We recently published a piece on LifeHealthPro.com on four reasons why giving is good for you, with the thesis that money really can buy you happiness, but only when you give it all away. Author Tim McCarthy stressed that all of us could invest something – big or small – towards an initiative that gives back on a deeper human level.
And though it may feel at times – to some of us at least – that we don’t have a dollar to spare, the truth is that Americans are saving at a rate of 5.30 percent of annual income, which is well above the record low of 0.80 percent in 2005, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. So in essence, most of us do have something to give, no matter how small.
Though not recognized nearly enough, insurance companies are some of the most philanthropic organizations out there. New York Life, for example, has its own charitable foundation that has, since its inception in 1979, provided almost $170 million in contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. MassMutual is another example. In 2013 alone, the mutual insurance company donated nearly $8 million through its local and national giving programs. Prudential – possibly one of the most generous of all insurance companies – has five different branches of its charitable giving organization. From investing in affordable housing to bringing jobs to distressed communities to its involvement in “impact investments” (or using the company’s funds and resources to work with other business leaders to create solutions to social challenges of today and tomorrow). Lincoln Financial is another stalwart of the philanthropic community. The Philadelphia-based corporation donates an average of $10 million annually to grantees in its communities.
And let’s not forget the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, which has contributed more than $21 million in community grants since its inception in 1994. And of course, Life Happens, which, among other initiatives, has awarded nearly $900,000 in college scholarships to students who have lost a parent or guardian and are in need of financial support for college.