No. Synthesis is an independent insurance broker with access to the same policies and pricing as any other insurance broker. By law, we cannot manipulate pricing or policy features. There are absolutely no increased charges or fees, rebates of commissions, or contractual promises made for the policy except which the carrier outlines in the contract.

While we are a charitably inclined corporation, we are not a non-profit entity which can offer tax deductions for contributions. By working with Synthesis, you are simply choosing to do business with a company which receives commissions from the insurance carriers and then donates a very significant portion of them to charity.

Synthesis is an insurance broker. We do not underwrite insurance contracts. Our role is to help clients find the most suitable policy for their needs, and to help them choose that policy from many top rated insurance carriers. We have no loyalty to one carrier over another. Our loyalties lie with our clients.

No. Our hands are tied here legally. Our attorneys have told us that this would likely be considered “valuable consideration”, a fancy insurance law term for manipulating you to do business with us, which is an enormous no-no. We exist try to submit a viable business model to the world with our efforts to put people over profits, and we hope the bent of the company motivates you to work with us over our competitors. Nonetheless, we cannot accept instructions for specific gifts.

This is an excellent question. The reason is that the law does not allow for it and we would lose our license to do business. Insurance law does not allow an insurance brokerage or agent to offer anything of value to the client outside of what the carrier offers in their contract. These things are technically called “valuable consideration” and they include rebating of commissions, reducing premiums charged to the client, promises of things that will happen with the contract that aren’t in the contract between the carrier and the owner / insured.

Synthesis is an insurance broker. We do not underwrite insurance contracts. Our role is to help clients find the most suitable policy for their needs, and to help them choose that policy from many top rated insurance carriers. We have no loyalty to one carrier over another. Our loyalties lie with our clients.

Frankly, and as you might sense, there is a lot of revenue generated in the life insurance industry. It’s the perfect business to allow for extravagant giving, as the business model for a brokerage like Synthesis has enough margin to do so, where other businesses likely do not. We feel fortunate to be able to do this.

To add, Synthesis does not have a ‘traditional’ business model in the sense that we do not have any ‘cost of goods sold’. We don’t have ‘x’ cost for a product which we then turn around and sell for ‘x+25%’. We are simply paid a commission by the carrier for providing a service to you in helping you get the policy you want, both in the education and in the underwriting process. So, the more efficient we can keep our business, the more revenue we are able to distribute to charity.

It is an ongoing struggle for us to determine how to most accurately phrase how we give: as a percentage of profit or percentage of revenue.

In order to be consistent with other charitably inclined companies, we have decided to state on the main site that we give 100% of profit to charity. However in our case, and as indicated on the main site, it really is better than that!  So much better.

To explain, and at risk of getting slightly technical in the effort:

Profit is what is left over in a company’s bank account after all the expenses of the company are paid. Revenue is the total money generated by the company before any expenses are taken out.

As stated, most companies who give money to charity explain their giving as a percentage of their profit. While we would never want to be construed as being disparaging to any charitably inclined company, it is possible that this metric ultimately means little.  The company could pay large salaries and offer perks and bonuses out of ‘revenue’ which would whittle ‘profit’ down to a small number, thereby leaving little in the bank account to give from. Giving little from a small amount can be made to look really good for marketing purposes. This can certainly be misleading for those who are trusting the charitable inclination of the company (ex. $1,000 of revenue [less $999 of expenses] = $1 of profit. This company could give $1 and they say they give 100% of profit).

By contrast, if a company says they give as a percentage of revenue (all income that comes into a company), then that is extravagant! Suffice it to say, it is a challenge to run a profitable company, and even more of a challenge when money is given away before any expenses are even met!

While we do follow industry-standard phraseology with a statement that we give 100% of profit, our extravagant commitment is that we will give a minimum of 25% of gross revenue to charity. Notably, we are legally bound to this mandate as it is in our Articles of Incorporation as a Public Benefit Corporation. It is of course entirely possible that this giving level will even be more than 100% of profit, and has been since we were founded! This mission is only possible because we are committed to keeping expenses exceptionally low and staying true to our mission.

Since 2014 we have given away over 50% of gross revenue!

No. The company is not a religious organization and is not affiliated with any church or denomination. We seek to operate outside the bounds of religious or denominational paradigms and be free from all the connotations that come along with them, whether positive or negative.

In the United States, directors of for-profit companies are required to act solely for the ultimate purpose of maximizing the financial returns to shareholders. While corporations generally have the ability to engage in any legal activities, including those that are socially responsible, corporate decision-making must be justified in terms of creating shareholder value. Mission-driven and other socially conscious businesses, impact investors and social entrepreneurs are constrained by this inflexible legal framework that does not accommodate for-profit entities whose mission and impact is central to their business model.

Benefit corporations expand the obligations of boards, requiring them to consider environmental and social factors, as well as the financial interests of shareholders. This gives directors and officers the legal protection to pursue a mission and consider the impact their business has on society and the environment.

B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The vision is simple yet ambitious: people using business as a force for good.

B Corps like Synthesis are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

Read more about these great organizations on their website.