Oakland / SF Bay Area Programs

Contact Maritessa about Our Programs and the Beneficial Banking Movement

Maritessa Bravo Ares, our Bay Area and Sacramento Community Engagement Officer, helps connect local small business owners, social-impact entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to resources, supporting our growing beneficial banking community. Looking for networking opportunities or space for your next meeting? Need help figuring out what technical and financial assistance may be available for your business or nonprofit? Get in touch via email!

Event Sponsorship Program

Beneficial State Foundation funds and manages the event sponsorships of Beneficial State Bank. We are proud to support many incredible California nonprofits through event sponsorship. To learn more, click here or contact Maritessa.

California Community Engagement Initiatives

Beneficial State Foundation develops and supports a variety of programs, services and events in the Oakland and San Francisco Bay Area. Our Community Engagement Officers build relationships in their respective communities by supporting bank clients, hosting workshops, attending community events and volunteering.

Here are some examples:

Oakland Indie Awards

The Oakland Indie Awards is Beneficial State’s signature annual event honoring Oakland’s independently-owned business and artist communities. This economic development initiative encourages Oaklanders to recognize the community, economic, environmental and political impact of supporting local commerce.

Each year, anyone in the community may nominate Oakland-based businesses and artists to be considered for one of eight awards. Two independent judging panels then gather in April to determine the finalists and winners. Awards are handed out at the Oakland Indie Awards Ceremony, followed by an energetic community celebration featuring live music, exhibits, food, drinks, and an Indie Marketplace highlighting a huge variety of local businesses and artists. People of all ages, cultures, faiths, and genders come together to cheer on the businesses and artists that are keeping our town thriving!

The 10th Annual Oakland Indie Awards took place at the Oakland Museum of California on May 12, 2016 and was a huge success. Discover the winners and more at www.OaklandIndieAwards.com.

The 11th Annual Oakland Indie Awards will return to the Oakland Museum of California on May 18, 2017. Get your tickets now!

What are people saying about the Oakland Indie Awards?

“The Indie Awards is a great opportunity to find out about local businesses, creative work spaces and active entrepreneurs/artists in the Oakland community.”  – Oakland Indie Awards attendee

“When I started business in Oakland in 1999, one had to be member of a private club to have networking like this. I promised to never be “member” to one of those elitist clubs. The Indie Awards is truly an event for people to meet and network and showcase their artistry, ingenuity, and social justice outreach and efforts.” – April Quinn, owner of Gondola Servizio

“The Oakland Indie Awards was such an amazing time! We engaged non-stop with Oakland’s finest.” – Oakland Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Clinic

“The Indie Marketplace is a reflection of Oakland’s vibrant, multicultural community. The music, the food, the scenery… It’s like a treat for all of the senses! And it’s all Oakland!”– Indie Awards Attendee

Move Your Money Workshops: Fossil Fuel Divestment

We are hosting workshops and presentations to help Bay Area and Sacramento residents and progressive local businesses and nonprofits learn how to move their money to a bank that is aligned with their values.

You bring your group, and we’ll bring our team and all materials – all completely free.

Interested in holding a Move Your Money workshop in your community? Contact Maritessa for more information!

Oakland Business Assistance Center Website

In 2010, Beneficial State Foundation built a business resource website for the City of Oakland Business Assistance Center.  This site includes searchable listings of organizations that provide classes, counseling and financial assistance to local businesses.

Ensuring Nonprofits Thrive

Through our innovative nonprofit banking services, deep community partnerships, paid-volunteer time employee benefit, and event sponsorship program, Beneficial State supports the critical work of California’s nonprofit sector.

Memberships, Partners, and Community Resources

Beneficial State Foundation builds partnerships in the community through membership in local organizations and participation on local boards and committees. See our Resources and Partners page for a list.

Join the Beneficial Banking Movement

We believe that banks should nourish our communities, not extract from them. We work closely with values-aligned partners and financial institutions to spread this mission of beneficial banking in California.

Connect with us on social media! Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on LinkedIn

Stay updated by signing up for the Beneficial Banking mailing list.

Beneficial State Fellowship Program

Beneficial State Foundation’s Summer Fellowship creates a pipeline for the next generation of social impact leaders. We design the Fellowship experience to be challenging, meaningful and in alignment with our strategic objective to cultivate leaders whose passion for economic justice and environmental sustainability match the vision and goals of Beneficial State. Depending on project availability, Fellows can be based out of our Oakland office. View our open opportunities here and submit an application. Positions are typically posted in February; applications are accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.