MILWAUKEE, April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While most major grant makers in the U.S. plan to maintain or reduce charitable giving in 2012, Northwestern Mutual is growing its giving to $16.7 million in fiscal year 2012. The company expects to retain its position as the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120207/CG48663LOGO)

According to a March 2012 report published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, approximately 70 percent of the nation's largest foundations will flatten or shrink charitable giving budgets this year. Running counter to the trend, Northwestern Mutual is growing its charitable giving by $1.3 million in fiscal year 2012, an 8.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2011.

"Northwestern Mutual's consistent commitment to giving back to the communities we serve is made possible by our judicious, long-term approach to financial management," says John Kordsmeier, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "Once again, we are growing our charitable giving while offering near-record policyowner dividends and maintaining the highest financial strength ratings awarded to any life insurer by all four of the major credit rating agencies."

In fiscal year 2010, Northwestern Mutual contributed almost $15 million to nonprofit organizations nationwide, 87 percent more than the second-largest Milwaukee-based corporate foundation according to the latest available data published by Marquette University[i].

The announcement comes as the leading financial security company celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Foundation's incorporation on April 13, 1992.

Northwestern Mutual Impact in Southeastern Wisconsin

Through its Foundation, Northwestern Mutual has given approximately $231 million to nonprofits nationwide since its inception in 1992; $135 million of those funds stayed in Wisconsin. More than 50 percent of the Foundation's grants benefitted organizations in southeastern Wisconsin where Northwestern Mutual's employees live and work.

The company is a leading supporter of both United Way of Greater Milwaukee and the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), contributing more than $30 million in Foundation support to the organizations since 1992.

Over the last two decades, Northwestern Mutual grants and sponsorships have helped to build or strengthen many area landmarks, including:

  • More than $3 million for the Milwaukee Public Museum
  • More than $1.7 million for the Milwaukee County Zoo
  • Nearly $1.5 million for Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin
  • $1 million for the Milwaukee Art Museum's Calatrava addition
  • More than $1 million for the Betty Brinn Children's Museum
  • $1 million for Eckstein Hall at Marquette University
  • More than $800,000 for Junior Achievement's Capstone program
  • $400,000 for Summerfest's "Children's Theater and Playzone"
  • More than $300,000 for the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
  • Nearly $100,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Camp Whitcomb Mason's playground
  • $40,000 for Bradford Beach's outdoor exercise equipment

Northwestern Mutual employees are also leaders in volunteerism. In 2011 alone, over 20,000 employee volunteer hours were donated by more than 1,000 employees.

About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation will contribute $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

[i] "Foundations in Wisconsin. " Funding Information Center, Marquette University. 2011.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual