Dedicating hundreds of volunteer hours at local charity events is not just another PR stunt for community banks. It is a natural extension of their mission to serve the locality beyond the walls of the bank.
Keeping it Close to Home
The community service that comes from community banks tends to stay very close to home. While some of the work might be for national charities such as United Way or the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser, it is the local groups that receive the benefit of most of the bank’s service work.
By helping at Habitat for Humanity, for example, a community bank’s employees can contribute to the construction of homes for families who could not otherwise afford them.
Community banks also like to sponsor youth sports teams and support drives for school supplies and food.
Getting Out and About
Banks often sponsor fundraising events that involve running, walking, biking, or other activities that bring local residents together for a good cause. Volunteering gives bank workers a welcome break from their daily work with customers. The fact is that, since these are often fairly small communities, the bank staff and the customers often run into each other at the volunteer events they both attend. This is, of course, another way that the bank ensures that it interacts with the community in meaningful ways.
The Giving Portfolio
Community banks tend to spread their volunteerism around to a wide spectrum of causes and institutions. This make sense, because every local community has a range of worthy recipients, and the bank’s customers, when taken as a whole, probably support and have relationships with all of them.
By donating time to educate children and adults in the basics of financial literacy, community banks improve their chances of negotiating the difficult path toward a solid financial future. The goal, of course is to help reduce poverty and homelessness which, in turn, improves the general situation of the community in which the bank does business.
Community service is an essential role that every community bank plays in the neighborhoods it serves. For sure, the volunteering banks provide gains brand exposure and promotes positive attitudes about the bank. More important, though, is the significant list of benefits the service provides to the causes and institutions themselves. Community banking and community service fit together naturally, and everybody wins.