While John often gives tranches of his wealth directly to charity, he will also occasionally donate the cost of staging an event so enabling an organisation - or event organisers - to generate even more funds off their own bat.
He refers to this approach as "creative philanthropy": why give £500,000 to a cause when he can invest that £500,000 in an event or project that will either generate double or more that sum, or secure or create jobs?
His ethos is to make a genuine difference; creative philanthropy helps makes that difference. Typically, Caudwell Children, the charity he founded and supports, is amongst the most efficient in the world. For every £1 donated to it, it generates £2.08 worth of benefit. How? Because John covers all the overheads, but also because he believes in bringing the creative philanthropy approach to bear.
Caudwell Children is a last resort for many families who have spent every last penny, tried every last avenue and exhausted every last source of support. It helps the most severely disabled, dangerous ill or near-to-death children – and their families - by finding and providing treatment or specialist equipment, or simply making their shortened lives as rewarding as possible.
His other philanthropic endeavours take a similar route. He made a significant donation to the Elton John Aids Foundation – but only after he had visited one project in South Africa to see how his donation would impact. He discovered on a visit to the Ukraine that his donation had helped enable the team on the ground to educate Kiev's street kids, who lived in derelict buildings or underground in caves dug out around heating pipes, into the dangers, realities and consequences of the spread of HIV/AIDS through drug use. The disease is spreading fast, and will soon start to impact on other parts of Europe as young adults look further and wider for work.
John's donation will have a much wider international impact, helping prevent the spread of the disease, and the associated death and cost of death, not just in Kiev, but much further and wider.