Inclusion In Our Communities
We believe in giving back and strengthening the communities in which we operate.
In addition to the not-for-profit Principal® Foundation, we also promote security in our communities through financial education, volunteerism, grant-making, sponsorships, and other activities—often with a focus on serving global youth and disadvantaged communities through Principal® Community Relations.
Core focus areas of community engagement include:
Advancing financial literacy
Literacy and education, including financial education, are critical to helping people along their path to security. We support many programs that build confidence and experience for people of all ages, including youth from underserved areas and populations. For example, Principal Financial Advisors recently teamed with the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to provide financial education as part of Transformundo West Michigan, a local entrepreneur assistance program for Latinx business owners.
Last year, 65 Principal volunteers helped underrepresented students in nine Iowa school districts learn interview skills, financial literacy, and résumé building. We completed this work in collaboration with the Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates program (iJAG), which serves students who are at high risk of dropping out of school. With iJAG, in 2019 we brought 18 high school students to our headquarters for internships—many leading to full-time employment. In 2020, we extended the opportunity to 29 students in a first in the nation virtual experience.
Our employees in Malaysia launched a program to develop 200 financial literacy kits for schoolchildren. The program caught on, and we’ve committed to producing at least 1,400 kits across nine domestic locations.
Supporting employee volunteerism
We organize and support volunteer initiatives that leverage the collective strength of our global workforce to help build communities. Last year our employees:
The non-profit Principal Foundation magnifies the effort and impact of our employee volunteerism. In 2019, the Foundation provided new Principal employees with $25 grants they could use to make loans to women around the world through the microlending platform Kiva. Employees funded nearly 1,000 loans to women in areas that lack access to traditional banks and other financial services.
Advocating for fairness and policy
Through our advocacy efforts, Principal is committed to advancing meaningful policy initiatives that advance inclusion, representation, accessibility, and equality in communities around the world.
Working with our industry associations, civic leaders, and lawmakers, we believe we have an important role to play in building a stronger and more just society. We proactively engage with policymakers on how minority communities are being underserved or disadvantaged in their pursuit of financial and personal security.
In partnership with our regulators in the U.S., we continue work to identify and eliminate standards or practices that have the effect of depriving access to affordable financial security protection, in an effort to create a modernized regulatory framework that recognizes and incentivizes new and innovative methods of expanding access to Americans across the entire socioeconomic spectrum.
Contributing to disaster relief
The global pandemic (COVID-19) threatened the financial stability of millions of individuals, communities, and businesses, with a disproportionate impact on families and businesses in underserved communities.
We launched community relief efforts to directly assist those impacted by the crisis. The Principal Giving Chain provided nearly 51,000 meals and activity kits to people in more than 34 communities globally, with all items sourced from local businesses. To provide relief for customers, we extended grace periods and waived fees for hardship loans and withdrawals. Additionally, the Principal Foundation launched a relief fund for Principal employees, employees of majority-owned member companies, and U.S. service staff providers (real estate, janitorial, wellness, childcare, food service, and security) who experienced financial hardship.
Principal Foundation sponsored Pyme Day in Chile connecting 800 small businesses with a digital platform to help sales during the pandemic. This digital activation resulted in $3 million USD in sales for participating businesses.
Systemic barriers to financial security are numerous and complex and can only be overcome through the collaborative efforts of companies, policymakers, educators, and families. We’ll continue to be a catalyst for change within Principal and among these stakeholder groups as we work to foster a world where financial security is accessible to all.