Philanthropy through young eyes

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When you're under 40 years old, philanthropy is probably the last thing you think about. There is often an incorrect perception that philanthropy is for older, wealthy people, who are driven by some sudden altruistic inspiration to give back to the world before they inevitably kick the bucket and hand everything over to the next generation.

But philanthropy is so much more than that.

The value of philanthropy

Research funding is like a desert — there’s nothing but sand for a long time, and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll come across an oasis. This oasis is usually in the form of philanthropic donations. Being involved with fundraising here at QBI has allowed me to realise the incredible value of philanthropy in the scientific world. The recent Brazil gift saw $5 million injected into stroke and MND research, which will employ more researchers, buy more vital equipment, and hopefully bring us closer to curing or improving these diseases.

Not only is funding important for employing researchers and buying equipment, but it is also important to give researchers room to fail. No one has discovered a cure to anything without some level of failure—in fact, many discoveries which have changed the world started as nothing but accidents. A discovery needs to be discovered in the first place—and the long, difficult path that discovery often takes relies on philanthropic gifts to keep the momentum going.

The impact of philanthropy

Another misconception about philanthropy is that it is only big money—that if you’re going to give anything at all, there’s no point unless it’s in the five or six-figure range. However, I can tell you that any gift—no matter how small— makes an impact.

Imagine: if every person at this university donated to QBI the average price of a coffee, we would have over $150,000 dollars to go towards research. This can buy innovative new technology to make new discoveries, and ultimately improve the lives of millions of people all over the world. Science, as an industry, is founded on philanthropic donations—whether they be small, or in this case, $5 million big.

Every cent counts and has its own impact. Your $3 could be $3 of $150,000 in the hands of a researcher making a new discovery that changes the entire world. Money does make the world go around—and in science, it helps us find out why.

 

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Last updated:
31 August 2017