we going to do next year?” This inspired Mather to start the World Swim Against Malaria in which 250,000 people swam in 160 different countries. Andrew Garner, the other cofounder of the Against Malaria Foundation, joined on full time at this point. People started asking how they could raise funds for malaria without having to swim, so the Against Malaria website was created.
The Effective Practices of the Against Malaria Foundation
Ever since the very beginning, the Against Malaria Foundation has been committed to three guiding principles. Here is an excerpt from their website that explains these tenets: “Efficiency, transparency and demonstrating impact were important guiding principles from the start. Efficiency meant Rob approached a series of organizations and asked if they would help pro bono, politely suggesting they didn’t need $5 as much as two children in Africa, and elsewhere, needed a bed net. They agreed. Many organizations, particularly PwC, Citi and Microsoft who helped from the start in significant ways, have been important supporters and none has stepped aside since AMF started. The result is AMF has very few costs and those it does have are covered by a small group of private donors. Transparency meant all donations were, and are, listed on the website and linked to the specific distribution for which they fund nets. Demonstrating impact meant showing the nets were distributed as promised, with photos and video, and has developed today into collecting and publishing monthly malaria data to track the impact of the nets.”
Since the founding of the Against Malaria Foundation in 2005, 138 million dollars has been donated to the Against Malaria Foundation. Today, the organization operates in Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ghana. According to Giving What We Can, Against Malaria Foundation saves one death from every $3,282 donated. In contract, the UK’s National Health Service spends $30,000 for every for a singe year of healthy life saved.
Against Malaria Foundation has remained true to the guiding principle of efficiency, transparency, and demonstrating impact. The organization posts both pre-distribution and post-distribution reports online. They post all donations received online. They also collect and publish a malaria case rate data in order to assess and monitor the impact of the bed nets. Within each data set publish, they include the prior 12 months of historic information for comparison. They also publish all future distributions that are being considered, but have not yet been approved.
Against Malaria Foundation remains incredibly efficient by only maintaining three full-time staff members, one part-time staff member, and one full-time volunteer member. This staff is not funded by the organization, but instead from a set of private donors. Therefore, they are able to ensue their promise of dedicating 100% of all donations to bed nets.
Against Malaria Foundation also demonstrates impact by having a clear focus on a specific intervention (long-lasting insecticidal anti-malaria bed nets), following a specific operating model that has proven to be highly effective and placing a sizable emphasis on the preparation, carrying out and follow up of distributions in order to ensure the potential impact of distributing nets is realized.
If you are seeking a reliable, transparent, effective charity to donate to, Against Malaria Foundation may be worth looking into. You can donate at their website, www.againstmalaria.com.