It all started with a civil rights lawyer, Hugo Wesendonck, dedicated to equality. In 1860, with a team of fellow immigrants, he began a life insurance company to look out for everyone.
More than 150 years later, our mission is still clear, to prepare people for better futures in every phase of their life, health and wealth. We believe that investing in people's futures will help create more equity and access to help communities thrive.
We do this by creating partnerships in three philanthropic focus areas: Workforce Development, Financial Empowerment and Health and Wellness.
In addition, last year employee charitable giving hit record numbers, which were matched by Guardian, resulting in $2 million being donated to charitable causes across the country. This includes $30,500 in volunteer grants we gave to support the organizations where our employees donate their time.
Our investment areas
Our expertise helps prepare people for the future of work through counsel, job placement and continuous learning. Investments address the skills gap and provide the right resources, including career coaching, advising on curricula and experiential learning opportunities, to fill those gaps.
As the way we do business changes, the workforce we need to fulfill our customers' needs alongside it. Job skills that dominated the past are not guaranteed to carry us into the future and that’s why we’ve placed a strong focus on providing our expertise to help prepare and build the talent pipeline of the future. Our investments in workforce development address the skills gap by providing career coaching, advising on curricula and experiential learning opportunities. Guardian employees volunteer in our efforts to ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s jobs.
For example, our national partnership with Per Scholas helps provide career skills in technology to underserved communities. Through this partnership our employees can serve as mentors, subject matter experts and guest lecturers to students enrolled in the programs. Additionally, we have partnered with The City University of New York (CUNY) and their network of colleges to co-develop course content in business and technology that will provide real world experiences to students preparing them to tackle the challenges of business now and in the future and compete for high paying and rewarding jobs. Interested in learning more about Per Scholas? Watch this video:
We take pride in sharing our know-how to help individuals build the essential life skills needed to manage their own finances and plan for their financial futures.
Since 2013, through our Money Management for LifeSM program we have created alliances with community colleges across the country to offer a free, for-credit personal finance course. Since its inception, the program has served more than 5,500 students across 14 colleges in Guardian’s major locations.
Students now participate in everything from financial management classes, coaching, and counseling, to internships and specialized technological and career skills sessions that cover topics like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and coding. With input from education professionals and Guardian employees, the program was tailored to ensure that, upon completion of their education, students are prepared for the life skills to secure their financial futures and fill openings for in-demand jobs.
Designing the Future
College student Amiata Dembaga already has big plans for her future. A personal finance course sponsored by Guardian’s Money Management for Life program is providing her with the skills to help make her dreams a reality.
Partner community colleges are:
- Baruch College (New York, NY)
- Berkshire Community College (Pittsfield, MA)
- Borough of Manhattan Community College (New York, NY)
- Capital Community College (Hartford, CT)
- Gateway Community College (New Haven, CT)
- Los Rios Community College District (Sacramento, CA)
- Montgomery College (Rockville, MD)
- Northampton Community College (Bethlehem, PA)
- Springfield Technical Community College (Springfield, MA)
- State University of New York (SUNY) (New York, NY)
- University of the District of Columbia Community College (Washington, DC)
- University of Wisconsin Oshkosh–Fox Cities (Menasha, WI)
Health and Wellness
We know a bright smile takes more than just brushing. Our resources help protect oral health by providing access to quality dental care for underserved and at-risk individuals.
As one of the nation’s largest dental insurance providers, we are committed to providing traditionally under-resourced communities with access and equity to oral health care. We believe that everyone should have access to oral health resources, regardless of age, location or income. This belief shapes how we do business and how we contribute to our communities.
We are an exclusive corporate sponsor of the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), a nonprofit organization committed to bringing medical and oral healthcare to America's most vulnerable children. With a $1 million investment we have created educational materials for young children and their parents, conducted educational outreach events and have become advocates to increase access to oral health care for thousands of children across the country. Our investment helps CHF to serve more children who need it the most through mobile oral health care as well as work with federally-certified health clinics across the nation.
Our support for oral health extends to adults, particularly older or medically-fragile people and military veterans. Guardian has committed to providing $2.5 million in patient care to Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) and their Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. The investment helps DLN organize more volunteer dentists and laboratory providers in each state to provide free dental services to patients who cannot afford dental care.
Our community involvement
People count is one of Guardian’s core values. Our employees regularly volunteer their time, skills and ideas to help local communities. In 2018, colleagues volunteered more than 12,000 hours at more than 1,600 charities. Since 2016, we have established Community Involvement Committees in all local offices. The purpose of these committees is to build a coordinated effort of employee volunteer, philanthropic grants and community sponsorships to tackle tough problems and help build resilient communities.
We also make grants to nonprofits in the U.S. through our network of insurance agents.
Through our Guardian Agency Grants program we provide additional grants to charities already supported by our agencies, who can nominate nonprofits any time during the year for additional funding from Guardian. Our collective financial resources help tackle tough challenges, and build stronger, more resilient communities.
Matching what matters
How one Guardian Agency was able to double their charitable grant to a local trauma center.
We are committed to environmental sustainability efforts concentrated in environmental stewardship. Our practices are driven by the passion of our employees to do the right thing and business priorities to conserve and protect our planet’s greatest resources.
We have employee-led “Green Teams” in Appleton, Bethlehem, New York, Pittsfield, and Spokane to engage and inform employees on grassroots and environmentally-friendly behaviors. They take action to plan activities in support of company-wide efforts and encourage colleague participation in company environmental sustainability activities.
By building LEED environmentally-certified offices, using energy-efficient lighting, eliminating hardware in favor of cloud-based storage technology, reducing paper waste, recycling, and using PC and IP Phone power-saving settings, we’re significantly reducing energy consumption through all of our offices. Some recent successes include:
- In 2018, we implemented a new green sourcing policy, through Enablon, for green workplace spaces and practices
- Our LEED-certified Bethlehem office is using 100 percent renewable energy, reducing water use by up to 40 percent and decreasing lighting power by at least 25 percent
- Our LEED-certified Holmdel office achieved a 45 percent reduction from baseline in the Water Efficiency category
- IT energy consumption practices have saved 1.2M KWH of electricity
- Through our enterprise managed print service, our savings are the equivalent of 9,180 trees, 15M gallons of water, and 792K lbs. of CO2
Inclusion and Diversity
Diversity of thought, background, and experience is essential for moving an organization forward. Guardian firmly believes in this principle, and we’re pursuing greater inclusion in all aspects of our business. In 2013, we launched our “be meaningful” campaign to create a community and forum for female professionals to connect with each other, sharing their advice and experience. In 2015, we launched our Diversity and Inclusion Council to further promote cultural awareness and foster innovation by encouraging employees to bring their unique ideas and solutions to the table. To better serve our customers how, when, and where they prefer, our employees should be representative of the clients we serve.