How to Look at the Numbers When Donating to a Worthy Cause for The Greatest Good - RIP Medical Debt
July 1, 2015

How to Look at the Numbers When Donating to a Worthy Cause for The Greatest Good

Written By

Founder, Director of Education and Outreach

The Atlantic in June 2015 published a terrific article by Derek Thompson, “The Greatest Good.” He posed an intriguing question. When you donate, can you do so effectively and not just emotionally? Can it be “munificence matched with math?”

When faced with multiple and conflicting requests for a contribution to a cause, you might pose the same question as the article’s author, Derek Thompson: “What is the best charitable cause in the world, and was it crazy to think I could find it?”

Thompson’s answer for the optimum choice? “One can make an astonishing difference in the world with a pinch of logic and dash of math.”

What didn’t meet that test for Thompson was donating money to Yale or Harvard. They already have endowments in the billions. Derek felt the wisest question is not “What is the greatest good?” but rather “What is the greatest good where the next dollar could have the greatest impact?

What did meet that rigorous test, for him, are monies directed to the Against Malaria Foundation that help them stop malaria – the biggest killer of children and pregnant women in the world. Every penny given is returned hundreds-fold in saved lives and people returning to productive work.

Why are we telling you this?

We want you to consider the math when you consider how to get the biggest “bang” for your donated buck.

On a worldwide basis, for Derek Thompson, the clear choice is the Against Malaria Foundation. What about the in the USA?

We face no urgent medical scourge here like malaria, at least, not in the immediately life-threatening sense. The urgent unmet need we find here is the very real and for many desperate peril of unpaid – and unpayable – medical debt.

Are you aware that one in five families struggles to pay medical bills? Are you aware that $100 billion annually is accounted as lost revenue by U.S. hospitals and doctors, that uncollected debt jeopardizes those ventures’s viability? Are you aware that medical bills are involved in 60 percent of all bankruptcies, even those with health insurance? Are you aware that fully 50 percent of all collection agency activity is devoted to medical debt?

For those who want to keep their donations within our borders and still reap the benefit of multiplied effectiveness, the best bang for the buck is abolishing medical debt.

Founded in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, RIP Medical Debt promises a gratifying “multiple factor” in answering the problem of taking unpaid and unpayable medical debt off the kitchen tables of our fellow citizens, friends and neighbors.

The “ROI” is impressive – a return on investment of almost 99 to 1.

That’s right. A $50 donation can help RIP Medical Debt buy – and abolish – some $5,000 in a family’s unpaid doctor bills. A campaign war chest of $14.4 million could actually see this non-profit extinguish of One Billion Dollars in medical debt.

In the spirit of Independence Day, it’s time to declare America’s independence from unpaid medical debt. A good starting goal will be to raise 177.6 thousand dollars and abolish $17.76 million of this debt.

That’s our goal in the July 4th campaign. It’s a worthy goal, both symbolically and realistically, for $17.76 million in debt relief will remove the financial suffering of some 6,000 individuals and families.

Derek Thompson did his best to find the best way to do the greatest good on this globe, and he succeeded. Might the same be true for you when it comes to making a difference here in the 50 states and territories?

Please donate to RIP Medical Debt by giving what you can, for the satisfaction of seeing the positive impact of a penny on the dollar to benefit the families that this campaign will unburden. The value of relieving someone of the financial and emotional pain is not just quantifiable, it’s immeasurable.

It’s not just looking at the numbers; it’s looking into the soul.