Donor Spotlight

MedShare Announces Three New Board Members and New Vice Chair

“MedShare helps people who are really in need, and does so with efficiency and effectiveness.”  That’s why Richard Higgins and his wife give to MedShare.

As Co-Founder and CEO of the Mundito Foundation, Richard has seen how many international aid organizations operate. He and Margaret enjoy seeing how their giving to impactful organizations helps communities develop and improve their quality of life.

“A site visit tells a lot,” he says. “You meet the people on the ground and can evaluate their dedication and effectiveness. Is your donation getting to its destination? Is it being well used when it gets there? What obstacles do folks on the ground have to overcome to put your donation to good use?” Richard and his wife, Margaret Graff – Co-Founder, CFO, and Secretary of the Mundito Foundation, have been on many site visits and have seen how their donations have fostered development around the world. While on MedShare’s 2016 Impact Trip, they visited hospitals in Guatemala that were saving lives thanks to their support.

The Mundito Foundation’s international fundraising is prompted by realizing that a few US Dollars go a long way in developing nations. “We ask a nonprofit, ‘What kind of project could you accomplish if we could come up with a certain target, like $30,000?” Then they approach their donor group to raise half that target amount, multiplying the impact of many smaller individual donations.  With the help of nonprofit partners like MedShare, Richard and Margaret support international aid and development programs that “have a specific and significant impact on communities in need.”

They’ve chosen to support a handful of organizations that they believe are making a lasting and positive impact. Both Ph.D.’s and former academics, Richard and Margaret are analytic in their giving. They study the nonprofits to make sure that each passes high standards of efficiency and efficacy. That’s one reason Richard says they’ve been involved with MedShare for so long, beginning in 2011 by raising $25,000 to ship a container of medical supplies to a hospital in Guatemala.

“The MedShare model is crazy efficient! Using donated medical products and volunteer labor automatically makes the percentage of dollars that go to program support very high.”

To those considering donating to MedShare, Richard recommends volunteering to help sort incoming medical supplies for the MedShare warehouse.

“Going to one volunteer session will give you a good picture of what MedShare does. It’s an eye-opening experience.”

Richard and Margaret are also conscientious about how they give.  “There are significant advantages to giving using your credit card, or giving using appreciated stock, or giving through an IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution,” Richard explains. “We sometimes give using a credit card that returns Frequent Flier Miles which help earn Premium Frequent Flier Status on our chosen airline.”

“Alternatively, giving appreciated stock provides not just donation tax credit but also helps lower our capital gains tax bill,” says Margaret, a certified financial planner.

Margaret Graff explains a third advantageous giving method:  “We made our donation for 2017 through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from Richard’s IRA.  QCDs are available for persons over age 70.5 who wish to exempt a portion of their IRA required minimum distributions from taxation.  By choosing a QCD instead of a charitable deduction, donors are able to decrease their adjusted gross income, which may have benefits that flow through to many other aspects of their tax situation.  It takes a few extra steps so it’s most appropriate for larger donations, but I would encourage other enthusiastic donors to discuss this technique with their tax advisors.  It’s important to note that if a donation is done through a QCD, the donor cannot also claim the donation as a charitable deduction.”

For information on how to donate from your IRA, please contact your CPA or financial advisor.