The murder of George Floyd by police in 2020 was a turning point for Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., one that led to the creation of a program that has donated more than $2 million to racial justice organizations around the world.
Marsh McLennan acted quickly after Mr. Floyd’s death. “Our executive committee immediately took action and hosted a series of safe-space sessions with our Black colleagues to listen, learn and understand what we could be doing better,” said Katy Rodriguez, Marsh McLennan’s New York-based social impact leader for the U.S. and Canada.
The company decided to commit $5 million over three years under its Leading the Change initiative to support organizations that advocate for greater equality for Black people. As part of its commitment, the brokerage created the Social Justice Double Match Program, which doubles employee donations to advocacy groups.
The program has contributed about $2.3 million to more than 200 organizations. About 1,600 Marsh McLennan employees have seen their donations doubled under the program, which has no cap on the amount it will match.
“We can amplify our colleagues’ individual efforts through this program” and create “more meaningful change,” Ms. Rodriguez said.
The program allows employees to select any organization working toward achieving racial justice. “We look at their mission and if it aligns to that broad criterion, it is approved,” Ms. Rodriguez said.
Often, employees are associated with the organizations they support, through volunteering, serving on boards or other connections to the groups, she said.
Among the recipients of donations are well-known organizations such as the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Inc.
Donations have also gone to lesser-known organizations such as We The Protesters Inc., which seeks to reform public safety policy, and Race Forward, a group that addresses structural racism as part of its mission.
“We have also supported universities that have a predominately Black population,” Ms. Rodriguez said.
The company hopes to continue the work addressed by the program after it expires at the end of this year, she said.
“We recognize that tackling systemic issues like racism require more sustained efforts,” Ms. Rodriguez said, “and we are reviewing the process … and exploring whether there are additional ways to make a positive impact in the long term.”
• AmTrust Financial Services Inc. — The insurer’s AmTrust Cares program matches employee donations to selected nonprofit organizations.
• Hylant Group Inc. — The broker made a $1 million donation to build The Ribbon, a 1,000-foot loop trail and ice-skating surface, and revitalize riverfront space in Toledo, Ohio.
• Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co. — The insurer supported the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fight childhood cancer.
• QBE North America — The insurer partnered with a conservation finance nonprofit whose projects have decreased the risk of catastrophic wildfire and increased resiliency.