A California organization seeking to be a collective voice for insurance industry philanthropy has launched a New York division, kicking off what it hopes will become a nationwide expansion.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation said its New York division, which will have its own local board of governors, is expected to be operational by January 2007, serving New York City and the tri-state area. It has set a goal of providing at least $3 million in community grants to New York area nonprofits within its first two years.
IICF operates on the belief that collective industry giving can be more effective and garner more recognition than individual company efforts. It is meant to complement existing philanthropic efforts of insurers and insurance charitable foundations.
According to IICF, it has channeled more than $12 million in grants to local communities in California and accounted for 60,000 hours of volunteer service from insurance employees.
Plans for the New York division include a Volunteer Week and a community grants fund. The group hopes to engage more than 6,000 insurance industry employees in volunteer community service that collectively would provide 24,000 hours of service. It also plans to hold an annual dinner to raise $1 million for community grants.
Members are asked to make an annual minimum donation of $12,000 to be on the IICF board. Firms donating at least $25,000 are recognized as belonging to the Founders’ Circle. Members are expected to participate in campaigns to reach additional industry supporters.
The New York chapter was announced at a meeting hosted by Martin Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, American International Group, Inc. at AIG headquarters in New York City. AIG made a sizable founding contribution of more than $400,000 to launch the first East Coast division.
Early Founders’ Circle members of the New York division, in addition to AIG, include Endurance Global Insurance Group; Excess Line Association of New York; LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP, and Munich Reinsurance of America, Inc.
Board member supporters of the New York division thus far include ABD Insurance Services, Inc., Benfield Group, Chubb Group and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
“New York could be our most important division,” Bill Ross, CEO of the IIICF, told early supporters at the AIG luncheon. “New York is the world capital of insurance.”
Ross indicated that the next stop on IICF’s expansion could be Chicago, followed by Atlanta.
Founded in California in 1994, the IICF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It seeks to “set the standard for corporate giving, and serve as the charity of choice and philanthropic voice of the insurance industry,” according to its literature.
For industry companies with internal charitable giving programs, the foundation works as a partner by extending their reach and visibility. For companies and individuals without resources to implement their own outreach efforts, the foundation provides a managed program of charitable giving.
IICF’s Ross thanked Sullivan for his leadership and AIG’s founding contribution.
“We believe the foundation is unique in helping to create a collective philanthropic effort across the industry,” said Ross. “We are working to help communities, while strengthening the impact and awareness of the industry’s goodwill. We invite all members of the insurance industry to join AIG and other leaders by investing time and funds to support this collective charitable effort.”
“We are proud to help establish the foundation’s New York division, engaging leadership from across the insurance industry in support of our community,” said Sullivan.