Thanks for your interest in Beneficial State Foundation. We are a unique foundation in that our primary role is to protect and support the triple bottom line missions of Beneficial State Bank and Albina Community Bank. We help ensure that the banks meet the goals of generating prosperity for people and the planet, and avoids extractive practices while being financially sound.
Beneficial State Bank is 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. We at the foundation support this work in the ways described below.
Albina Community Bank, a locally-managed and operated community bank in Portland, OR works to create and maintain local jobs, rebuild communities and create a thriving and sustainable place for all to live and work.
We own 100% of the economic rights of Beneficial State Bank. This legally ensures that when the bank distributes profits, they can only be distributed to the community to support programs instead of making a few individuals wealthier. Most importantly, this ownership model ensures that the bank’s decision-making is aligned with its vision.
We own 90% of Albina Community Bank and support Albina’s mission to serve the local community.
The foundation works to retain and prove this innovative ownership model to regulatory bodies and other entities as needed. Since Beneficial State Bank is new and small, it hasn’t made enough profits to distribute yet. But with our help, the bank can still provide sponsorships to support the community right now. Learn more about sponsorships below.
Driving & Measuring Impact
At the Foundation, we have an impact team focused on driving and measuring our social and environmental impact. We are helping to define the positive change that we want to make and how to measure it. Our 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, we can help the bank determine which loans will do the most good and assess Beneficial State’s lending record. Learn more about our impact work here.
Social Impact Product Development & Loan Support
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 helps 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, our internship program, and even 1-1 consultations, the foundation and banks 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!
We fund and manage the sponsorships of Beneficial State Bank and Albina Community Bank. From 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. We at 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.
Local Business & Nonprofit Programs
We 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. We 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 one of the banks needs our help with systems, staff development, or other programs that make it a more beneficial bank for the community, we step in!