Breaking into Charity: Mastermind Group Leads to Donating – Donating Leads to Feeling Good About Myself

How I Came to Donating

Three weeks ago I set a goal with my mastermind group to write for 2 hours a day, every day for the next two weeks.

In failing to reach that goal, I had to tell the group the truth. To be honest, I was contemplating lying to them.

“Oh yeah I wrote the whole time, but most of it is indecernable and I’m not going to publish it,” I would lie.

But I realized that would be a douchy move. I’m trying to avoid douchery and mimic an Ernesto Guevara type dedication to honesty. Lying about a goal I didn’t reach in order to save money on charity donations would be a capital fail. How could I live with myself?

When the time came, I came clean with the group.

So I have to donate $15 to the charity of choosing of the other 3 in the group with me. Here, I’ll write the organizations down and provide a bit of insight into who they are.


one girl ian robinson

  • Niall: One Girl – Years of listening to NPR radio and reading about poverty alleviation has led me to the conclusion that women are the key to bringing their societies out of despondency and into productivity. When Niall showed me this organization, I couldn’t help but go ahead with the donation. I believe in this organization. They publish their financial statements and they provide micro grants to poor women in difficult situations. Lord knows my wife’s is better with money than I am 🙂
  • Spyro: Heifer International – Ending hunger and poverty on this earth sounds like a ridiculous dream right? To me, we are on the cusp of making the world an infinitely better place. I believe that alleviating hunger and poverty can make the world a better place. I’m so lucky to be in contact with someone who feels the same way. Thank you Spyros.
charity water image
  • KaiCharity Water – Water, water, water. There is nothing I cherish more on this planet than water. I love to dive into it, ski on top up it, drink it, freeze it, boil it and play in it. Living in the Philippines helps me to learn that, people don’t have it. If you’re in the western world, you just reach out, turn the faucet on and have a glass of water. In other worlds, they have to find giant containers, clean them, carry them to a clean source, fill them, carry them back, then finally enjoy some fresh water. I believe in this charity and I’m so happy that Kai brought it to my attention. Thank you Kai.

The Effect of This on My Finances

Look, if I’m honest. $45 burns me up a bit. Thats 1,890 Philippine Pesos.

I live on about $600 a month here in Cebu City. I make about $1,000 dollars a month before taxes. (I have no idea what sort of tax liability I’m building up.)

I’ve been too busy hustling up cutting edge skills (big thanks to Chris Ducker for taking me on as his Marketing Intern.) I love developing my skills. This style of learning is investing in my future propensity to make lots of money, but I feel pretty silly because I safely reside in the bottom income bracket for United States citizens.

At the end of the day, This donation equates to 4.5% of my monthly income. In all honesty, that doesn’t burn me up too bad. I’ll put off buying a Gi for Jiu Jitsu this month and be fine.

Giving Early: Contemplating Poverty

I recently read Tim Ferriss’s blog post about the compounding value of giving early in your career. This post really got me thinking about the marginal value of $45 dollars in my pocket, versus that much in the pocket of someone in a much more challenging situation.

Just outside this internet cafe and a short walk down the street, there is a woman with two children who sleeps on a cardboard box outside a bread shop. Her two children spend much of the time crying and begging for change while their mother lays on the concrete steps of a dilapidated building. The disparity in this world is difficult to understand. I took a moment to watch this poor family the other day. Sparkling new Subaru sports utility vehicles from Japan were honking at each other as they roared by at full speed, and this woman was sleeping on the street with her starving children on my right. What is going on here?

It’s easier if you live a few thousand miles away, but here poverty is a constant thorn in the mental saddle.

So I feel good about this. It’s definitely not much… but it’s a start.

Thanks for reading. If you read to this point, please comment and tell me what you think.


One Reply to “Breaking into Charity: Mastermind Group Leads to Donating – Donating Leads to Feeling Good About Myself”

  1. Good stuff Ian. We’re right there with you in trying to process the economic disparity stuff. Good things to wrestle with.

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