Broker Words—March 2020


The life insurance industry is already indisputably noble in its primary purpose—taking care of the widows and orphans. You do good work.

But in my experience members of our industry take their purpose as a given and are moved to contribute a great deal more than just insuring lives. Charitable giving is a recurring theme in this column and elsewhere in the pages of Broker World. I’ve chosen to highlight a number of carriers’ charitable giving programs over the years, most recently OneAmerica in the February issue. I’m consistently heartened by revelations that not only do many carriers have charitable foundations that they fund to help those less fortunate, but that they further hold employee fundraising events with a corporate match, hold school supply drives, clothing drives, build Habitat for Humanity homes, sponsor days or even weeks of paid leave for hands-on charitable work in their communities and much much more. I also make sure to run coverage of Jason Lea’s BSMG Charity Golf Tournament every year, because I think it’s inspired to run your annual agent appreciation event as a benefit for local charities. In the years I’ve been covering it, attending or from afar, BSMG has raised well over $2 million for local Rhode Island charities. Truly remarkable.

My wife and I contribute generously to veterans causes, animal shelters and wildlife rescue organizations, Toys 4 Tots, and too many of those damned cookies. We’re frequent visitors to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters donation center as well. Really not a big deal at all.

But one thing we’re involved with is a big deal: The NAILBA Charitable Foundation. I served on the board of the Foundation for many years and now my wife Hope, Broker World CFO (or “The Money Chick”), currently serves on the board.

The NAILBA Charitable Foundation is where altruism meets the business of NAILBA. Since its creation in 2002, the Foundation has encouraged volunteerism in the NAILBA communities. NAILBA members and their corporate partners are encouraged to sponsor a charity they feel is working towards its mission of making dreams come true for those less fortunate.

The mission of the NAILBA Charitable Foundation is to encourage philanthropy and business to work hand in hand helping others who are at risk. Since its beginning, the NAILBA Charitable Foundation has awarded over $3 million dollars in grants—all in NAILBA communities. Every charitable organization applying for grant funding must be sponsored by a NAILBA member agency, exhibitor, sponsor, or advertiser.

For us, the most moving moments at any NAILBA Annual Conference are those shared in the Charitable Foundation general session where they show a slideshow detailing the charities receiving grants for the current year. At NAILBA 38 the Foundation granted funds to 16 charities, totaling $216,500. Those charities receiving funds for 2019 were:

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, Miami, FL, $7,500; Down’s Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, Danville, CA, $7,500; Jewish Relief Agency, Bala Cynwyd, PA, $7,500; CASA of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA, $10,000; Susan B Anthony Project, Torrington, CT, $10,000; Opportunity on Deck, Urbandale, IA, $10,000; Project Backpack, St. Louis, MO, $10,000; Ark House, Richardson, TX, $14,000; Transitions Children’s Services, Fresno, CA, $15,000; JAF CO, Bala Cynwyd, PA, $15,000; Ronald McDonald House Charities of AR, Little Rock, AR, $15,000; Double H Ranch, Lake Luzerne, NY, $15,000; ChildServe, Johnston, IA, $15,000; Our Mother’s Home, Fort Myers, FL, $20,000; Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation—Southeast, Atlanta, GA, $20,000; and the 2019 Felton Grant winner, Mama’s Kitchen, San Diego, CA, $25,000. The Felton Grant, annually the NAILBA Charitable Foundation’s largest, is named after the NAILBA Charitable Foundation’s founder, Col. William J. Felton, an active NAILBA supporter throughout its history and former owner of Tennessee Brokerage Agency, Knoxville, TN.

Hope and I thank all in the NAILBA community for their contributions of time and money to help the NAILBA Charitable Foundation aid those less fortunate. To learn more about The NAILBA Charitable Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit

Further, I thank all of you who reach out from your hearts, helping those who will one day be in great turmoil and need with the products you sell, and for reaching further to help those already in need in your communities. God Bless you. [SPH]