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The story of UNITAID begins with two world leaders but quickly becomes a lesson in popular philanthropy, involving millions of people each making a small contribution to a program aimed at treating and ultimately eliminating the threat of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world. In partnership with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), UNICEF, and other organizations, UNITAID has pioneered techniques for raising massive amounts of money from a wide pool of donors.
UNITAID’s newest program, collecting small contributions via a check-box on the world’s biggest travel websites, launches in the United States in January 2010. It is a fascinating model for philanthropy, proving that you can scale up both the fundraising and the ambition of lifesaving treatment programs. Moreover, UNITAID has proved able to continue its work uninterrupted by the financial turmoil that has blighted other private and government aid programs. It provides a model for challenging times.
Launched as a crucial component of UNITAID’s “MassiveGood” substantial national publicity and promotion campaign, Power in Numbers is an inspiring case study for anyone interested in social justice, public health, philanthropy, or fundraising.