As members of the WG’14 class conclude our incredible business school experience it is good to be reminded that the latest research shows nearly all Wharton students are going to crush life.
However, we will be doing so in a world that still endures considerable suffering. No one should die from dirty water, mosquito bites or other deadly problems with known solutions. Yet over a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day and today, and in a single day, 25 thousand children will die of preventable illnesses. It doesn’t have to be this way though. One percent of the developed world’s income can eliminate the leading causes of preventable death in developing countries. This reality affords us the opportunity to make a discernible difference.
Indeed, it is in response to this situation that a group of your classmates are launching One for the World (1fortheworld.org), which is a community of Wharton students and alumni who donate 1% of their income to fight poverty.
One for the World lowers the barriers to making structured and considered philanthropic donations by exhaustively reviewing partner organizations, establishing an easy to use payment mechanism that delivers tax deductibility immediately and allowing you to give as part of our Wharton community.
Working with Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy and using the same rigor we would apply to solve any business problem, we have identified the most effective, proven non-profits that are saving lives at the lowest cost.
We champion a portfolio of non-profits that provide basic healthcare and access to clean water. These include: Dispensers for Safe Water, which delivers an ingeniously simple chlorine treatment that makes water safe; Against Malaria Foundation, which provides free bed nets to communities at risk of malaria; and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which delivers deworming treatments that reduce malnourishment and increase school attendance by up to 25%.
One exciting part about donating to these organizations as a Wharton student is that, despite the enormity of the challenge we are trying to address, we will be able to make an appreciable contribution each week. One percent of the average Wharton graduate’s income will deliver antimalarial bed nets to 4 families or deworming treatments to 25 people each and every single week. The real world isn’t going to be all Pub and glitter. Wouldn’t it be good to know, even on your toughest days, that your work is contributing to saving lives?
As a class we can realistically hope to donate $500,000 in the first year after we graduate, without any one of us actually feeling like we are giving anything up – an impressive outcome in its own right. In addition, we will be founding an initiative that we plan to make an entrenched component of the Wharton culture. And you can bet that once we have demonstrated that this works at Wharton, we will be able to replicate it at other business schools that aspire to Wharton’s stature.
As you consider committing to One for the World we know you’re in the final month of the MBA experience. But through this enviable haze you’re planning the next decade of your life. You are, in this moment, capable of making a decision that will save lives and reduce the most crushing form of misery imaginable. We invite you to make a commitment now, which you’ll hardly notice and which won’t kick in until you are getting paid again, but that will literally and directly save lives by the time we are toasting to our successes at our 5 year reunion.
If you’re interested please visit the 1fortheworld.org. If you’re currently cash strapped we suggest you donate $6.13 per month, which is the fully delivered cost of one antimalarial bed net, and get pumped up about donating 1% of your salary once the big bucks start rolling in come the fall. Finally, we ask that you get excited because, together with the rest of our class, we have the chance to make a real difference.