Minnesota Keystone Featured Member - May 2016
This month’s featured member is Northeast Bank. Northeast Bank has been a Minnesota Keystone member since 1994. They were recognized as an honored company in 2009.
Why does your company continue to be members of the Minnesota Keystone?
Though Northeast Bank has been a proud member and supporter of the Minnesota Keystone Program since 1994, our giving program stretches back over half a century. Records at one of our closest nonprofit partners, East Side Neighborhood Services, denote our dedication to community starting in the 1950’s. In Board Chair Belva Rasmussen’s own words, “Northeast Bank is here because of our founders’ vision to serve the community. Today, that vision is still the driving force behind Northeast Bank. We pledge to continue to live by the words we use to describe our bank: Strength of a Leader, Hand of a Friend.” Belva’s late husband, Walter, believed that community banking was about so much more than just offering financial resources and a safe place to maintain one’s money. To him, community banking was about establishing the Bank as a cornerstone in the community, both socially and economically. It was about giving back by supporting local nonprofits and organizations that enrich the neighborhoods and communities where our customers and employees live and work. This is a philosophy that continues to be embraced by Northeast Bank’s current ownership and management team.
Why does your company value charitable giving?
While our expertise centers around assisting individuals to realize their financial dreams, we recognize the importance and value of local nonprofits that work with youth, the elderly, and those that need a hand-up to establish a better future for themselves and their family. As a strongly capitalized financial institution, we have the ability (and in our opinion responsibility) to be a strong corporate citizen and leader within the business community. We recognize that our success is reflected in the prosperity of our markets, therefore it is imperative that we entrench ourselves within our communities to best assess their needs in real time. We also believe that giving is most effective when demonstrated with a multi-faceted approach. We offer local nonprofits funding through the Walter C. Rasmussen – Northeast Bank Foundation, corporate guidance through the commitment of our Board of Directors and officers to local nonprofit boards and committees, and boots-on-the-ground assistance in the form of volunteers.
What is the estimated value of your giving (cumulative dollars) since you joined?
The measurement of our commitment since joining the Minnesota Keystone Program in 1994 is easiest broken into two components. Charitable giving through the Walter C. Rasmussen – Northeast Bank Foundation and monetary and in-kind donations issued directly from Northeast Bank since 1994 is over $2 million dollars. The other component is the measurable commitment of our volunteer efforts by the Bank’s Board members, officers and staff. Annual hourly commitment totals have consistently come in at 3,500 or more hours over the past decade, so our estimated volunteer efforts since 1994 could be conservatively estimated at 75,000 hours. According to IndependentSector.org’s estimation of the value of a volunteer hour in 2014 by Minnesota employees ($24.83), that portion of our community commitment since 1994 would have an estimated value of over $1.85 million in today’s dollars.
Tell us about a meaningful partnership you have formed with a charitable organization.
Our most impactful and longest-running nonprofit partnership is with East Side Neighborhood Services, a nonprofit human service agency that provides social and other services to individuals, families and the communities of primarily Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis. Their purpose is to assist people of all ages and backgrounds in realizing a higher quality of life.
The Walter C. Rasmussen - Northeast Bank Foundation (formed in 1991) has consistently contributed funding to East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS). In addition, members of our management team have worked closely with ESNS in the following roles: Chair of the Board, Board members, Chair of the Finance Committee, IT Committee member, Centennial Gala Chair, and other miscellaneous planning committees. The Bank is a sponsor of their annual Wine Tasting and Big River Brew Fest fundraisers, and also provides a volunteer crew for each event. Volunteers are also provided for their annual Senior Appreciation Valentine’s Luncheon.
Proceeds from our Minneapolis office’s holiday gift envelope sales are forwarded to ESNS to support their various food shelves, and the ESNS Senior Food Shelf has been our featured community partner at the past two Minneapolis community picnics, collecting hundreds of pounds of food plus cash donations. Each holiday season, employees contribute over $500 worth of gifts to ESNS’s “Holiday Gift Store” (formerly the Adopt-a-Family program). East Side’s Camp Bovey has also been our featured Community Connection project in conjunction with our annual United Way Campaign, raising awareness for the camp and their programs while collecting various items used to outfit the camp.
Mary Ostapenko-Anstett, Director of Volunteer Services/Events at East Side Neighborhood Services, states “Northeast Bank is really a model for any business that wants to participate in the community. They have always come through with all of our requests, usually above and beyond. When approached by other businesses that want to become more involved with the community, I always mention Northeast Bank as an example since they are one of the most community-minded businesses in this area.”