April 25, 2022

Against Malaria Foundation Looks Towards a Future Free of the Deadly Disease

Author Aly Semigran

National Philanthropic Trust’s donors recommend thousands of grants every year. This new series, Grants In Action, highlights the breadth of causes and organizations NPT’s donors are supporting with grant recommendations from their donor-advised fund accounts.

“Defeating malaria is a marathon, not a sprint.” That is how Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) founder and CEO Rob Mather describes the ongoing race against ending this deadly, yet preventable infectious disease. Mather, along with his team of ten based in London, have been focused on reaching that finish line since the nonprofit organization’s inception in 2009.

Their mission, according to Mather, “is to rid the planet of one of the most significant killers of children under 5-years-old and pregnant women.” According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), malaria claimed 627,000 lives in 2020 alone, and “nearly half the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 87 countries and territories.”

“Clearly, this is a humanitarian issue given the suffering that’s involved,” Mather says. To combat this ongoing crisis, AMF helps fund and distribute long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) to regions of the world with what Mather calls high-burden and medium-burden malaria. The CDC reports that the highest transmission rates occur in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as parts of Oceania, such as Papua New Guinea.

These nets, which only cost around $2 to produce and are highly effective at stopping mosquitos dead in their tracks, can last up to four years and protect two people.

Major, sizeable donations can be put to work immediately and make a huge difference.

Mather estimates that the goal of ridding malaria from the planet (even with the aid of vaccines) is going to take potentially a decade or more, which is where planned, long-term giving, like donor-advised funds (DAFs) are particularly helpful for an organization like theirs.

“It allows us, when we know of [long-term] donations that are coming our way, to plan [several] years ahead,” Mather says, adding that long-term giving allows AMF to “evaluate opportunities to allocate our resources and make a fundamental difference to the way we go about our work.”

Planned giving is particularly helpful when it comes to malaria control, Mather explains, “right down to the right number of nets getting to each individual household.” Distribution of the accurate number of nets, he continues, “typically takes place over several weeks or months across a country, and that requires years of planning.”

Due to significant funding gaps that worldwide malaria eradication faces, Mather notes that “major, sizeable donations can be put to work immediately and make a huge difference.”

Of course, donations of all sizes and time frames are significant when it comes to aiding AMF’S ongoing work. AMF reports that in 2021 they received 148,000 donations from people in 189 countries. As Mather puts it, “Every two dollars matters. Every two dollars buys a net, and [that net] protects two people. No matter what the size of the donation, it is all part of us getting to the not-too-distant future where malaria is under control.”

About the Author

Aly Semigran is a Content Specialist at National Philanthropic Trust. She has been writing and editing professionally for over 15 years, with articles in Billboard, Well + Good and Mic, among many other notable publications. In addition to her editorial background, Aly is currently getting her Masters of Social Work degree from Temple University. She resides in Philadelphia with her dog.