Broker Words—March 2022

The insurance industry in general, to my mind, is often vilified in the media. During debates about Obamacare many were the pledges that “We won’t let your insurance company…” Insert your own example of actuarial necessity trumpeted as heartless greed-based malfeasance. And my morning newscast is plague-swarmed by Plaintiff’s Best law firms asserting that insurance companies are universally dedicated to hosing you. Annuities get their fair share of media abuse as well despite the fact that, for most buyers, they offer an excellent way to guarantee retirement income regardless of the volatility of other investment vehicles. Although the haters’ crosshairs are rarely focused on the life insurance industry specifically, there is undeniably collateral damage inflicted that reinforces the determination of the too easily duped to spend potential bereaved family Godsend premium dollars on live-for-today pleasures.

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

Further, it is my experience that most members of our industry take their primary purpose as a given and are moved to contribute a great deal more to improve the lives of those less fortunate than just protecting families. 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, and 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, not just because the Leas have been great friends to the Howards, but 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 local food pantries, addiction rehab organizations, homeless shelters, animal shelters and wildlife rescue organizations, Toys 4 Tots, and even way 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’ve been involved with is a big deal: The NAILBA Charitable Foundation. I served on the board of the Foundation for many years and my wife Hope, Broker World CFO (or “The Money Chick”), just came off the board after serving for two years. Broker World was a founding donor to the Foundation and has donated cold hard checks and credit card charges ever since.

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 member communities. Every charitable organization applying for grant funding must be sponsored by a NAILBA member agency, exhibitor, sponsor, or advertiser.

At NAILBA 40 the Foundation announced grants to 18 charities, totaling $171,500. Those charities receiving funds for the 2021 grant cycle were:

Ready Readers, St. Louis, MO, $17,500; Foundation of Bonita Naples Rotary Club, Estero, FL, $14,000; Scholars’ Hope Foundation, Garden Grove, CA, $10,000; Ark House, Richardson, TX, $10,000; Kids 4 Kids Inc, Miami, FL, $10,000; SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Marietta, GA, $10,000; Songs of Love Foundation, Forest Hills, NY, $10,000; Mama’s Kitchen, San Diego, CA, $10,000; Marian Center School and Services, Inc., Miami Gardens, FL, $10,000; Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Atlanta, GA, $10,000; St. Louis Blind Hockey Association, St. Louis, MO, $10,000; Breakfast Bandits, Salina Chapter of AMBUCS, Salina, KS, $7,500; Our Mother’s Home of SW FL, Fort Meyers, FL, $5,000; Jewish Relief Agency, Bala Cynwyd, PA, $5,000; Family Matters, a JAFCO Support Network, Bala Cynwyd, PA, $5,000; Miracle League of Greater New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, $5,000; Youth & Family Services, Inc., Rapid City, SD, $2,500; and the 2021 Felton Grant winner, Naperville Youth Club, Naperville, IL, $20,000. 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]

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