Mission Principles
and Policies

As a bank, lending is the primary way we make the change we want to see. Our depositors provide the funding to make loans possible, we make the loans, and our borrowers create impact in the world. We continually work on our principles and policies and we examine each loan for potential positive and negative impact in order to execute on Beneficial State’s Mission and Vision. Learn more below about the principles and policies that guide us in everything that we do.

What We Finance

75%+ Mission-Alignment

To steward depositors’ money well, we strive to ensure that 75% or more of our loan dollars are supporting a more socially-just and environmentally-sustainable world, and that none of our loans are counter to this mission. Our primary target for all lending is mission-aligned businesses and organizations.

We’ve identified 4 primary ways in which nonprofits and businesses can be considered mission-aligned and count toward our 75% goal:


Ownership by Under-Served Communities

Businesses and nonprofits that are owned or led by people from under-served and historically oppressed groups that can help build…


Mission-Driven Ownership Structures

Nonprofit organizations, worker-owned cooperatives, benefit corporations, social purpose corporations, and similar business models that put people and planet before profit.


Mission-Driven Core Products & Services

Nonprofits and businesses whose core products or services are intended to improve the lives of people and communities and/or support…


Mission-Driven Corporate Practices

Borrowers that purposefully support people and planet through their corporate practices, such as the provision of living wages and benefits…

Do No Harm

We believe banks must be as equally committed to avoiding harm as they are to benefiting communities. It’s not enough to do good; we must also do our best to avoid the bad. As such, none of our lending or deposits may be used to support contra mission sectors, activities, or business transactions as listed below. More detailed descriptions of each of these areas and our overall approach to Do No Harm is in our Mission Principles Guide.

Additional contra mission categories are being discussed and developed on an ongoing basis.

Illegal Products and Activities



Predatory Lending

Energy Sources

Resource Extraction

Incarceration or Punishment

Contra-Mission Transactions

How We Lend

Resolving Complex Issues - Doing No Harm, and Encouraging Transition

When a business or transaction has both mission and contra-mission elements, Beneficial State will not lend to an entity with contra-mission elements unless the loan is used to explicitly migrate a borrower toward fully mission-aligned practices and products.

Community Supported Businesses and Projects

We strive to ensure that our lending is to activities and businesses that are supported by and have a voice from the communities in which they operate, particularly low-income and underserved communities.


We seek to go “the extra mile,” taking the time to understand more complex mission loan opportunities, with the goal of providing loans to help businesses, nonprofits, and individuals that would not get financing from other banks, or would not get similar benefits/terms from other banks. With this principle, we articulate our value and reason for being in the world; without us, these businesses and nonprofits would not be able to achieve their missions as easily, as much, or possibly, at all.

Products and Pricing Principles: Designed for Impact

We design our products to help people minimize their costs and maximize their savings.  We strive for people and organizations to be healthier the day after they took up a product of ours than the day before, and on into the future. Imbedded in our approach are these guiding principles.

Legal and Ethical

It goes without saying that we are committed to meeting and exceeding legal and ethical pricing and product standards.  As a result, we do not intend to receive fines and do not include fines as an assumed cost in our business model — no fines as a mere cost of doing business.


Pricing that is fair, transparent, and reasonable:

  • Fair: We provide fair pricing to everyone. We don’t price equally, but we do price equitably, for value given and derived. We apply no pricing schemes, practices or business models, such as repetitive overdraft fees or maximization of overdraft fees by processing checks largest to smallest, that make money from those with the least money, wealth, or financial stability, while charging lower than market or zero fees for products that serve higher income needs.
  • Transparent: We share our prices in a clear and meaningful way so that everyone understands what they are paying for and can therefore choose accordingly. We will not purposely obscure fees or make fees confusing to encourage customers to make more expensive choices and increase our profits. We avoid complex cross-product pricing schemes in which some items are free and other items are overpriced to make up for the losses like “free checking” schemes.
  • Reasonable: Our pricing covers our actual costs and allows us to pay a minimum of 1.5 times the area’s Living Wage to our employees, a maximum highest to lowest paid ratio of 10:1 as well as provide market and/or living wage prices to our suppliers and service providers, and a modest return on investment for capital providers to the bank. We charge what we must for economic viability (our measure of financial sustainability is 6-9% return on equity — not more!) not what we can for capital market dominance. Otherwise, we are likely gouging. We use technology and green practices to minimize our costs, then pass those cost savings to our clients too.

Provide Alternatives to High-Cost Products

Develop products that help people save money and/or get out of debt. Many high-priced banking products are ripe for disruption.

Employing the Compass Principles

We commit to ensuring that our products and pricing also adhere to the Compass Principles developed by the Financial Health Network.

Mergers and Acquisition Principles

We also have mission principles to guide us in any merger or acquisition decisions. Any merger or acquisition by Beneficial State must have the following mission characteristics.

  • Mission-aligned banks that would enhance our ability to achieve our social and environmental mission
  • Voluntary on both sides
  • Increases opportunities for our staff