#SupportingOurSector is a Starfish Impact curated giving collaborative of businesses in the community seeking to support the community in meaningful ways and magnify their own efforts by joining a group of socially conscious business peers. We’re excited to feature one of the businesses today, Bolton & Company.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your company – what makes it unique, who started it, what you’re doing in the Los Angeles community for potential clients?
Founded in 1931 by Dorance Bolton and then succeeded by his sons, Jim and Bill, Bolton & Company is a California-based, employee-owned property and casualty, and employee benefits insurance brokerage serving the needs of thousands of clients across the country. We’re partnering with #SupportingOurSector on behalf of our Education and Not-For-Profit Practice Group, Bolton’s largest vertical, representing over 500 non-profit and educational institutions worldwide. We focus on a process known as enterprise risk management, which involves a holistic look at risk and the impact it can have on your finances and operations.
2. What attracted you to join #SupportingOurSector this year? Is there an element of the initiative that gets you really excited?
As a company, we have always given back to our local nonprofit organizations. This goes far beyond core business—we also provide financial and volunteer support to many amazing nonprofits. That’s because we believe it’s our responsibility to make a positive impact on the communities where we work and live. In 2014, we formalized this idea and established our nonprofit philanthropic arm called The Bolton Foundation, and we have been growing and giving ever since.
Partnering with #SupportingOurSector provides us even more opportunities to engage and support the very nonprofits that help drive lasting change. It also aligns us with business partners who share a common belief that these organizations are crucial to the growth, security and success of our local communities and neighborhoods. It’s these developing partnerships that further reinforce our ability to find the latest developments, challenges and solutions for this dynamic sector.
3. What other community initiatives does your company engage in?
Bolton’s primary vehicle for community outreach is The Bolton Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to empower those who serve others by providing grants to local nonprofit organizations that address community development, education, youth services and multiculturalism within our local communities. This is a philosophy that resonates throughout our organization.
The Foundation is driven by our employees through internal fundraising campaigns and events. Contributions are provided through the year-round fundraising efforts of Bolton & Company, The Bolton Foundation, and its partners. This includes our signature “Throw Down” event, a cornhole tournament held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. During this event, we celebrate our Bolton Foundation Beacons, four nonprofit organizations that are selected annually to receive grant funding for the incredible work they do within the communities where we work, live and grow.
4. What are you hoping to get out of your participation in #SupportingOurSector?
We consider it a privilege to help nonprofit organizations carry out their core missions by delivering insurance resources and solutions they need. In partnering with #SupportingOurSector, we hope to expand on this philosophy while building a growing network of like-minded nonprofit advocates that we can grow with and lean on.
This will enable us to do what we do—support nonprofits and the missions they serve—at a greater and greater capacity as we continue to evolve with this initiative.
5. Risk is an aspect of operations that companies try to mitigate, and often comes with experimentation, new products or programs, and innovation. The #SupportingOurSector initiative is one way businesses can experiment with minimal risks to the brand. Can you tell us how your company is innovating and experimenting in other areas?
This is an interesting question. On the one hand, risk is something to identify and mitigate, especially those risks that could result in adverse circumstances for the organization. That’s where Bolton provides most of its support to organizations.
But there’s also risk in trying new things and implementing new ideas, policies, processes and products. Companies, both for-profit and not-for-profit, must innovate or risk irrelevance. In that regard, we keep a close eye on the burgeoning industry of insure-tech – identifying ways technology can improve efficiencies, data collection, and our ability to deploy necessary resources. To that end, we have underwritten a series of proprietary coverage forms in cyberliability, student accident, active assailant and earthquake to meet the unique needs of our non-profit clients. In addition, we have deployed an online risk management tool known as Bolton InSite to provide greater access to our risk management products and services.
6. #SupportingOurSector is unique for a number of reasons, one of which is that in the past we have connected all of our Business Partners to the nonprofits, and many have since provided pro bono services. How can your services benefit the nonprofit community?
We have a deep understanding of the unique culture that nonprofits foster and the communities they serve. Our organization is heavily involved in the nonprofit sector and we support these organizations directly as insurance advisors and problem solvers.
Our active involvement in industry associations allows us to stay focused on current issues and trends that are impacting our nonprofit and education clients, not just from an insurance and risk management perspective, but from an operational, governance and market perspective as well.
We host a range of educational events for nonprofits, including quarterly breakfasts and luncheons, conference and symposiums, educational seminar and webinars and host quarterly board matchmaking events to build, grow and educate your board member of their governance and fiduciary duties to your organizations.
7. This year, the collaborative will be a part of the Fast Pitch through Social Venture Partners, an organization whose two-fold mission is to catalyze significant long-term social change in Los Angeles through expanding the capacity of innovative nonprofits and cultivating effective and engaged philanthropists. Has your company been involved in any partnerships, nonprofits or otherwise that you’d like to feature?
As President of the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network, Bolton’s Executive Vice President, Jonathan Schreter, is working to develop and engage a thriving community of alumni in support of their deep and amazing work in the non-profit community. Details are still pending, but the #SupportingOurSector Partners can expect to see UCLA Anderson planted firmly as a leader in the Los Angeles non-profit landscape as this initiative develops.
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