BLOOMFIELD, Conn., January 21, 2014 - The Cigna Foundation announced today that it's embarking on a new direction in corporate philanthropy with the creation of its "World of Difference Grants." Initial grants averaging $100,000 will be awarded to nonprofits working to improve children's wellness, senior care, women's health and health equity - which represent the four social priorities for Cigna's corporate responsibility platform known as Cigna Connects. Significant additional funding will be directed to successful projects in subsequent years.
"Through the new grant program, we're looking for nonprofit organizations that share our mission and want to collaborate closely with Cigna and its people," said John M. Murabito, chairman of the Cigna Foundation Board of Directors. "We're committed to going beyond traditional funding arrangements to building powerful partnerships that fully involve the Cigna team and enable us to work together toward achieving meaningful, sustainable change with measurable impact."
The World of Difference vision revolves around collaboration, innovation and scalability. The Cigna Foundation is looking for groundbreaking individual and community health initiatives that offer opportunities for Cigna employees to share their service expertise and their passion for nurturing human potential. Grants will be structured in a way that will promote geographic expansion of successful approaches, potentially on a global scale.
"What's especially exciting about our new World of Difference Grants is the possibility they offer to build projects that improve health on a local level and can be replicated to impact the health of individuals, families and communities in other U.S. geographies and around the world," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation.
Through this new giving program, the Cigna Foundation will:
- Invest in pilot programs - Provide initial grants averaging $100,000 to fund innovative projects with strong potential to improve children's wellness, building a foundation for a life of healthy choices right from the start; senior care, helping seniors enjoy a vital life and enrich the lives of those around them; women's health, addressing the health and wellness issues women face at every age and stage of their lives, and health equity, removing barriers to help all people pursue optimal health and personal achievement.
- Build an incubator for innovation - Engage the health and business expertise of the Cigna team in a way that will enable funded nonprofits to strengthen and grow their projects.
- Reward measurable impact - Conduct a rigorous analysis of project achievements to determine which ones are appropriate candidates for sustained funding and extensive geographic expansion.
Selection criteria for the World of Difference Grants include the following:
- A focus on a specific health challenge or related group of challenges
- An innovative approach to meeting health challenges
- Opportunities for volunteer involvement by the Cigna employee team
- Potential to broaden programs to reach additional geographic areas, with special consideration given to projects that provide or have the potential to provide services globally
- A fiscally-sound development plan with strong emphasis on metrics, analysis and reporting
In 2014, the application period for the new grants will run through Nov. 1. During that time, the Cigna Foundation is inviting nonprofit organizations with projects that fit these criteria to visit the World of Difference Grants section of the new Cigna Giving web site at www.easymatch.com/cignagiving
About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation, which celebrated its 50th year in 2013, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.