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. More and more of us are already creating an alternative ‘good news’ world, working together and sharing ideas that support and sustain each other and the planet and shifting our culture forwards.
The latest trends, thinking and research confirm that – amazing though it sounds – we can and are rewiring our brains, literally, to take charge of our own evolution. Unlike Darwin feared, the first human instinct is to nurture and care for each other. Although seriously battered by self-centred cultures, generosity and kindness are things we can learn and teach our children. A win/win that also makes us happier and more fulfilled.
Written with lots of practical tips and ideas on how to develop our 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. The underlying message is that we have a choice. Everyone can live a healthier and happier life if they choose and it’s OK to start small, because the ripple effect is amazing. Action is all it takes.
‘I wrote this book to share what I’ve discovered about the wonderful benefits of generosity through the very personal lens of my life so far. I’ve augmented it with stories from people who’ve inspired me, short films and books written by others far cleverer than me!
We can truly all make an enormous difference to our own lives, the lives of others and the world – or at least our part of it – by ‘getting a grip’ and living more generous lives.
If I can influence people who read it, I will be happy. A small contribution to add to thousands of others who know society needs to change and to the people already changing it.’