Every Bank Can Be a Good Bank
We believe that every bank can be a beneficial bank. With our rallying cry, we know it is possible that the entire bank system – not only our bank – can migrate to one that benefits all, and harms none.
Inside and out of the bank, we support a new ecosystem for beneficial banking. Our work includes
To develop and inspire new social, environmental and ethical standards for banking.
Including individuals, businesses, clients, and others to encourage people to demand more from their banks and to move their money if their institution doesn’t share their values.
As they forge their paths toward greater sustainability and social responsibility.
Of socially-minded leaders that believe that banking is a powerful and necessary tool to make the world a better place.
With banks and financial institutions
Here are some of the major efforts and impacts in working with other values-aligned banks:
We are members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, serve on its board and several committees, and have accomplished the following with our fellow members:
Hosted North American convenings
Developed a global values-based banking scorecard
Scored ourselves on this scorecard
Provided data and input on how to score U.S. banks on ethical performance
Created a Human Capital Program for the industry
Developed and invested in a investment fund to support values-based banks around the world
We are also members of NCIF, and are proud to participate in conversations that help us to track the social and environmental impact of community banks in the U.S. As part of NCIF we:
BankTrack is the international tracking, campaigning and NGO support organization targeting the operations and investments of private sector banks and their effect on people and the planet. We are signatories on the Paris Pledge to Quit Coal
With Our Communities
We engage with individuals, nonprofits, and businesses in many ways to talk about the power, hope and possibility of business and banking for good.
One powerful way that Beneficial State helps to inspire Beneficial Banking is through events that we host and co-host each year. Throughout our history we’ve hosted a wide variety of events with nonprofit partners, capital providers, clients, socially-responsible businesses, and others, engaging with thousands of attendees on the topics of socially-responsible business and banking.
Key Beneficial State Hosted and Co-Hosted Events:
Beneficial State’s signature Bay Area event, the Oakland Indie Awards celebrates the positive social, economic, and political impact of Oakland’s local, independent businesses and artists.
153 Nominations Submitted
Cumulative – 10 Years
2,267 Businesses & Artists Nominated
2,789 Indie Businesses Supported (Conservative estimate of all nominated businesses, vendors, and service providers)
Connecting small businesses to mission-driven capital providers
31 Capital and Technical Assistance Partners
*2 Events: Portland and Seattle
43 Capital and Technical Assistance Partners
*May include double-counts of those who participated both years
2015 Events in Washington
The Building Main Street program also included the development of Seattle Money on a Mission, listed above.
In addition to hosting our own events, we speak at more than 50 events per year to spread the word about beneficial banking. Here’s a partial list of the events at which our staff spoke in 2015:
Association of Strategic Planning
B Corporation (Various Events)
BALLE (Various Events)
CoCap Community Capital Conference
Elevating Impact Summit
Go Green Seattle
Haas School of Business, University of California
Holy Names University
International Living Futures Institute
La Peña Cultural Center
Main Street Alliance
Mission Investors Exchange
National Philanthropy Awards
Promontory Financial Group
RMA Women in Banking
Social Venture Network
Sustainable Business Alliance
SV2 Impact Investing
The SRI Conference
Wendell Berry Jefferson Lecture Moderator
Women in Business, Seattle
Building this movement includes ensuring that we encourage our clients and potential clients to support other mission-driven businesses. We have formal relationships with and make referrals to socially-responsible service providers. See the list on our main bank website.
Our e-newsletters and social media offer a consistent channel for us to provide messaging about banking for good. See examples at these links: Facebook pages for the Foundation and Bank, and Twitter feeds for the Foundation and Bank.
One of the the ways we encourage customers to go green is through our e-statement incentive, reducing the cost of accounts for clients that help us save trees by receiving e-statements instead of paper.
As a business ourselves, we invite our clients and other businesses — beyond banks and financial institutions — to measure and improve their social and environmental impact. Here are a few ways in which we engage other businesses:
We help plan, speak at, and attend B Corp Local and National Events to strengthen and grow this community
As we work with clients and potential clients, we share our values of social responsibility and sustainability, and connect them with resources to learn more
Our client events offer opportunities for clients to hear our own efforts, meet other socially-responsible businesses, and share their own stories at our Share Your Beautiful stations.
The Next Generation
To help build the pipeline for the next generation of leaders, Beneficial State is proud to offer an intensive summer fellowship program that provides valuable work and learning experience to students interested in beneficial banking, community economic development and responsible financial services. Fellows work on challenging Bank and Foundation projects, complete deliverables designed to contribute to their educational and career development, and present to Beneficial State’s staff and senior leadership team at the end of the program.
Fellows also participate in the Beneficial Banking Curriculum & Speaker Series, which includes workshops led by experts in the fields of community banking, investing, and responsible finance as well as site visits for fellows to see the work in action. Past fellows have joined the Beneficial State team after graduation and leveraged their rich fellowship experiences into careers in financial services and a variety of industries. Learn more here.
Fellows in 2018: 8
Total fellows since program inception: 77