My own generous gene was kick-started when I ran a marathon, fundraising to provide an electric wheelchair for a disabled child. This act of ‘heroism’ inspired a small group of us to create Whizz-Kidz, and I became the first CEO. The charity has now amazingly raised over £100M and helped around 20,000 disabled children move independently and live life to the full.
Since then I have helped many companies and philanthropists to become effective donors. I also began to write about the wonderful power of generosity to create purpose and meaning in people’s lives.
Which led to forming the Rainmaker Foundation in 2012, a community committed to making the world a better place through their own actions, and Desmond Tutu is its patron.
Our Generous Gene is a response to the wish to carry that journey further. The philosophy is set out in the book of the same name. I work with businesses, families and individuals who wish to ensure their philanthropy is as effective and enjoyable as possible, and I love connecting with people who wish to be useful and people already changing the world!
Our Generous Gene is part Mike’s personal story, part other people’s stories – ordinary people who have found, mostly to their amazement, they can and are changing the world, or their part of it, for the better.
And that they are happier when they live more generous lives.
Our Generous Gene is a treasure trove of interesting facts, moving stories and interviews with remarkable people who are living happily and generously while making determined efforts to create positive change. Generosity doesn’t require great wealth or even wealth at all. Everyone can join in. There are many practical tips and ideas on how to develop your Generous Gene; how to move from a culture where ‘having’ matters most, to one that values ‘being’; from a society where a few profit at the expense of many, to a place of greater interdependence. Generosity and kindness are things we can all learn and teach our children.
Sir Anthony Seldon: Vice Chancellor University of Buckingham
‘Our Generous Gene is a timely and important book. It argues that generosity is part of our DNA and that our core human instinct is to nurture each other, a message that the world seems to have forgotten in the 21st century.
‘This highly readable book about the power of generosity should be on everyone’s reading list because it reminds us what we all know in our hearts, that helping others gives us a sense of purpose and makes life happier for every single one of us. Without any cost at all.’