Sammons Financial Group Inc., headquartered in Chicago, will donate $100,000 to the Directors Council, a Des Moines, Iowa-based not-for-profit organization, for the purpose of developing minority-owned businesses, the company recently announced.

“Sammons Financial Group is deeply committed to the communities in which we live and work,” said the company’s CEO, Esfand Dinshaw, in a news release. “We believe the work being done by the Directors Council is transformational and will help reduce or eliminate the significant, and unacceptable, racial economic inequities in our community.”

Sammons’s community involvement committee, with input from all of the company’s employees, was integral in directing the firm’s charitable giving and volunteer efforts to assist organizations, such as the Directors Council, that Sammons believes are making a difference. The company supports more than 100 organizations that its employees are active in or passionate about. 

The Directors Council’s latest initiatives include its 2020 report "One Economy: The Blueprint for Action,” which was the culmination of significant research and stemmed from an earlier report "One Economy: The State of Black Polk County," a report on racial wealth disparity in the Des Moines area published in 2017.

Sammons’s $100,000 gift will directly support the Directors Council’s One Economy initiatives by providing an operating investment to seed a minority small business development fund, as well as establish an emergency loan pool.

“This generous contribution from Sammons Financial Group will help low-income individuals and families start new businesses and grow existing businesses; help families establish, build or repair credit through an emergency loan pool; and, in time, lead to wealth creation among our most vulnerable populations,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, board chair of the Directors Council, in a press release. (Caldwell-Johnson is also the CEO of Oakridge Neighborhood and Oakridge Neighborhood Services, a housing and human services nonprofit.)

Other beneficiary programs that the Directors Council oversees will also benefit from Sammons’s gift. They include the African American Leadership Academy, Black Urban Professionals, the Financial Empowerment Center, I Am Des Moines, and Doing More in the Core.

In 2019, Sammons Financial Group contributed $3.5 million to local charities in its four corporate locations. Additionally, employees contributed more than 5,000 hours in volunteer service.

Founded in 1996, Sammons Financial Group, with corporate offices in West Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Fargo, N.D.; and Sioux Falls, S.D., offers life insurance, annuities and retirement planning products through its member companies.