Beneficial State Foundation is a unique foundation whose primary role is to protect and support the triple bottom line missions of Beneficial State Bank. They help ensure that the bank meets the goals of generating prosperity for people and the planet, and avoids extractive practices while being financially sound.
We are helping to build human and environmental prosperity primarily by providing fair and honest loans and financial services to businesses and nonprofits that are striving to be a force for good. The Foundation supports this work in the ways described below.
Learn more at http://beneficialstate.org/.
They own 100% of the economic rights of Beneficial State Bank. This legally ensures that when the bank distributes profits, we can only be distributed to the community to support programs instead of making a few individuals wealthier. Most importantly, this ownership model ensures that our decision-making is aligned with its vision.
The foundation works to retain and prove this innovative ownership model to regulatory bodies and other entities as needed. Beneficial State Bank is relatively new and hasn’t made enough profits to distribute yet. With the Foundation's help, we can still provide sponsorships to support the community right now. Learn more about sponsorships below.
At the Foundation, they have an impact team focused on driving and measuring their social and environmental impact. They are helping to define the positive change that they want to make and how to measure it. Their areas of focus include creating good jobs, protecting the environment by promoting renewable energy sources; and building healthy communities by supporting access to sustainable food systems. By defining and measuring these impacts, they can help the us determine which loans will do the most good and assess Beneficial State’s lending record. Learn more about our impact work here.
Beneficial State Foundation also helps the bank to offer innovative loans and products specifically focused on improving social and environmental outcomes. For example, the foundation provided research and development for two new loan products: 1) the Personal Builder loan, which helped credit-impaired individuals obtain a fair alternative to payday loans, and 2) Business Builder and Nonprofit Builder loans that offer a streamlined application and decision process for smaller loans needed by smaller businesses and nonprofits. The foundation continues to help develop financial solutions that support critical community services and transformative products, programs, and services.
A big piece of what Beneficial State Bank does is share its work and vision with other financial institutions, regulators and other communities to help spread the mission and practices widely. By sharing this work through organizational memberships, conferences, events, social media, their internship program, and even 1-1 consultations, the foundation and bank can help other financial institutions to dedicate more of their resources, practices and corporate structures to support positive social and environmental impact. Beneficial State doesn’t want to hoard its work and be the only beneficial bank — it wants all banks to be beneficial!
They fund and manage the sponsorships of Beneficial State Bank. Since day one, Beneficial State Bank has been committed to supporting our community above and beyond its lending by providing sponsorships to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations each year — before the bank has made any profits. The Foundation have been able to help the bank provide much more in sponsorships than community banks of its size and age are generally able to do. Learn more about our sponsorships here.
They support and complement the loans and financial services by providing educational programs, networking events, and tools to help strengthen small social impact businesses and nonprofit organizations. They also assist the banks in hosting events that support these groups as well. See the following links for more information about each of these programs. See the links below for programs in SF Bay Area, Portland, OR, and Washington State.
In addition to some of the more obvious and externally-focused work described above, Beneficial State Foundation also provides operational support to ensure the banks’ triple-bottom lines as well. If we need their help with systems, staff development, or other programs that make it a more beneficial bank for the community, they step in!