A grandmother is struggling to raise two small children on her own. She needs a little extra help but is too busy to ask. Suddenly, a guardian angel starts dropping off food, clothes, toys and diapers for the kids. This little act of kindness takes a giant load off the grandmother’s shoulders, but she doesn’t know who to thank. Her anonymous helper is Chris, a State Farm claims administrator, who she met a year prior.
Chris is one of 12,000 State Farm employees or agents to sign up to the insurer’s 100 for Good program, which was launched by State Farm chairman, president and CEO Michael Tipsord in December 2018. The aim of the program is to empower State Farm employees and agents to each do 100 acts of good – big or small - before State Farm’s 100th anniversary in 2022. Since the program launched, over 113,000 acts of good have been recorded.
“State Farm has been doing acts of good since its inception almost 100-years-ago. This is not a new concept to us. It’s engrained in the State Farm culture,” explained Kim Kaufman, public affairs specialist at State Farm. “Our 100 for Good program is a bit of an expansion to that. It’s a challenge to our employees and our agents to help strengthen communities all over the US and celebrate our 100th anniversary by creating a world of good.”
Those who wish to engage in the 100 for Good program sign up to an internal State Farm portal where they log their acts online. Along their journey to 100 acts of good, they earn badges, kudos and they can measure their progress against a leader board. Participants are also encouraged to share personal stories about what inspired them to give and how their actions helped someone.
“We found that by encouraging employees to share their stories, this created more awarenesss, and popularity in the program really snowballed,” said Kaufman. “There was a huge domino effect when we started sharing those stories of good. And the beautiful thing is, the program is not only encouraging acts of good by State Farm employees and agents; it’s something we hope the wider community will join in with too. We want people to be inspired by some of our stories and to go out and do their own acts of good. It’s all about creating a spirit of giving.”
State Farm underwriter Denine delivers meals with her family every month. In sharing her story, she described this act of good as “a great way to get my kids involved and spend time together. Some of these folks wouldn’t have a regular meal without this help. They’re so happy and thankful.” An act of kindness doesn’t have to be a $100,000 donation to a charity, Kaufman pointed out. It can be shoveling a senior citizen’s driveway or baking for a church bake sale. All State Farm employees and agents are encouraged to get involved with 100 for Good, including CEO Tipsord and the executive team. Leading by example, a group of top executives recently traveled to Chicago to help out at a food bank.
Annette Martinez, State Farm senior vice president and keynote speaker at Insurance Business’ upcoming Women in Insurance Chicago conference, is one such leadership figure to get involved with State Farm’s 100 for Good program. She commented: “Our workplace is shaped by how employees interact with each other and with our customers. State Farm provides opportunities for our workforce to connect – with each other and with the communities in which they live and work. The multi-year 100 for Good initiative encourages those interactions with a community challenge for employees and agents across the company who are encouraged to perform 100 acts of good for the betterment of their local communities.”
Kaufman told Insurance Business: “People want to work for companies that are doing good in the communities in which they live. The feedback we’ve had from our 100 for Good participants. Big picture, this is not about what State Farm is doing as a company. Really, it’s about coming together and making a collective impact to do good in this world. It goes right back down to the root that by volunteering you can truly make a different. Even a small act of good can have a massive impact.”