To most people, banks are just places to keep money safely and get loans. But, there is a lot more to banking than just loans, mortgages, and savings accounts. Banks and financial institutions are critical to both the local and international economy. They are able to influence and even control various aspects of economic, political, and social development in a community. This gives banks a lot of stake in overall community development. For instance, many financial analysts blame financial crisis on poor decision making by leaders in the financial industry.
However, banks can also take action toward community development and economic stability. Banks have valuable insights into the local economy and can easily identify key areas that can help boost local productivity and way of life. Here are some of the ways that banks give back to the community.
Environmental sustainability is a major global concern today. World leaders, social and environmental activists, and organizations are taking charge to help solve energy, food, and environmental sustainability. Banks are also getting in on this action. Aspiration Bank is one of the institutions actively contributing to environmental conservation. With their “Save money, Save the planet” slogan, the bank hopes to entice individuals and organizations into taking action against climate change, fossil fuel, and global warming.
Sponsoring Local Development Projects
Another common way that banks contribute to community development is involvement in development and welfare initiatives such as charities and volunteer activities. Through their substantial financial backing and connections, banks can sponsor or be part of massive projects that significantly change and improve the lives of the people. Providing housing, water supply, health care, and income generation are just some of the local development projects that banks often involve themselves with.
Partnering with Local Organizations
Besides giving out business or special loans to local firms and institutions, banks also take an interest in growing the community by boosting the local economy. Banks often offer financial assistance to local traders to help increase job opportunities, revenue generation, and upgrade the standards of living in the area.
Besides funding, banks also provide financial and business advice to entrepreneurs and small businesses in forums and seminars to help them grow. Some go as far as to provide tailor-made business solutions such as connections to external markets and processing facilities to help local businesses widen their scope and potential.
Mentorship and Education Programs
Many banks, particularly in the developing world, take a keen interest in mentoring and educating both the youth and older generations in various fields. By sponsoring youth education through scholarships and school donations, banks can equip young learns with the skills necessary for community development. Banks have also been known to take individuals and groups under their wings through intensive mentorships programs such as sports camps, skill-oriented training camps, and apprenticeship.
One of the reasons why banks are keen on bringing positive changes is because a thriving economy is also good for banking, business, and the community as a whole. Plus, it’s always a good idea for influential organizations to be associated with positive deeds. They also do it to attack other groups, organizations, and individuals to participate in community development initiatives.