Independent Financial’s purpose is to build strong healthy communities – one person, one family, one organization at a time. We have a steadfast commitment to building strong, healthy communities and one way we honor that commitment is philanthropic giving through our Community Grant Program.
The bank is committed to helping communities thrive through collaborative partnerships with nonprofit organizations who provide direct services to those who need it most. Funding is allocated annually to 501c3 nonprofit organizations in good standing, strong alignment with our funding priorities, demonstrates community impact, opportunities for employee volunteerism, and ability to meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) eligibility requirements.
The Community Grant Program is by invitation. Each year we evaluate community needs vs opportunity for impact and make decisions to fund grants based on funding priorities, opportunities for employee volunteerism, and the ability to meet CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) eligibility requirements. Throughout the year, the Community Investment Team will email Community Partners an invitation to apply to the program based on needs assessment.
To achieve the greatest impact, we direct funding priorities to the following specific areas:
- Affordable Housing – rental assistance, down payment programs.
- Workforce Development – job training
- Small business development – micro lending; financial preparedness.
- Education – early childhood development, technical and career training, after-school programs, financial literacy for children and/or adults, summer camps and college-preparedness; and
- Health & Wellness – community health services, preventative healthcare services, basic needs, and behavioral therapy for children.
To be considered for a grant from Independent Financial, organizations must provide proof of providing services to low-to moderate-income communities. Low-to moderate-income is defined as 80% or less of area median income.
Because the Bank receives funding requests in excess to the annual grant program budget, we must unfortunately decline support to many worthy organizations and programs. We may even decline support to organizations we have previously supported. Declination does not reflect a negative appraisal of the organization or the value of its programs and service.
To receive funding for any type of grant, organizations must:
- Serve low- and moderate-income individuals, families, or small businesses.
- Have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation or fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit organization.
- Have programs that fall under Independent Financials’ philanthropic funding priorities:
- Programs that are located in one or more of the counties we serve in our Market Areas.
Grant applications are evaluated based on the following considerations:
- Scale best practices.
- Ability to measure and report on established outcomes-based success metrics aligned to strategic objectives.
- Deliver innovative and scalable solutions.
- Are completed in partnership, cooperation, and consultation with other agencies.
- Opportunities for employee volunteerism.
Independent Financial will not consider grants for:
- Organizations that do not primarily address the needs of low- and moderate-income communities.
- Individual or team sponsorships.
- Event conferences or research projects.
- Organizations that discriminate against any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.
- Religious organizations that are not engaged in a specific project that is nonsectarian and benefits a broad base of the community.
- Political action committees, candidates, or causes.
- Capital costs (brick and mortar, the purchase of capital equipment, or other capital projects).