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

Doing Well by Doing Good

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 Accomplish its Mission?

Sunrise has earned both Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and B Corporation status due to its demonstrated commitment to transparent corporate governance and positive community impact. You might have read all about our PBC and B Corp positioning in a previous blog post.

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

Sunrise 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 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 to create 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. Additional services include offering small-dollar loans through TrueConnect—a free workplace lending program that connects employees with safe, affordable loans paid back through simple payroll deduction. With the partnership between TrueConnect and Sunrise Banks, employees have a regulated alternative to unscrupulous payday lending, which can often result in a continuous cycle of debt.

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 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 received $60 million in NMTC in 2019, culminating more than $240 million of investment to 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. Last year, to curb the local affordable housing crisis, Sunrise partnered with several outside investors on an innovative program to preserve affordable housing in Minneapolis.

Sunrise created the Community Impact Community Development Corporation. The CDC pooled funds from Sunrise 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 to the forefront of financial wellness and established the bank as an influencer in the effort to balance profit and purpose. Learn more about Sunrise’s community involvement.

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