Doing Well By Doing Good: Balancing Profit and Purpose in Finance

A graphic with the B Corp Month logo and the phrase Future-Forward Banking.

At Sunrise Banks, “Doing well by doing good” is more than just a phrase. It’s our philosophy. Our mission—to be “the most innovative bank empowering financial wellness”—is what makes us a purpose-driven bank. We feel strongly that our success relies on the success of the communities we serve, which is why we are so committed to promoting financial wellness.

How Does Sunrise Banks Accomplish its Mission?

Sunrise Banks has earned its B Corporation status due to its demonstrated commitment to transparent corporate governance and positive community impact. Certified B Corporations are businesses that go above and beyond to promote corporate social responsibility, especially as it relates to improving the environment, ensuring transparency, improving access to high-quality jobs, and reducing economic inequality.

B Corporations follow a set of values, as outlined in The B Corporation Declaration of Interdependence:

  • That we must be the change we seek in the world.
  • That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
  • That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
  • To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

Sunrise Banks has been a certified B Corporation since 2009 and is recertified every three years. In 2020, during its most recent recertification, Sunrise received a B Corp Impact score of 144.2, well above average, as companies need an 80 to qualify for certification.

This score is based on the bank's B Lab Impact Assessment, which measures Sunrise's commitment to impact beyond financial success. B Corporations are graded on their social impact in five categories: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.

Sunrise Banks was the first B Corp in Minnesota and is the only B Corp bank in South Dakota.

Additionally, Sunrise Banks is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Ties grew even stronger in April 2021 when Sunrise’s CEO David Reiling was appointed chairman of GABV Off Site Link Off Site Link.

Sunrise Banks is also certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). CDFIs—a designation earned by approximately 100 banks nationwide—play a critical role in the U.S. economy and are responsible for creating meaningful opportunities for low-to-moderate-income communities across the country.

Fintech as a Key Player in Financial Wellness

It’s in large part thanks to financial technology (fintech) that doing well and doing good are no longer mutually exclusive and that companies are able to effectively balance profit and purpose.

Over the years, Sunrise Banks has developed many partnerships with fintech companies producing profitable products and services that foster economic inclusion and promote greater economic equality.

We take our role seriously as a vital participant in the pursuit of creating meaningful opportunities for low-to-moderate-income communities across the country. As a CDFI, we’re continuously striving to accomplish our mission-driven focus to provide community development in economically distressed areas.

This work includes helping individuals obtain mortgage financing and providing lending services to nonprofits and commercial lending to businesses.

Fintech’s innovation, flexibility, and convenience helps advance these endeavors toward financial wellness in ways unimaginable even just a few years ago.

When the Community Succeeds, We All Succeed

The philosophy at Sunrise Banks is that if the community succeeds, everyone succeeds. And if the community fails, it’s a failure for all of us. With a triple bottom line in mind—profit, people, and planet—Sunrise Banks places a strong emphasis on community finance.

Facilitated by the CDFI Fund and funneled out through Community Development Entities, the New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) program was launched to encourage private investment in low-to-moderate-income communities. Sunrise Banks has invested more than $240 million in the Twin Cities since the program began. Through this program communities can see positive impacts such as job creation, commercial and community services, product creation, and environmental sustainability.

Affordable housing is another concern in communities across the country. To curb the local affordable housing crisis, Sunrise Banks has partnered with several outside investors on an innovative program to preserve affordable housing in Minneapolis.

In 2020, Sunrise Banks created the Community Impact Community Development Corporation. The CDC pooled funds from Sunrise Banks as well as from the Minneapolis Foundation, Minnesota & St. Paul Foundation, and Frey Foundation. Upon financing the acquisition of existing rental properties, the CDC will be able to preserve approximately 600 units of affordable housing for individuals in low-to-moderate-income communities.

It is these initiatives, among many, that have propelled Sunrise Banks to the forefront of financial wellness and established the bank as an influencer in the effort to balance profit and purpose. Learn more about our  community involvement.