Episode 67: Why Do I Need to Give to Charity? with Shivani Gupta

I'm Shivani Gupta, and welcome to the Ask Shivani podcast. I believe that one of the best presents that you can give yourself is time to be able to sit down and ask yourself some questions. I believe that the quality of the question that you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life.

Hi everybody, and welcome to the AskShivani podcast. Today, I am going to be speaking about a topic that's really touched me over the last few weeks, it's been something that's always been really important to me. But for some reason it keeps dropping in where that sign is not so subtle. So, I'm not sure if you have that experience where you start, you know, they say, you start thinking about a particular type of car, and then you see that car everywhere. You start thinking and humming a tune to a song, and then that song plays or somebody plays it for you. And so, I won't get into the spiritual parts of that and the law of attraction and bringing that into your consciousness. What I really wanted to speak about today was that for me, one of the things that keeps dropping in more and more over the last few weeks, is this notion of how much do you need. So, I was driving by this particular path where I dropped my kids off all the time. And I saw this sign go up talking about a particular book, and I thought, oh, that book looks like one of the authors that I've already read a book by anyway, turns out that it was a different book. But they had the same last name. So, look, this book calm, and, and then I got distracted. And then I didn't order it. And then I was speaking to a friend of mine. And she said, hey, she does some work with 100 projects, which their main aim and vision is to, I guess, end, hunger and, and have nobody starving around the world. And she's been doing work with them for a number of years. And she started telling me about this book. And this is not like weeks out, this is like within a day and a half of me seeing this particular sign. And, and I went so I had this great conversation with her. And I told her about what had happened when I was driving, and I saw this ad come up, and then again, got distracted and didn't think about it. And, and then I was looking at a particular course, like a musical theater drama course for my daughter that she wanted to do. And I looked it up and again, this author popped up. And this guy, it was not, you know, related anything to what I was searching, and I happened to be that he was going to be in Brisbane, with the city that I live in Australia and coming in to give a lecture. I was unfortunately away that day. And I couldn't attend the lecture. But I have a rule of three. And I've spoken about this in other podcasts that if three things happen within a very short space of time, I take that as a sign. I think that there are signs everywhere. But sometimes we just forget to read them.

So, I took it as a bit of a sign to go, I'm going to explore this book. So, I ordered it for myself. And I also ordered it for a couple of other people that I knew that would get a lot out of it. So, I started reading this book and you probably wondering – Shivani, give us the name of this book, the author is Peter Singer. And he has written many books, but this particular book that pops up with this red cover, and this hand reaching into the heart is the life that you can save. And having just exited out of one of my businesses and are wondering what takes us next outside of my speaking and podcasting and mentoring world, you know, what other things might want to do, he started to speak about how much do we need, and whether we see a bigger picture in the world in terms of the money that we earn, and then being able to donate more. But also, when we donate more donating to charities that are well researched, and thought through where we know that that money is going to be used in good stead rather than be wasted on administration and other things. And so, as I start to read this book, it's really starting to challenge me in terms of the impact on the world, the legacy on the world. And it's also starting to get me a question, you know, when you're being a bit altruistic, and you're giving some of your money away, and the some of the people that do that, you know, do you want to be known for or do not want to be known for other some benefits? Are there some downsides? So, it's a really interesting exploration in terms of a are you getting enough and whether you're, you know, want to be or should be getting enough, but it also then looks at how you give that so I'm about three quarters of the way through the book, and I'm really enjoying it. And then I happened to go to a conference. Finally conferences alive again, rather than just online. And I happened to go to this conference on this beautiful island with some extraordinary speakers. And there was a couple of speakers. I was really looking forward to listening to the wisdom and what they might have to share and talking about that. What I didn't expect was this one particular speaker that got up on day two of the conference. and started to speak about giving and again, this, you know, this messaging that keeps coming in the signs that keep coming in. And I want to mention his name, because I'd love for you to actually go and have a bit of a look at some of the extraordinary work that he's doing. And his name is Matt Bowtell.

And Matt, and this is, again, my experience of my take on what he spoke about, and the takeaways that I had, with Matt share his journey of being an engineer, and then that role and that company, you know, his role was made redundant, and he had these engineering skills, and he didn't know what to do. And one of the things he wanted to do was utilize some of the great training that he'd had. And he started to utilize some of their training, and started to build, you know, little bionic arms like arms, that he could build for a fraction of the cost of what you could traditionally buy them for. And using the skills, he started to build these little hands, sorry, and bionic hands, and then literally post them to a child that would finally perhaps for the first time in their life, and have that experience of being able to do simple things like open a, you know, a bottle top, be able to hold something be able to touch their parents, he also designed them in a way that they were really cool for kids. So they were, you know, how that Iron Man and other super powers and so the kids felt really excited about wearing them rather than this really boring, you know, bionic hand that they had. And what really touched me was that he made them completely free for the recipient.

And, you know, in my business head, I'm going, well this business model doesn't make any sense. This doesn't make any sense. How is he leave? he's married, he's got kids and how can he do all of these and pay for parts? And, you know, pay for office space? And do all of this? And how can? And how does he build enough of them there. So, I started to listen to Matt. And then I reached out to him a little bit later and had a conversation with him, he is so clear that he is part of his purpose on this planet, is to really do that. And so, his business is called Free3dhands.org, we're going to put that in there. I'm going to put that in the chat. At the end of it, I'd love for you to check out this particular website. But one of the things that it's really got me thinking a lot about is, how does this model work? Like, how do we make enough money. And I know that people are going to read about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who are doing some extraordinary work, trying to eradicate things like malaria around the world. When I read about Warren Buffett, who's given a lot of his wealth away, and billions of dollars, not into the Gates Foundation, but other places, you know, these people have made significant wealth. And then once they've reached that, you know, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, where they're very successful, and they have millions or billions of dollars in the bank, they're then utilizing some of those funds. And those earnings or those profits into that that model is always makes sense to me. But the part that I'm reading Peter singers book is not making sense to me is, you know, what if what if you're earning $70,000 a year and you've got a partner, and you've got kids at school and, and you know, that you only need to leave about 65 or $66,000, for example, to live. But those three or $4,000, they're not surplus, like because you kind of, you know, your money is just getting you enough through what you need. So wouldn't you be saving the $4,000 or 5000 or $50,000, whatever extra that you have, outside of the living expenses that you need. And you know, getting ahead on your mortgage, or using it for a holiday or doing other things for the path that Peterson has really challenged me to think about is, well, how much do you really need? Okay, so let's say if it's only $4,000 That makes sense to get ahead. But what if you're earning $50,000 Extra? What if you're earning $60,000 Extra, which, you know, a lot of us in the Western worlds do like we have extra money. And if we decide to, you know, only even donate $1,000 a year, you know how many kids or, or a particular project that you might be passionate about, whether it's animals or kids or bionic hands or whatever it might be that you're really passionate about how many different things got it support.

And then meeting somebody like Mat, who is takes that even further where he's gone, all just work out other things. But I know I can build this for a fraction of the cost, and the joy on that child's face to be able to receive this bionic hand and the joy that it brings me and the joy that it brings to not only the child but also for that whole family for something that they might have endured the way they've been born without a hand or fingers or they've had an accident to for them to be able to lead a more fuller life and that joy that it brings to them that was his sole purpose. And I don't have any answers on this particular podcast I just wanted to share with you, you know, some of you that are listening might already be involved with a particular charity that you give to and the Peter Singer works, really questions. Do you know how this charity is structured? Do you know when you ask them where this money is particularly going. So, if you already give to that, learn more about that particular charity, he also suggests a lot of charities, there are certain people who got very passionate about after reading some of his work and meeting him, then started to put together certain charities that have already been checked out, and he lists them in his book, and you can check that out on his website as well. So, if you just go to Peter Singer, and then then check that out, or go to the book, that there is a lot of organizations that have already been tested and tried, so to speak, where you can do that, but if you don't do any of the donations, like what extra money do you have? And you know, could you give $1,000 away? Or could you give more away? Could you find some passion projects where you could live really well, you could still travel, you could still pay more of your mortgage off, but you could also still help the world to equalize it and to be able to help other people that needs it happening. And, you know, when I heard Matt speak, being a mum, and having fully abled children, but also having, having worked with, you know, kids with disabilities, having friends, that you know, Paralympians and just really his story and his messaging and what he was doing, and his purpose really touched me. So, I got up at this conference, I got the conference organisers permission. And, you know, Matt, didn't know about this, but I just got up and said, look, I'm gonna donate $1,000, there's no pressure. But if, if you could, and if you were really touched, because a number of us were talking about this morning, too, it'd be fantastic. If you were willing to donate whatever money, I've just put $1,000 down, because I know that will support this many hands. And, and there's many children, and that would be great.

And what was really interesting that happened was I had a colleague with me, and he got some people to stand up wasn't sure if that was the right thing. But because the idea wasn't to embarrass anybody in the room. But what happened as a result of it, and I don't know the exact number, but there's been now 1000s of dollars raised. And there's been, you know, somebody that's, you know, volunteered to be on the board. And I'm talking about this in this podcast, they've been other LinkedIn articles that people have written because he touched a lot of people, because he's an amazing human. And he's doing some amazing work. And so, this notion of wanting to do more in the world, this notion of if you don't have that voice, and if you haven't, if you're not a Mat Bowtell, that I'm not today, you know, finding people that you can support and do something with is a really, really fascinating thing. And so, I really encourage you to, if you're already doing some work, the first step out today would be to dig a little bit deeper and know where this money is being used. And really even tying in more of your passions deeper into that. The second is if you don't have that and find something that you could contribute a little bit to. And the third part you may or may not agree with, I just see when I come across people doing incredible work, I want to talk about that. And I don't need the accolades or the $1,000 that went into Free3dhands.org. But I wanted to help Mat a beyond the $1,000. And I wanted other people to know about that. So, speaking about other heroes, speaking about other people that are doing some amazing work, and linking them up into the right channels, you know, is a really good way to be able to help other people maybe not exponentially, but certainly at a scale. And the more that you talk about, you know, people that are doing extraordinary work, and finding support, whether it's financial or mentor or you know, through boards, etc comes in really, really handy.

So, yeah, so the same of this podcast was just to share these things that have been happening in the signs that have been happening. I'm not sure what the other part of Peter Singers book reveals, but I'm fascinated in terms of reading that and coming up with a couple of actions in terms of what I can incorporate. So, I so encourage you to check out his book, Peter Singer, and I would so encourage you to look at Mat Bowtell and we will publish all of that links at the bottom. Have a fantastic day.

I'm Shivani Gupta. And you've been listening to the Ask Shivani podcast where I'd like to ask some questions. Thank you so much for listening. Please follow Ask Shivani on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And if you haven't done so, please go to the Apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. It would mean a lot. Thank you.