Since 1985, John Szepietowski has donated over £3 million to a range of charitable causes and lent his support through fundraising to numerous other issues. As a successful businessman and lawyer, John believes strongly in giving back to the community he lives in. His support has benefitted causes ranging from children with life limiting conditions to the welfare of animals and combatting the effects of noise pollution.

But why do people like Mr Szepietowski give to charity in the first place? There are a number of motivators that make this investment in others worthwhile for the donor. Research has shown that, above a certain level of income, making more money does not necessarily make the individual happier. However, donating money to charities and good causes can create a greater feel-good factor than spending it on yourself. This was illustrated by a study carried out in 2008 by a professor at Harvard Business School, Michael Norton. There is also evidence to suggest that helping others is good for our physical and mental health: studies have shown that it can reduce stress, for instance. More than that, helping others gives individuals a sense of belonging. We feel more a part of our community if we are interacting with it and supporting others in need. Again, this has beneficial effects on mood and health. Are these selfish motivators? Not necessarily. There is still the direct benefit of offering practical assistance to others in need, and if there are advantages for the donor, then so much the better; especially if this increases the likelihood of them giving again.

So how do people like John Szepietowski choose what causes to support? After all, there is plenty of need out there, right across the world. From Third World poverty to the effects of sickness and disease; from climate change to causes that advance education – you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start. How can an individual help solve a worldwide problem and how do you select the right cause from the myriad that surround us? Well, like John, it is always better to opt for an issue you feel passionate about. Mr Szepietowski, for instance, loves dogs and has owned many of his own over the years. He benefits from huge pleasure and receives unconditional love from his pets. It makes sense, therefore, for him to want to reciprocate that in a wider sense than just taking care of his own animals. Szepietowski feels very strongly, as most of us do, that animal cruelty is a terrible blight on society; and therefore invests his time and money in a cause, Dogs Are Loved, that helps heighten awareness of animal welfare. Equally, his personal experiences have made carers for those with cancer and children with special needs causes that are close to his heart.

And John Szepietowski is not alone. It’s estimated that almost half of us give money to charitable causes from time to time or on a regular basis. Many others give their time. It can make you feel good – and you can change lives. Why not consider making a donation today?

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