BANKING MIGHT NOT BE THE FIRST INDUSTRY you think of improving the world. We’ve become quite jaded with all the banking issues in the last thirty years.
That means there’s room for someone who’s taking a different approach.
New Resource Bank was founded in San Francisco in 2006 with a mission to support businesses and non-profits which improve the world in four key areas:
- Environmental protection
- Health & wellness
- Education & community empowerment
- Sustainable commerce
Okay, anybody can say that. What’s different about this business is that it operates with integrity, sustainability, and transparency. When you deposit your money with New Resource, you can see what loans that turns into. Which means that you can trust your money is making a difference in a way that’s aligned with your own values.
I had a chance to talk with Stephanie Meade recently, who is a Senior VP and the bank’s Director of Marketing and Culture. I found out about the deep qualification that they do for giving out loans, including a detailed assessment of the organization’ impact.
Do you get the feeling that YOUR bank is loaning money based up values that go deeper than the ability to repay?
As you’d expect, New Resource attracts depositors who want to use their money to make a difference in those areas above. It’s a concept similar to values-based investing portfolios, while offering the banking services you’d expect.
This company is a certified B-Corp, which means that they run their business rigorously adhering to a balance between social benefit, environmental improvement, and financial sustainability. They really do strive for balance in every decision. This designation is also about transparency, operating in a way where everyone can see and understand the benefit.
That brings up one of the challenges they’re working on. If you’re loaning out money to a good cause, that’s wonderful. You could stop there and be satisfied. But New Resource Bank is using an assessment to gather data which goes considerably deeper, measuring that actual impact that their loan dollars have when put to use by those non-profits or businesses.
That’s a lot harder, but it’s what’s going to change the world. Money can be used to do good – what a concept!
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