22 05 2012

Over the past couple of months, as my fiftieth birthday has been approaching, I have given some thought to how I would like to mark reaching my half century. At the same time, I have been asked more than a few times what I would like to receive as a birthday present.

I’m hoping I have come up with an answer to both questions which will also be something many others will want to be a part of…..

I’m immensely proud (even though it is one of the seven deadly sins) of the fact that I have been able to devise, launch and manage a number of events over the years that have raised in excess of £1/2 Billion for good causes. But that figure also comes as a result of being someone who is fortunate to have the occasional good idea along with the ability to turn the idea into reality.

Many others work just as hard, if not harder to do their bit for charity, raising a few pounds, dollars or euros to hundreds to thousands and more. Not a single penny of it is more or less important than another penny. Every effort in support of a good cause is as valuable as any other.

As I hit 50 today (22nd May) it strikes me that 50 is quite a good number to use as a theme for support for charity, for good causes and for those less well off than us. It is a theme which needs no organiser just a collective desire to do good. If already a fundraiser or donator, a little more good; if not, an easy place to start.

Let me explain.

Fifty pence (or fifty cents); what is it worth, what does it buy? Not a lot on its own but put enough 50 pences together and very soon it becomes a sum of money which makes a difference.

If everybody in the UK donated an extra 50 pence a week to a good cause, approx. £30 million more would be raised every week – that’s £1.560 Billion a year!

If everybody in the USA donated an extra 50 cents a week to a good cause, approx. $155 million more would be raised every week – that’s $8.060 Billion a year!

The value of fifty pence and/or fifty cents starts to look very different.

But value in anything isn’t just about money. Let’s look at it another way. If we take the UK National Minimum Wage of £6.19 (from October 2012) then 50 pence represents a near as doesn’t matter 5 minutes. Can you spare 5 minutes a week to help a good cause? How about giving that disabled neighbour a lift to the shops or spending five minutes just dropping in to check the elderly couple up the road are okay.

It’s not much is it? It doesn’t even cost you money. And yet if we all gave 50 pence of our money or 5 minutes of our time to make the world a better place each week, the value would be £/$ Billions every year.

It’s a very small, very easy way to be part of something huge. It’s a very small, very easy way to be part of something that can make a difference.

What do I want as a present to mark my fifty years on the planet?

Not much. Fifty pence or cents or your money. 5 minutes of your time. Each week.

Let’s spread the word. What do you say?


© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, May 2012

Read more blogs by Jim Cowan

Twitter @cowanglobal



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: