Many companies give back. But not all of them have a specific, organized way to do so.
Sarasota-based commercial property and casualty insurance company FCCI Insurance Group has taken a leadership role in corporate giving in the region by doing just that.
In April 2019, the company established the FCCI Charitable Foundation. The foundation helps the company support charitable efforts throughout the 19 states where FCCI does business.
Lisa Krouse, board member, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, tells Coffee Talk the move to establish a foundation tied in with a milestone for the firm. “Last year was our 60th anniversary,” she says. “It presented an opportunity for us to reflect on our history and values and key pillars that have made us successful. One of the key pillars is the concept of charitable giving and being a catalyst for charitable giving and a leader in the area.”
FCCI established the charitable foundation in partnership with Venice-based Gulf Coast Community Foundation. A couple years ago, the company formed a president’s action committee, and Stanley Eding, assistant vice president of insurance services and administration, headed up the charitable giving side of it. It examined, in part, administrative costs of its charitable giving. Eding says they posed a question, “Is there a better way to get money to people who need it and be impactful but have lower administrative costs?”
The answer came in the form of the fund with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which a statement says is a “highly efficient and cost-effective way to operate the foundation.” It also says of every $1 placed in the foundation, more than 99 cents will be available to donate.
In December 2019, it distributed its first local gift — $80,000 to Sarasota-based food assistance nonprofit All Faiths Food Bank.
Krouse says for many years, FCCI, which reported $837 million in gross revenue in 2018, kept quiet about what it did in the community. Now, she says, the firm recognizes it’s important for current and prospective employees to see the company giving back. She says, “I think philanthropy and giving has direct correlation to the culture of an organization.”