Posted by Steve Cocheo in Pass the Aspirin The Blog
The Headache: Money has been tighter this year, and will continue to be. Banks are far from Scrooges, but there's only so much to go around, and often one hears about more organizations needing aid.
Our Question: How has your bank addressed this challenge? And how is your approach working.
Come see what other bankers think, and add your own views
* * *
Charitable contributions, your community, and your banks
Money is tighter this year, Banks are far from Scrooges, but there's only so much to go around. How has your bank addressed this ticklish challenge this year? How is it working?
Laurie Stewart, president and CEO, Sound Community Bank, $339.5 million-assets, Seattle, Wash., told us:
“Supporting the communities where we do business, and improving the quality of life in those communities, is a core value for the bank and our community foundation. During these more challenging times we have managed to maintain a contributions budget which is a fair share of our earnings. We leverage that budget with volunteer hours from our employees. Both the bank and foundation focus their giving on organizations where our employees are participating. And when we support an event we do it with dollars and personnel.
“For example, at a summer ‘Light the Night’ event we sponsored a water stop. And a dozen volunteers and our mascot, Sounder the Whale, staffed the table and greeted all the walkers for the duration of the event. We sponsored the community festival and parade in Sequim and 50 employees and family members surrounded the float as it moved down the streets. Everyone was decked out in blue tee shirts and parade watchers frequently shouted out hellos.
“One woman called out ‘Thanks for my mortgage!’
“A fast-thinking loan officer responded, ‘Thanks for making your payments.’
We also make cash donations when our employees donate 25 hours to an organization. The bank makes a $100 donation up to $500 per year. If an employee uses vacation to support a charitable cause like a camp, we add three vacation days to the employee for every five they spend working for a charity.
“We have a spirited annual giving campaign and I am proud to report that for three years running 100% of our employees have participated!”
And, in case you missed it, last year Laurie herself climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. After you read the answers below, you can read Laurie’s story in First Person Online
Below is a sampling of what we've heard from other community bankers. Add your own ideas and suggestions.
And if you would like to join our regular list of "prescribers," to whom we send questions, please email Executive Editor Steve Cocheo today.
Let's hear your views and ideas below! (Editorial Note: Contributions to Pass the Aspirin may also appear in our print edition. While we will ask for your e-mail address, this is only as an aid to verifying identity and will not be used for any marketing or promotional purpose. The e-mail address will not be published.)