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Travelers – directly and through the Travelers Foundation – has provided more than $225 million in gifts to local communities over the past decade, focused on supporting academic and career success, developing thriving neighborhoods and creating culturally enriched communities. Our giving, along with our extensive volunteer efforts, assists our ability to deliver sustained value for all stakeholders.
At Travelers, we understand that we can only thrive as a business enterprise if our economy – and by extension our communities – thrive too. We believe that strong communities are sustained by educational and economic opportunities, and we are dedicated to assisting our communities in generating those opportunities. Our community initiatives, including our volunteer and matching gift programs, are also designed to enhance employee engagement and retention.
Travelers providescommunity supportboth directly and through the Travelers Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. The Travelers Foundation Board of Directors provides oversight of the Foundation’s strategy, priorities and activities. Our Community Relations department meets regularly with the Foundation’s Board, comprised primarily of senior leaders from our Management and Operating Committees. Community Relations also reports annually to the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Travelers Board of Directors. Travelers and the Travelers Foundation publicly disclosea detailed annual list of charitable givingandcommunity reportsto highlight our accomplishments and progress.
Our Giving Priorities
With a focus on equity and inclusion, we target our giving and volunteerism priorities to help improve academic and career success, develop thriving neighborhoods and create culturally enriched communities.
Academic and Career Success.Travelers supports initiatives that combat inequity by creating pathways and enhancing opportunities for career readiness, access and success. While supporting our communities, these initiatives help address corporate needs for a skilled workforce and benefit the economy at the same time. Travelers, directly and through the Travelers Foundation, has provided nearly $100 million since 2009 to help foster academic success, increase career preparedness and reduce barriers to higher education. Programs such asTravelers EDGE® (Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment)are helping to strengthen our communities and build a robust and diverse talent pipeline for Travelers for the future.
Thriving Neighborhoods.Travelers fosters thriving neighborhoods through neighborhood economic development and community-building services to help individuals, families and small businesses understand and mitigate risks, stay safe and prepare for disasters. This includes efforts such as theSmall Business Risk Educationprogram, our work withHabitat for Humanity® and SBPto fortify homes and our support of nonprofits that are building strong, resilient communities, such as Team Rubicon.
Culturally Enriched Communities.Travelers supports organizations that enrich lives through arts and culture, both as a lever for academic improvement and to foster cultural vitality in communities where our employees live and work. In 2019, we launchedTravelers Art Speaks, an internal initiative that leverages the company’s investment in arts and cultural organizations to spark meaningful and thought-provoking dialogue on topics related to diversity and inclusion.
While our giving priorities haven’t changed in the past year, the extraordinary events of 2020 motivated us to take a broader view of the needs of the community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened urgency to support efforts focused on racial equity and social justice. In response to the pandemic, we provided more than $5.5 million to assist families, communities and small businesses impacted by the pandemic in North America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. A significant portion of this pledge was used to address urgent needs, including emergency assistance for hourly workers, food and shelter for vulnerable populations, stability to small businesses and resources to mitigate disruptions in education. In addition, we’ve repurposed our kitchen facilities on our main campus in Hartford, Connecticut, to assist nonprofits in the preparation and delivery of tens of thousands of meals to those in need. In our other hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, we worked with food banks to replenish their pantries with necessary items.
Our response also included more than $1 million to pay the wages and health benefits for eligible third-party contract employees who provide services at Travelers’ offices, including dining and building maintenance, which protected their jobs during the economic shutdown.
In light of recent events that put a spotlight on the racial inequities faced by Americans every day, we committed $1 million to assist the efforts of organizations and programs dedicated to advancing racial equity across the United States and rebuilding damaged businesses in Minnesota, where our company has had a significant presence for more than 165 years.
Travelers Charitable Giving
Employee Volunteerism & Giving
We take pride in empowering our employees to have a positive impact on their communities by serving others. As community leaders, Travelers employees are more than strong corporate citizens – they are valuable assets to the communities in which they live and work. Year after year, our employees’ efforts to give back to the communities we call home are truly remarkable. We do not limit the number of paid volunteer hours an employee can take during the year; each employee works directly with their manager to balance volunteering with their job responsibilities.
We hear from our employees about how connecting with their communities – by contributing their time, talents and financial resources – is personally rewarding, drives engagement and morale and strengthens their commitment to our company’s mission. We also see how community involvement – whether by leading a team volunteer project, coordinating an event for a local nonprofit, providing pro bono services or serving on a charity’s board of directors – helps our employees develop as professionals, building competencies that we value in the Travelers workforce. While our employees had to change the way they supported their communities in 2020 due to the pandemic, their commitment and passion did not waver. We suspended company-sponsored, in-person volunteer activities and instead developed a roster of virtual volunteer opportunities – a number of which were initiated by our employees. Individually and as remote teams, employees took action:
Legal department employees led an effort to collect donations to cover the costs of meals for hospital health care workers in Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota and New York. The effort also supported small businesses, as the meals were provided by local restaurants.
Employees across the company helped alleviate mask shortages by buying supplies, sewing masks and distributing thousands of them to local hospitals and medical providers and within their own communities.
Members of our Leadership Development Programs read books on video as individuals and teams, creating over 50 recorded stories for viewing by children in hospitals and schools across the United States.
Through the Travelers Community Connections intranet site, we encourage Travelers employees to log their company-sponsored and independent volunteer activities, as well as view volunteer opportunities available in their communities. In addition, Travelers maintains both a matching gifts and volunteer rewards program to encourage and support employees in their efforts.
Travelers Community Connections Matching Gifts Program
We amplify our employees’ generosity with the Travelers Community Connections program. From 2011–2020, Travelers matched our employees’ gifts of time and money with $20 million in matching funds. The program offers an annual Cash Match of up to $500 per employee for donations made through our online portal. Through 2020, we rewarded volunteerism for employees who logged hours through our Travelers Community Connections intranet site. The Volunteer Rewards program provided a $500 grant to eligible nonprofit organizations once an employee accumulated 24 hours; employees were eligible to earn up to two $500 grants per year. We also provided rewards at lesser amounts for those who logged fewer than 24 hours. In 2021, employees will earn volunteer rewards at a rate of $20 per hour, enabling them to earn rewards and designate funds to the community in a more flexible manner.
Our annual Community Connections Campaign also encourages employee giving through fundraising events and reminds employees about the ability to give to their favorite charities through payroll deduction and other methods. During the 2020 campaign, which was themed “Bridging the Digital Divide,” employees raised more than $400,000 for our local communities through over 100 creative virtual events.
Knowing that so many of our employees wanted to contribute to pandemic relief efforts, we designed a special matching program in 2020 for employees who donated to causes related to COVID-19. Employees donated more than $150,000 to our coronavirus relief campaign for organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Canada, which Travelers matched at a 2-for-1 rate.
Travelers Community Connections Team Volunteer Grants
The Travelers Community Connections field office volunteer grant program encourages and supports volunteer work at our offices across the United States by letting employee teams request grants of up to $15,000 to support local schools and nonprofit organizations. In 2019, 34 organizations associated with 19 Travelers offices received more than $350,000 through this program, not counting 54 Habitat for Humanity® build days in the United States and Canada, which we supported with nearly $600,000 in grant funding. Although in-person volunteer programming came to an abrupt halt in early 2020 due to COVID-19, Travelers provided over $230,000 in Travelers Community Connections volunteer and operating support grants to 18 organizations and more than $600,000 in operating and emergency funds to Habitat for Humanity® affiliates in the United States and Canada. These funds were used to assist with ongoing efforts to provide safe and affordable housing and emergency funds for Habitat families.
As demonstrated below, these programs add up to millions of dollars in assistance for the communities we call home.
Supporting Employee Community Involvement
Employee Volunteer Hours
Travelers Community Connections Field Office Activities
Habitat Build Days
1The COVID-19 pandemic severely reduced giving and volunteer activity among our employees, resulting in reduced volunteer hours and matching gift requests.
2In 2019, we suspended the employee giving payroll deduction pledge drive as part of our plan to introduce our new employee involvement intranet site, which accounts for the reduction in matching gifts. As of January 2020, employees have the ability to donate through the new platform “on demand” at any time throughout the year, using payroll deduction, credit card or PayPal. Donations to most public charities are eligible for the company match.
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