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How I Chose the MACC Fund–And Why You Should Too


Three years ago, after finishing my education, settling into my career and marrying the love of my life, I found myself thinking about my legacy and how I can make a difference in the lives of others – but in a way that I found personally meaningful. That led me to asking myself some pretty serious questions:

What is truly important to me?

What do I care about?

What impact can I make?

For a lot of people, this question is already answered because of their own life experiences, such as with an illness or as part of where your family has been involved. That wasn’t my situation; mine was truly a blank slate. To help make this decision I made a list of the criteria that reflected my own personal values:

  1. The organization needs to be dedicated to solving a critical issue and creating tangible, real-world outcomes
  2. The organization needs to meaningfully impact the lives of people in my community
  3. The organization needs to be forward-looking, looking at today’s needs as well as tomorrow’s
  4. The organization needs to be well-run and have a track record of success
  5. Most importantly, I wasn’t looking for merely an opportunity to donate money – I wanted to be able to make a meaningful gift of my time and expertise

So I started vetting different organizations. I researched. I volunteered. I asked friends and family for their input. And it was through a colleague and mentor of mine that I was ultimately introduced to The MACC Fund.

So I did my due diligence and ran The MACC Fund against my checklist.

  • The MACC Fund is dedicated to curing childhood cancer and related blood disorders.
  • The MACC Fund strives to accomplish its mission by funding research taking place in hospitals near me.
  • The breakthroughs that result from The MACC Fund research have the potential to cure childhood cancer within my lifetime.
  • Since its founding over 40 years ago, The MACC Fund has contributed more than $65 million to this fight. In that time they’ve helped increase the five-year survival rate for all types of childhood cancer rates from 20% in 1980 to 80% today.
  • The MACC Fund allows people to contribute monetarily as well as time, effort and expertise.

On paper, I was sold – but what really pushed me over the edge was the people. From the parents of survivors whose kids have benefitted from MACC Fund research, to the brilliant doctors committed to finding cures, to the lean and incredibly dedicated MACC Fund staff – I realized that I had found my fit. This was a team I wanted to join and an organization I wanted to make my charity of choice.

Fast forward to today: I’m co-chairing The MACC Fund’s Emerging Leaders board, helping drive this organization toward a cure and feeling incredibly fulfilled.

If you’re where I was, wondering if there was a cause in which you could make a real difference – consider making The MACC Fund your charity of choice. It will change your life.

Brian Petersdorf, Co-Chair, MACC Fund Emerging Leaders Board

P.S. If you’re still trying to work out what charitable organization makes the most sense for you, email me at and let me take you out for coffee. I’d be happy to discuss The MACC Fund and help you explore if this organization is right for you.

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