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Introduction: Relationship Between AMTrust and First Nonprofit Foundation

The relationship between AMTrust and First Nonprofit Foundation may not be clear to many members of either organization. So, the purpose of this publication is to provide a brief overview of how the two organizations first started working together, how they have grown, and what the future holds.

A Business Acquisition

First Nonprofit Insurance Companies was exactly what it sounds like: an insurance company that insured nonprofit organizations. In 2013, AMTrust acquired First Nonprofit Insurance Companies and offered its stock to the stakeholders at a discounted rate—as is customary when a public company acquires another company. Because the stakeholders were nonprofit organizations, they would not have the risk appetite for investments in the stock market. The question became: what to do with the $7+ million dollars of unsold AMTrust stock. So, a business plan was proposed that would use the profits from the stock to support a philanthropic branch of AMTrust that would demonstrate the value to existing insurance customers. This entity became the First Nonprofit Foundation.

Creating a charitable nonprofit foundation was in the best interest of both entities. The people who had invested many years as insureds with First Nonprofit Insurance Companies would be able to continue their work serving communities in need. And for AMTrust, the philanthropic branch was an appealing way to use their resources to help people.

Philanthropic Sustainability

The initial plan for First Nonprofit Foundation was to award grants to nonprofit organizations, using profits from the stock as well as the initial investment donations from the corporate leadership at AMTrust. It was a ten year commitment that would eventually dissolve as the grant money was distributed. But as time went on, it became clear that the foundation was a sustainable business model, as AMTrust continued to put more money into the foundation and the stocks continued to perform.

Today, AMTrust executives, Mr. Barry Zyskind, Adam Karkowsky, and Harry Schlachter, sit on the board for the foundation and are still committed to ensuring that the grant money is being spent wisely and making a real difference for the nonprofits that receive the funds.

Making a Real Difference

Since 2013, First Nonprofit Foundation has awarded grants to over 200 organizations—amounting to $7,283,786—with a primary influence on infrastructure. By focusing on providing nonprofit organizations with the technology they need to keep their internal processes functioning, the impact of the grant money can be tracked in a way that is difficult to do with sponsorships or other types of donations. This traceability has established trust between the foundation and its board of directors—giving them confidence to continue supporting the foundation’s growth.

Some examples of the grants provided by First Nonprofit include funds that cover the expense of:

  • Websites
  • iPads
  • Database systems
  • Servers
  • Tractors
  • Horse Trailers (for equine therapy organizations)

The investment in these kinds of projects allows the charitable nonprofit sector to become efficient and commit other raised funds to mission related activities. Devoting grant money to specific infrastructure projects is what sets the First Nonprofit Foundation apart from other charitable organizations. It can be difficult for nonprofits to find funding for much-needed improvements to their technology, because donors are less likely to contribute funds for a computer server than they would to education programs for children.

In addition to their contributions to technology and equipment for nonprofit organizations, First Nonprofit Foundation has also responded to natural disaster aid efforts. In 2017, AMTrust and First Nonprofit Foundation partnered to launch an employee charity drive to help people in Texas and Florida recover from two tragic hurricanes. More than $400,000 was raised to help neighbors in need.

What’s In Store for the Future

A goal for the future of the First Nonprofit Foundation is to help employees of AMTrust get involved in the philanthropic endeavors. This involvement will help AMTrust employees feel pride in growing their company’s philanthropic presence and give First Nonprofit Foundation more resources to improve the infrastructure of nonprofits throughout the country.

While the exact method of involvement is yet to be determined, there is clearly potential for the AMTrust and First Nonprofit Foundation to work together more closely and make lasting impacts on nonprofit organizations in need of assistance.

To learn more about the foundation and the impact of its charitable contributions, visit them on the web at: http://www.firstnonprofit.org/