Patrick Johnson, founder of Colorado-based Synthesis Life Insurance, has a deep appreciation for this movement and the enormous potential for good it represents, and has decided to incorporate it into his area of expertise: life insurance. By allocating a significant portion of the commissions to local Colorado charities, Patrick envisions a business environment wherein capitalism and philanthropy are meaningfully integrated.
“If you have a hundred dollars you were already planning to spend, why not let that same money do some of your charitable giving for you?” said Johnson. “It’s how I envision the future of business. Capitalism and charitable organizations working together as one.”
Johnson founded Synthesis as a Public Benefit Corporation, which is committed in its Articles of Incorporation to give a minimum of 25 percent of its gross REVENUE to charity. Additionally, the organization has received the prestigious B Corp Certification, the business community’s equivalent of the food industry’s ‘organic’ label. Serious about making an impact for its non-profit partners, Synthesis has given away over 50 percent of its gross revenue to charity since 2014.
Johnson is committed to ensuring Synthesis exceeds the level of commitment of the current trend – and is pushing the envelope of giving for the businesses committed to Conscious Capitalism.
“A company stating that it gives 100 percent of profit (versus revenue) to charity sounds great…but what does that really mean?” said Johnson. “What if we, in this trend of compassionate capitalism, begin to focus on giving as a percentage of a company’s total revenue? This is a more quantifiable metric that the general public can appreciate.”
This appears to translate to a triple win: for consumers who purchase life insurance under this model; for the growth of the Synthesis brand; and, for the non-profits who receive the benefits. The level of interest in Synthesis is high. In fact, Johnson says that the consumer market is enthusiastic about working with the professional team at Synthesis because of the commitment to giving without any sacrifice in service or deliverable.
“I simply feel a responsibility to people over profits. We deliver an excellent product and service, while at the same time investing a significant portion of our revenue to support organizations that exist to serve others in areas that my service doesn’t reach, but which need funding and which are important for a holistic society,” said Johnson.
“I know I am not alone in the desire to create a business that makes the world better; and, I want to prove a company can be wildly successful financially by appealing to compassion rather than greed or fear.”
To find out how purchasing life insurance can change the lives of others as well as your own, click here.
Part of a New Business Dynamic
As a fully credentialed 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, Johnson has taken one of capitalism’s most established commodities and created a new dynamic in the life insurance brokerage industry.
“The life insurance industry offers the perfect platform for an innovative business model for many reasons. Commissions are high and are not paid by the consumer. It is a professional service so there is no cost of goods sold. Increasingly, people are purchasing life insurance online so the other miscellaneous costs of doing business are not in play,” Johnson said.
“While other businesses might have a hard time giving 25 percent or more of gross revenue, in the life insurance brokerage model there is plenty of room to have a healthy profitable business while providing meaningful benefits to the local community.”
Some might wonder if giving so much to local charities would impact the cost to the consumer. Not so, according to Johnson. “In the insurance industry, the carriers set the pricing; it cannot be manipulated up or down. Synthesis has the same pricing as any other insurance brokerage.”
There is no decrease in service either. “When clients choose to purchase their life insurance from Synthesis, they will experience first-class service from initial consult to policy structure.”
Positively Impacting Family and Community
With the combination of professional competency and the extensive charitable giving platform of Synthesis, the benefits of this compassionate business model are clear. Johnson chose charities that are generally in line with the reasons families purchase life insurance for their loved ones.
- Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
- Food Bank of the Rockies
- ACE Scholarships
- Conservation Colorado
- Wish for Wheels
“In my experience, a breadwinner for a family wants to make sure some basic needs are provided for in the event of their premature death, including: housing; food; education; environment; and some fun,” said Johnson. “When someone is shopping for life insurance, why not offer a consumer the opportunity to provide those same things for someone in their local community with those needs right now?”
Johnson envisions a change in the way for-profit businesses and charities co-exist to become more of an ecosystem.
Johnson is completely unapologetic about effectively using compassion as his business strategy.
“As consumers prove their preference for working with insurance brands who put people over profits, other companies will notice and use compassion as a part of their business and marketing strategy,” said Johnson. “The more successful Synthesis is in capturing market share, the louder the statement will be made that this trend is something to note, and charities will increasingly have the power of capitalism behind them. We expect it to be a game changer.”
“If this business methodology were scaled and integrated properly, I could envision a society wherein those in need do not have to rely on a government or religious institution for their needs. A society where those in need of the basics of life are lifted up simply as a function of doing business.”
This is not socialism. This is capitalism in a redeemed form. Today there are over 2,000 Certified B Corporations and more Public Benefits Corporations than ever before. Nonetheless, this is only a drop in the bucket when you consider the billions of dollars that flow through all businesses in the United States. The impact that could be achieved if even half the organizations currently not B Corps or PBCs decided to follow the Synthesis example is staggering.
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