Elevating up nonprofits – Unbiased Banker

Members of Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution assist to Prepared Palms, a nonprofit devoted to feeding these in want.

For its thirtieth anniversary, Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution determined to ask 10 native nonprofits to enter a video about their work right into a contest for the chance to win $10,000 and broaden their visibility.

By Tiffany Lukk

When Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution in Hanover, N.H., was based 31 years in the past, it was throughout a time the place many neighborhood banks have been being bought by bigger banks. Selections have been being made by out-of-state people, leaving the local people with out assist for or concentrate on lending, jobs and extra. In response to that, a bunch of individuals got here collectively to discovered Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution.

“The idea of their imaginative and prescient was that we’d be dedicated to the neighborhood and frequently—so long as we have been round—give again to the neighborhood as in some ways as we might,” says Kathy Underwood, CEO of the $750 million-asset neighborhood financial institution. “It was the imaginative and prescient of our founders, and it stays a core of our values and our tradition at present.”

Over the previous three a long time, Ledyard has given again in some ways, together with contests, giving staff paid time without work to volunteer and donating to quite a few native charities.

In honor of the neighborhood financial institution’s thirtieth anniversary final yr, it created a contest for 10 native nonprofits. The taking part organizations every made a brief video primarily based on the immediate, ‘What does neighborhood imply to you?’ Shared on Ledyard’s Fb web page, the movies served to focus on the work the nonprofits do and their significance to the neighborhood.

Group members might vote for his or her favourite video by reacting to it from Oct. 1–22.

“It gave them the chance to … use our energy and our social media to get their message on the market and allow them to inform their story of what they have been doing in the neighborhood and why they have been essential,” Underwood says.

To additional enhance the nonprofits’ visibility, Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution promoted the movies in its branches, put advertisements in native newspapers and paid for spots for representatives of these organizations to be interviewed on the radio.

By the top of the competition, greater than 2,300 votes have been solid and the financial institution had awarded $30,000 throughout the ten nonprofits, with $10,000 going to the first-place winner.

In line with Underwood, individuals who noticed the movies confirmed their assist in additional methods than simply voting. She says, “[The nonprofits] have been shocked at how many individuals in the neighborhood responded with not simply voting however writing a examine.”

A historical past of assist

This wasn’t the primary video contest that Ledyard Nationwide Financial institution has hosted. Previously, it’s used this tactic to assist nonprofits that cater to low- and mid-income segments, for instance. And whereas deciding which nonprofits to ask to take part on this video contest, financial institution leaders assessed which sectors would profit most.

“The factor concerning the 10 organizations is that every one in all them is devoted to supporting the low- to mid-income segments of our inhabitants,” says Jeff Marks, Ledyard’s senior vp and chief advertising and marketing officer. “For this specific contest, we actually needed to concentrate on these organizations that have been supporting individuals in the neighborhood who wanted it probably the most from an financial standpoint.”

Members included Dismas of Vermont, a company devoted to integrating previously incarcerated individuals into society; Higher Valley Haven, which supplies non permanent shelter and academic programming to homeless households; and West Central Behavioral Well being, which affords superior counseling and remedy to the neighborhood.

The cash shall be spent at every of the organizations’ discretion. West Central Behavioral Well being, for instance, supplies lots of its companies without spending a dime. Yearly, it supplies about $600,000 value of charitable care that can not be reimbursed.

“We provide psychological well being and substance use and disaster assist companies to individuals no matter what they’re in a position to pay,” says Dave Celone, West Central’s director of growth and neighborhood relations. “The monies that we obtain from Ledyard … will go to assist individuals who can’t in any other case pay for psychological well being or substance use or disaster assist companies.”

Seeking to the following anniversary

Celone says the competition displays the financial institution’s dedication to service throughout the neighborhood. “They simply love the neighborhood, and so they wish to assist nonprofits nonetheless they’ll and that feeling actually comes via,” he says. “We like to work with them.”

“I’d suspect that for our thirty fifth anniversary,” says Marks, “we’re going to have a whole lot of wonderful conversations, and we might do one thing very related, or we would do one thing totally new. We all know that we’re dedicated to doing these kinds of issues for the neighborhood.”

Tiffany Lukk is affiliate editor of Unbiased Banker.