How a generous retiree got his donation to LWR tripled!

Ben Manny isn't a magician. But he is an active retiree who is committed to using his resources to make the world a better place. Here's how, by taking advantage of a few great opportunities, he managed to triple his giving to Lutheran World Relief, providing three times as much help and hope to families in need around the world.

Having the right intel

He makes regular donations, usually through a donor advisor fund, and in the last decade since he left technology giant, Intel, after a 37-year career, he's volunteered on many fronts.

One of the biggest was as a key driver of the Intel Retiree Organization (IRO) and its 5,000 members. He developed the first website for the IRO and created the initial Health and Benefits committee. He followed that with the Volunteer and Donation committee, which he currently co-chairs. The committee urges retirees to take advantage of the match and volunteer program offered by their former company.

The company, through its foundation, pays $10 for each volunteer hour an employee or U.S.-based retiree works at an eligible non-profit/educational organization. It also includes a matching grant for monetary donations made to eligible organizations. According to the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report, that program had raised $70 million since 2010.

Seizing the opportunity

Those donations were impressive but for Ben the big hit came late in 2016. Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich announced that for one week, the company would not just match, but double contributions made to eligible organizations as part of Human Rights Day.

“One of the many ways we can share Intel’s Values and commitment to human rights and equality is by giving back,” he wrote in his announcement. “I’m pleased to share that starting December 7 and continuing through December 13, the Intel Foundation will do a 2X match of any employee donation to qualifying charitable and educational organizations. He added that U.S. retirees also were eligible to participate. And there was no limit on how much an employee could contribute and still receive the match.

It marked the first time the company had celebrated Human Rights Day formally.

Many companies conduct employee matches but the double match was unique. According to the Intel website that one week campaign raised $29 million.

“You only had one week. I really scrambled to get that communication out to the retirees,” Ben said. And he “sold some stock.”

The result is a $5,000 donation from Ben turned into $15,000 for Lutheran World Relief.

A true multiplier

Ben, an elder in Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, Ore., who has been married to his wife Cecile nearly 50 years, said his choice was simple.

I’m a Lutheran and I like faith-based organizations. One of the overriding issues is the moral compass we need in people is not being implanted anymore. That is such an important aspect. I don’t think Democracy works unless you have that,” he said.

What makes LWR attractive is they “don’t just give handouts,” he said. “They go in and try to solve fundamental problems that are keeping people in poverty.”

He said LWR works closely with the people who are suffering and local leaders, often using their ideas and suggestions to produce positive results.

“People don’t realize these are smart people; they just don’t have the opportunities. If you can enable the opportunities they’ll do fine.”

Through his generosity, and by taking advantage of great opportunities to extend his giving, Ben Manny is a true multiplier, in more ways than one. Not only did his gift get tripled, but reaching out to people in need around the world through Lutheran World Relief, he is supporting projects that seek to multiply impact. Through programming that often trains people to go on to train more people, and seeks to walk with communities to find long-term, sustainable solutions to poverty, Ben Manny's gift will truly go the distance.