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Catching Up With Mario Poretto

As the year comes to a close, we took the time to chat with Mario Poretto, President and CEO of First Nonprofit Companies. Poretto has spent more than 35 years serving in executive positions in the insurance and risk management industry with an emphasis on unemployment and workers compensation programs. He previously served as First Nonprofit Insurance Companies Executive Vice President and COO.

In his inaugural year as President and CEO, Poretto noted he is “exceptionally proud and happy” of First Nonprofit’s achievements over the past year. Citing a particular example of charitable spirit shared among employees, he noted how AmTrust employees donated a significant financial amount to the foundation with the intent to fund grants for nonprofits dramatically impacted by hurricane season last year (AmTrust Financial Services acquired First Nonprofit in 2013).

“That was a proud moment,” Poretto said.

As First Nonprofit Insurance Company looks to their future with AmTrust, Poretto aspires for the organization to not only sustain but increase the level of support provided to charitable organizations across the country.

“We hope to expand… Minimally over the next five years, I see us supporting nonprofits at the level we are now that supports both the AmTrust holders and First Nonprofit clients and other worthy nonprofit clients.”

What are some of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits face today?

In Poretto’s view, First Nonprofit’s mission perfectly aligns with the leadership, management and efficiency struggles that many nonprofit organizations face.

He emphasized the challenge of leadership within the nonprofit sector. “Particularly for smaller nonprofits — just the expertise to manage their risk, to train their senior management. Just general management leadership programs are something we’ve always been focused on.”

Alongside leadership programs, he noted that many critical facility-related improvements have been granted through First Nonprofit.

One of the strongest ways to help charitable organizations is “by helping them operate more efficiently,” Poretto said, adding “Nonprofits have so many challenges. There are so many nonprofits today, the funding dollar just isn’t going as far. In individual donations, it’s getting quite difficult for many nonprofits to retain their budget levels.”

First Nonprofit grants focus on advancing leadership in the nonprofit sector, utilizing top management practices and producing projects that are uniquely replicable.

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First Nonprofit Foundation is a Pennsylvania-based, private grant-making organization that focuses on bolstering the nonprofit sector in the United States. We originally started as an extension of the First Nonprofit Insurance Company. The company decided to use funds from substantial investment returns for philanthropy. The Foundation was established with an initial contribution in 2003.

In the beginning, we awarded few grants as our initial focus was solely on educational causes that helped the nonprofit community. We’ve since focused our scope, awarding more grants to programs and organizations with a wider range of interests and funding projects that meet Our Mission.