Principal Financial Group’s “Giving Chains” Are Feeding Struggling Families

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Spotlight on Principal Financial Group

Amid the Covid crisis, a financial giant provides grassroots help where it’s needed most.

There are many companies in the world that abide by high standards of accountability. Only a minuscule fraction make it to the Ethisphere Institute’s roster of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Principal Financial Group has been listed nine times—most recently in 2020.

That was in early February, before the world went sideways. In the months since, Principal has heightened its efforts to ease the personal trauma of COVID-19 in keeping with a brand long identified with giving back and doing the right thing. The pun is irresistible: Principal is principled.

Principal’s core businesses—retirement, insurance and asset management—collectively serve individuals, families and 150,000 businesses across the U.S. “The impact of the pandemic has been swift and fierce, but we’re doing all we can to help,” says Amy Friedrich, president of U.S. Insurance Solutions. Frequently these days, that help comes in the form of extended grace periods for insurance premium payments, reduced paperwork requirements and elimination of certain fees.

In April, Principal and the Principal Financial Group Foundation each launched far-reaching grassroots programs to assist families facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Principal’s The Giving Chain sources meals, activity kits and essential supplies from local businesses and nonprofits and gets them directly to those in need. The program thus benefits recipients, small businesses and local economies. Perhaps more importantly, it serves as a catalyst by inspiring others to start their own giving chains, buying meals and products from local businesses and delivering them to families, shelters, front-line healthcare workers and first responders.

At the same time, the Principal Foundation Global Relief Fund is providing grants to help employees of Principal and majority-owned member companies, as well as  service staff personnel (in such areas as facilities management, janitorial services, wellness, childcare, food service and security) who are facing pandemic-related financial hardship.

The combined efforts of Principal and the Principal Foundation are expected to total more than $25 million. Both initiatives, says Principal CEO and President Dan Houston, are bottom-up in concept and execution—“the result of listening to, and acting on, our employees’ desire to help others.”

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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.