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Minnesota Banks Help Their Community

Minnesota Banks Help Their Community

We invite you to Better Know Sunrise Community Bank of St. Paul, Minnesota, a certified B Corporation since June 2009. Based on the premise that social responsibility is their duty, the three banks comprising the Sunrise Bank family develop strong, urban communities through innovative banking. This B Corporation invests in inner-city neighborhoods and has recently been recognized with a 2010 Community Reinvestment Award Honorable Mention.

Of their most recent, groundbreaking programs, Sunrise Community Bank has created Money Services Businesses (MSBs) and the Sunrise Homeownership Alliance. MSBs were formed to solve the growing unmet need of the areas Somali refugee population. With wire transfers providing the lifeline to families back home, growing access problems created a community financial crisis. Through cooperation with regulatory agencies, the FBI and Somali community, Sunrise was able to find a safe, reliable solution. In fact, they now represent almost 75% of this population’s wire transfer business.

The second exciting program, Sunrise Homeownership Alliance, is a collaborative seller financing project with local non-profits. By raising socially motivated investments, Sunrise is able to provide loans to nonprofits who work within the community. Through this creative process, 2009 brought affordable homeownership to thirteen families and $1,239,680 provided in private capital to low-income communities. Despite the highly regulated nature of the banking industry, Sunrise has produced two truly innovative programs.

Integrating their mission throughout the entire organization, Sunrise is the definition of a B. They were introduced to B Corp by a trusted colleague and joined to extend their leadership from Minnesota to the national level. With validation for their business model and a framework for institutionalizing stakeholders, Sunrise has been able to better refine their mission-driven polices.

With an eye on wider policy changes, Sunrise continues to support local affordable housing initiatives, small business development and not-for-profits. Customers are given the option of designating any account to the Socially Responsible Deposit Fund, which allows the Bank to make loans supporting socially responsible community projects. Harnessing the power of traditional banking investment, Sunrise Banks lets customers “do good” with their savings while continuing to protect their money.

This is a wonderful example of finding creative solutions within the traditional economy. By innovating and focusing on strong leadership in the industry, Sunrise Community Bank is creating big change. To learn more, visit Sunrise Community Banks online and Better Know this B.


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photo credit: thanks to davef3138 via flickr
by Katie Kerr, B-lab

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9:16PM PST on Nov 7, 2010


3:32PM PST on Nov 7, 2010

Back to the future ... actually helping your fellow man. Remember how it used to be?

If this actually catches on, great things will happen just because ... bread upon the waters and all that stuff. Let us pray!

3:31PM PST on Nov 7, 2010

Back to the future ... actually helping your fellow man. Remember how it used to be?

If this actually catches on, great things will happen just because ... bread upon the waters and all that stuff. Let us pray!

11:03AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010

I'm glad to see there are banks that are doing well by doing good. If we aren't here to help each other...what is our purpose here ??

2:51PM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

Why would a bank need Republican support lyn l.? Can't an unselfish act be taken at face value? There are people in the world who are trying to give back ,and or give to the world's situation.

7:39PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

I love a good story.

5:22PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

this is beautiful. more communities need this sort of bank. amen to the person that had such great insight and for being humane, caring and loving towards his fellowman.

4:30PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

Wow - wish we had more like them!

12:42PM PDT on Nov 2, 2010

More, please, many more banks like this, please.

9:10PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

Thanks for the info.

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