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Employees at Ecclesiastical Insurance can give back to the community by volunteering through its partnership with Food Banks Canada.Provided

Every year a team from Ecclesiastical Insurance Office heads to the Yonge Street Mission in Toronto to prepare food for locals in need. That day is one that portfolio and pricing analyst Frank Yang treasures the most.

“It’s really impactful – knowing that we get up every day and the work we do is helping people in need brings me a great sense of purpose,” he says.

Ecclesiastical Insurance is built on a foundation of giving back. The specialty insurance company, which provides insurance coverage to non-profits, charities, cultural institutions, faith communities, retirement homes and educational institutions, is part of Benefact Group, which is owned by Benefact Trust, the U.K.’s third-largest corporate giver.

The Group – and Ecclesiastical Insurance – donate all available profits to charities and non-profit organizations. Since 2014, Benefact has donated close to 200 million pounds, or some $330-million.

In Canada, the Ecclesiastical Community Impact Grant program was founded in 2017 as a way to give back more locally. Ecclesiastical has given over $3-million to registered charities across Canada through the program since its inception, with 2023 being the biggest giving year to date.

“We’re very unique in our business model and each year we’ve been able to give back more,” says president David Huebel.

Beyond the Community Impact Grant program, Ecclesiastical maintains a two-year corporate giving partnership. Food Banks Canada is the current partner, receiving support to its branches across the country through donations and initiatives with Ecclesiastical.

Employees are encouraged to volunteer and the company has a donation matching program supporting various causes.

Giving takes on another form in the shape of sustainability at Ecclesiastical, which aims to be net zero by 2040.

On the customer-facing side, Ecclesiastical is planning a pilot project to help support clients in their sustainability goals.

Internally, company policies like remote work, leveraging technology to further environmental goals, and an initiative called the Innovators Group are some of the ways that Ecclesiastical is hoping to reach the finish line.

“The Innovators Group is a fun project and I’m very proud to volunteer,” says Yang, who helps with the group by organizing internal sustainability challenges for employees. “I see the way climate change is impacting Earth and I feel a strong responsibility to do something.”

It’s also a group that tends to attract members of Ecclesiastical’s Business Associate program, which aims to give people starting out in their career the mentorship and leadership skills to succeed.

“It’s really important to us to help develop and support younger people in their career development,” says Huebel. “They play a key role in giving back and bring different ideas and approaches that we can incorporate in supporting our customers.”

Employee development is something that Ecclesiastical is devoted to in and outside of the workplace, offering up to $1,000 that employees can put toward classes in anything they feel like learning, from taking a cooking class to learning a new language.

“It’s giving back in all facets,” says Huebel. “It’s always factored into everything we do.”

The benevolence of the company and its holistic approach to giving back is one of the major reasons that Yang gets excited about coming to work every day.

“That’s one of the big drivers,” he says. “When I work here I feel strongly that we’re bringing good to society.”

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