IICF Charitable Giving

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) worked with McKinsey to update its survey on philanthropic giving in the industry. WRIN.tv speaks with IICF CEO Bill Ross and Insurance Information Institute President Bob Hartwig about the increase in charitable giving among companies in the P&C industry, and the shift toward more money going to “health and social services.”

According to Mr. Ross, the first study of charitable giving in the P&C insurance industry was conducted in 2011. In the first survey, estimated charitable giving was about a half a billion dollars. The recent study reveals a $75 million increase in giving, or about 15%.

Mr. Hartwig says the increase in charitable giving is “significant in nominal dollar terms”, particularly given difficult economic conditions and low growth in employment.   In addition, he says the scale and scope of the giving is “impressive” as well. The P&C industry is a considerable force, employing 2.4 million people and accounting for 2.5% of U.S. GDP. A 15% increase in philanthropic giving on an industry this large is “a material difference.”

Every organization wants to be engaged in their community, and P&C companies give because they “feel it’s the right thing to do”, according to Mr. Ross, and employees want them to be involved. Mr. Hartwig sees giving as “an extension of what P&C companies do day-in and day-out. It is our business model…to be the economic first-responders after disasters, to help people in times of their greatest needs.”

Mr. Hartwig also believes the amount of giving in the industry should be measured in more than just dollars. He says “insurers are the cornerstone of many communities throughout the country (and)…insurers have been around for the long-run….vital parts of their communities.” Mr. Hartwig points out investments of insurers in the revitalization of downtown areas, sponsorships of little league teams, provide scholarships/internships. They all involve giving back to the community.

Mr. Ross says the new IICF/McKinsey study identified a shift in the charity towards health and human services. Education is still a focus, but there is a shift. Mr. Hartwig believes the immediate needs of human beings became a focus as we emerged from the great recession, whether it was housing, food or shelter. Mr. Hartwig also pondered whether is a perception of increased funding for education coming from the government, prompting a redirection of funds elsewhere. That would need to be studied.

In the end, Mr. Ross says it was important to produce facts and figures about the collective giving on the part of the industry. In addition to the study identifying $500+ million in direct giving, there is another half billion dollars McKinsey discovered was donated through partnership relationships. So today, over $one billion is given by the P&C industry to charitable causes.

For more about charitable giving in the insurance industry, visit the IICF website, or the WRIN.tv On Demand Library.

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