The Standard Charitable Foundation: An Insurance Funder With a Big Heart

 photo: Pressmaster/shutterstock

photo: Pressmaster/shutterstock

Foundations that are established by financial companies often focus on topics like economic development, financial inclusion, and job skills. Yet others embrace different aspects of their professional expertise when making social investments in the communities they serve. For example, the Standard Charitable Foundation, which is the grantmaking arm of the financial company called The Standard, prioritizes the needs of people who have suffered a major disability or lost a loved one. With over $30 million in grants and social investments made since 2007, this rare, niche emphasis is significant for nonprofits in Portland, Oregon.

The Standard is headquartered in Portland, and while the foundation does not place strict geographical restrictions on its funding, Portland groups see a good amount of steady support. For example, the foundation recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Portland Youth builders, a $20,000 grant to Portland Homeless Family Solutions, and a $15,000 grant to Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp.

Greg Ness, chairman of The Standard Charitable Foundation and chairman, president and CEO of The Standard said:

Each of these partners is addressing pressing needs in our community and we’re grateful to play a part in their success. These nonprofits help families experiencing homelessness and low-income youth facing barriers to academic success, and they provide children with special needs access to nature and outdoor adventures.

Overall, low-income youth, homelessness, people with disabilities continue to be top causes for this financial funder. And while it may not be evident from each and every grant awarded, there’s an overarching theme of helping individuals and families who have suffered from unforeseen setbacks and losses.

Of note, the Standard Charitable Foundation’s giving is separate from the company’s corporate giving. Corporate giving is focused healthy communities, disability and empowerment, cultural development, and education and advancement. There are over 3,000 employees who work at The Standard, and last year, the company reported 69 percent employee participation for its annual employee giving campaign that involved putting in hours at food banks, schools, and other local nonprofits.

Portland-area nonprofits can learn more about the funding guidelines for both corporate giving and the Standard Charitable Foundation, as well as apply online for a grant throughout the year, here.