By Loretta Worters, Vice President, Media Relations, Insurance Information Institute
Millennials – the generation born between 1980 and 2000 – have begun to influence charitable giving. They prefer to work for companies that are involved in charitable causes, seeking a greater desire to make a social impact through their work, compared with previous generations. In addition, they tend to share these values on social media. These are some philanthropic trends in insurance industry Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), identified in “Charitable Giving in the Insurance Industry,” a report by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), released in partnership with McKinsey & Company. The report, along with IICF’s 2019 Philanthropic Showcase, highlight each of its Key Partner Company’s charitable endeavors in 2019.
The McKinsey report found that the level of giving has remained consistent, with a focus on education, health and social services, and community. One key factor behind this finding is industry consolidation, which has lowered the number of companies engaged in corporate giving. Insurers are also orienting philanthropy more around volunteerism. As a result, industry-wide giving has held steady between $560 million and $600 million in cash, grants, and other donations since 2015.
In addition to the influence of millennials on the types of charitable engagements companies pursue within their communities, the report offers a glimpse of the industry’s philanthropic commitment and highlights opportunities to expand programs and fuel community engagement. Charitable giving in the insurance industry continues to be an important focus.
Some of the report’s key findings, based upon responses from property and casualty companies and for the first time since 2011 life insurance and wealth management segments of the industry, include:
• The industry’s desire to work toward a single cause has increased to 33 percent in 2019 from 17 percent in 2015.
• The importance of giving within their own communities was evident as about 30 percent of respondents in 2019 prioritize contributions where employees live and work and where significant business is already done.
• Insurers have shifted their charitable focus toward increased volunteering opportunities, recognizing millennials prefer to work with companies directly involved in charitable efforts and activities, rather than those making only monetary donations.
• Measurement of charitable giving has increased, to 41 percent in 2019 from 26 percent in 2015, as more companies use key performance indicators to evaluate the impact of their philanthropy.
For organizations looking to amplify either the impact of their philanthropic efforts or the range of causes, the findings point to a few key opportunities including planning for greater employee engagement, with a special focus on millennials to further employee-focused giving strategies; to measure the impact of philanthropy to identify and build on charitable successes and refine metrics and giving standards; to rethink roles across the giving organization as CSR leadership and employee-driven engagement become increasingly common and CEOs continue to set broad direction; and finally to consider the value and benefits of a united, collaborative industry approach to CSR.