This year has been extraordinarily challenging to say the least. We are engaged in a virtual life of Zoom workshops, virtual school, telemedicine and more. Many of us are tired of the virtual life and uncertainty. We miss our colleagues and former routines. But what I find interesting when I think about 2020 is this: we are not tired of helping others.
We have a unique vantage point at the Insurance Charitable Foundation, a collaborative force in the industry, to see how well the industry has done. We have served for more than 25 years as the philanthropic voice and foundation of the insurance industry, helping communities and enriching lives through grants, volunteering and leadership. Although we had to turn around in 2020 in terms of how we host fundraising events, promote volunteer initiatives and even offer awards to our nonprofit partners, we did not miss a beat.
And it’s not just the companies that have taken over. This year we have seen more than 1,500 individual insurance professionals show their own commitment to those in need by generously supporting them with personal contributions. To this end, we will launch a global membership program for individuals to reinforce the industry’s great need to give back on a personal as well as a business level.
The success of IICF’s COVID-19 Crisis: Children’s Relief Fund is a testament to the unimpeded spirit of giving. To date, the IICF Children’s Relief Fund has raised $ 1.3 million in the US and the UK and provided 1.2 million meals to children and families affected by the pandemic. Those in our industry are aware of how this crisis is affecting children excessively, and are focused on addressing food security and lack of educational resources and access. It speaks volumes not only of the IICF’s commitment to helping its grants, but also to the generosity of the industry and IICF supporters. As the pandemic continues and we see needs grow, we will launch a second Child Aid Fund in 2021.
While IICF has turned in its event and volunteer offerings, the industry has joined us. We presented new fundraising ideas and volunteer opportunities, and our supporters welcomed the changes with open arms. For example, 1,000 individuals participated in the first International Step Up Challenge of IICF, which provides a safe outlet to promote mental and physical well-being and team building for professionals, families and friends in the industry. The event, which encouraged steps for charity while working from home, raised nearly $ 50,000 for IICF’s Child Aid Fund and a second Step Up Challenge will be launched in 2021.
Companies and individuals have also taken on various volunteer initiatives, practically as well as in social distance. We have had great success with virtual food and essential drives, virtual book rides, as well as volunteer initiatives related to enrolling seniors, participating in sham interviews with veterans, and creating audio books for students with different students.
Furthermore, without the ability to get together in person, we had to get creative as we imagined our fundraising and leadership events. Once again, the industry has worked generously to help us raise funds through virtual trifles, wine tastings, practice classes and more. This year’s IICF Northeast Annual Benefit Event, one of our biggest fundraisers of the year – usually held as a gala dinner in New York City – has garnered incredible support as industry professionals have been working together for almost $ 860,000 for almost $ 860,000 this month. to raise local honors and honor the philanthropic leadership of Gallagher, the 2020 recipient of IICF’s Double I Award, accepted by J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., President, President and CEO of Gallagher.
Our industry seems to have realized through this year of adversity that when we work together to help the needy, the daily frustrations of this virtual life seem less tiring. Individuals want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be part of something put together in a common cause, and that’s exactly what IICF promotes.
“It seems our industry has realized through this year of adversity that when we work together to help the needy, the daily frustrations of this virtual life seem less tiring.”
So, despite the challenges of 2020, I am proud to say that our industry for the needy has increased. At IICF, we have grown steadily and expect to give $ 2 million in grants in 2020, and our total grants are awarded to more than $ 42 million.
The business world, education and government may make up the economy, but the fourth wheel is the non-profit sector. COVID-19 has raised the profile of nonprofits and demonstrated that these organizations provide significant support to communities and individuals in service. The insurance community realized this – the brokers, the suppliers, sellers and individual supporters – and acted jointly through IICF. Thank you so much to an industry that has not grown tired of giving during this turbulent year, and thank you for giving the IICF the voice that brings the face of the industry to the fore by giving to charity and volunteering.
Published from December 21, 2020 Charity Issue of Insurance Journal Magazine.
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