The Knopman Marks team has joked for years that there’s no such thing as a true “emergency” in the FINRA qualification space. Anxiety—yes. Fire drills—yes. Candidates who need our attention at midnight before an exam—yes. But absolute emergencies—no.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak, especially in New York City, was a true emergency. In a year of tremendous loss in the world, Knopman Marks looked for opportunities to give. “Doctors and medical providers needed all the support that we could offer,” says Brian Marks, president of Knopman Marks.
In a year shaped by the pandemic, with people experiencing elevated levels of stress, charitable giving—for those who are in a position to donate—offers a surefire way to feel uplifted. Scientists report that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.” This high is rooted in our natural instincts to help our fellow humans. Evolution has wired us to help each other so that the species survive.
“Giving back is part of our company’s DNA,” says Liza Streiff, CEO of Knopman Marks. “We’ll continue to support those on the front lines, and those in need, however we can.”
If you’re looking for worthy causes that can use a helping hand, peruse the organizations listed below. Above all, from the Knopman Marks team to yours, well wishes for a healthy holiday and a much improved 2021!
Supporting Frontline Workers
To help those in the New York City community hard hit by the pandemic, Knopman Marks gave to hospitals, restaurants delivering food to frontline workers, and a group making PPE donations to hospitals.
Feeding the Hungry Globally
Working remotely since March, the Knopman Marks team has gathered in person just once, for their annual Volunteer Day. The team packed food into 1,000 delivery boxes at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the state’s largest anti-hunger group, and supported, among others, Mission Santa Maria, a nonprofit that feeds families in need in Ecuador and helps them to receive an education and shelter. Many of the children supported by this nonprofit come from abusive families and extreme poverty.
Supporting Medical Research
The Knopman Marks team has family members affected by breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and continues to support of research to find cures.
Supporting an Inclusive Industry
To help more people have access to careers in the securities industry, Knopman Marks donated to Wall Street Bound, a group that helps urban youth through careers in finance. The firm also awarded 13 SIE scholarships to members of the Security Traders Association’s Student in Finance Program, and supported CASA, a nonprofit that finds homes for foster children, helping them get a better start, and a better future.
At the beginning of the pandemic, with testing centers closed, the leadership at Knopman Marks wondered, What can we do to help? What can we do with what we have? To help their students, clients, and communities manage the anxiety and isolation they were experiencing, the firm created Essentials to Thrive, a free masterclass series that provided support and consistency. Knopman Marks also offered free webinars about taking FINRA exams online along with free weekly review sessions for the SIE and other exams.