Adding Value to Philanthropic Contributions

Charity foundations can create value for money (VFM) when their activities generate social benefits that go beyond merely creating purchasing power for the beneficiaries
Mahak Charity has 700 employees, thousands of volunteers, and 80,000 members.Mahak Charity has 700 employees, thousands of volunteers, and 80,000 members.

Some charity foundations “are just intermediaries” between individual donors who fund them and people under their coverage. However, charities should play an assertive role instead of simply being “passive middlemen,” since in such a scenario they fall short of their potential and the expectations from society, says Arasb Ahmadian, head of the Mahak Charity in Tehran. 

“The activities of charities can impact donor contributions through the provision of different services to the underprivileged in particular and the society in general, instead of merely distributing the money to the target groups,” Azad News Agency (ANA) quoted him as saying.  

Stressing the necessity of playing an active role in helping the needy, he said, if a hospital is constructed with the money donated by philanthropists, many people will benefit from the medical services, and the society as well.

Currently, a vast majority of charity foundations help the needy by giving financial doles and only a small number provide social services themselves. However, charity foundations can create value for money (VFM) when their activities generate social benefits that go beyond merely creating purchasing power for the beneficiaries. 

VFM is defined as utility derived from every sum of money spent. It is based also on the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the money spent.

Innovative charities prepare the ground for cooperation among volunteers who may not be able to provide financial support but are interested in volunteering in charitable services by giving their time and energy. 

Ahmadian said volunteerism is one of the main pillars at Mahak. “In fact, one of the main sources of financial support for the charity comes from its large number of volunteers.”

Pointing to the importance of encouraging social responsibility in the community, he said the fourth international Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility will be held at Mahak premises on February 13, on the occasion of the International Day of Children’s Cancer. It coincides with the charity’s 25th founding anniversary.

The Iran and Tehran chambers of commerce, Iranian Business School (IBS), Amirkabir University of Technology and Sharif University of Technology, will sponsor the conferences. 

Raising people’s awareness on social responsibility, successful strategies for corporate social responsibility, and CSR and the challenges ahead are among the topics to be discussed.

  Working for Cancer Kids  

Mahak was formally registered in 1991 as a charity to support children with cancer. 

The charity provides supportive, psycho-social and welfare services to mostly deprived children and their families. Support services include social work, psychology and welfare services. In addition, the charity undertakes collection of donations and humanitarian assistance from people, institutions and organizations. 

The Mahak Hospital and Rehabilitation Complex, a Pediatric Cancer Research and Hospital Center was founded in 2003. The 120-bedroom complex in Darband neighborhood focuses on treatment and rehabilitation of children and providing support to their families during treatment.

It is the single largest and best-equipped pediatric cancer hospital in Iran and the Middle East offering medical services and a residential center for parents.

According to the Health Ministry, annually 100,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the country many of which are treatable if diagnosed at an early stage.

Every year on December 27, the “Mahak family” meets to celebrate ‘Childhood Cancer Survivors Day’ under the slogan ‘Cancer Is Not the End’. The charity’s board of trustees and directors, child patients and their family members take part.

The charity celebrated the recovery of 5,600 children from cancer at its latest event, Ahmadian said.    

So far Mahak has provided comprehensive coverage and treatment to over 23,000 children with cancer through its 10 divisions, two residential centers, and over 10 fundraising offices and booths. The charity has  700 employees, thousands of volunteers, and 80,000 members. 

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