IICF Week of Giving Carries On Volunteerism, Adds ‘Text to Give’

By | October 10, 2012

The property/casualty sector of the insurance industry gave an estimated $500 million in charitable funding in 2010, according to a 2011 study by McKinsey & Company. The research report noted: “Most of this giving was in the form of direct cash contributions from companies (80 percent); the remaining 20 percent includes estimated employee donations of cash or volunteer hours.”

But there’s room for more, and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is responding.

A report from McKinsey & Co. estimated P/C industry charitable giving totaled $500 million in 2010, including corporate contributions, employee donations, and volunteerism.

IICF has long had a tradition of fostering volunteerism in local communities where insurance organizations and employees work. IICF’s volunteerism programs have yielded more than 155,000 volunteer hours since IICF founder Bruce Basso, CEO, Worldwide Broker Network, started Volunteer Week alongside peers in the San Francisco Bay area.

Since 1998 employees representing over 200 firms have volunteered at more than 150 nonprofits around the country. In 2011, volunteer projects were held in 18 states (including California, Colorado, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut through the IICF’s Western and Northeast divisions as well as in Chicago and Kansas City through the then-newly formed IICF Midwest division). In 2012, the newly formed IICF Texas/Southeast division based in Dallas is joining the effort. New IICF chapters in Boston and Arizona will participate in 2012 for the first time as well.

After 2011’s Volunteer Week, IICF’s leaders wanted to expand the industry’s positive impact. They chose to add an industry-wide effort to boost and combine charitable donations by insurance professionals. For 2012, IICF has added a “text-to-give” donation campaign to its traditional weeklong insurance volunteerism event. The text campaign is a way to rally a large number of insurance employees to make a small donation and help represent the industry — together.

IICF’s new fundraising platform enables insurance employees to donate $5 by texting INSURANCE to 50555. Donations will be divided among four nonprofit organizations: Feeding America, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Donations also can be made at www.IICF.org.

The expanded volunteer/donation effort is now called “IICF Week of Giving.” It runs October 13-20, 2012 in numerous states around the country.

During Week of Giving, teams of insurance volunteers will head out to donate three or more hours of service at local nonprofit organizations. These projects help schools, food banks, parks, recreation facilities, soup kitchens, community shelters, and other charities. Some volunteers will be part of organized large-scale corporate efforts, while many others will be from local or family-based independent agencies, brokers and other firms.

Experience shows that many who work in the insurance industry want to get involved in their local community. Regardless of the size of the project, all efforts make a difference in the lives of the people served. Working together as an industry during IICF Week of Giving gives the insurance industry a strong presence in the community.

Volunteer teams can sign up at http://volunteer.iicf.org. They’ll find a wide-range of projects in the areas of disaster preparedness, education, the environment, housing, senior issues, women’s issues, and youth and children. IICF facilitates volunteerism by making contact with the charities and asking them to post projects for the volunteers. Once the projects are in place, insurance volunteers are recruited and encouraged to look for service areas that suit them. We’ve found many insurance volunteers and the people who lead teams appreciate the ease of serving through Week of Giving.

Workers from a broad spectrum of industry employers — reinsurers, carriers, agencies, brokerage firms, consulting firms, law firms, trade associations and other industry-related companies — are participating in IICF Week of Giving. More than 100 teams are already assembled in more than a dozen states. Participants in 2012 will include Swiss Re, CSE Insurance, Fireman’s Fund, Endurance, Tower Group, Travelers, Zurich, Mayer Brown, Lockton, Chartis, Zenith Insurance, HUB International, Heffernan Insurance Brokers … and many more.

Elizabeth Myatt is executive director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (www.IICF.org) Northeast Division. Founded in 1994, the foundation has contributed more than $18 million and 155,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations.

More from IICF Charitable Involvement & Leadership Blog Blog

About Elizabeth Myatt

Elizabeth Myatt is executive director of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation New York/Northeast region. Founded in 1994, the foundation has contributed more than $16 million and 140,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations. More from Elizabeth Myatt

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