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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 22nd 2024

How Your Dollars Can Help Communities Thrive

By AMANDA THEISEN, Sunrise Banks

The ecosystem of a community is made up of many components. You’ve got the people – your neighbors, business owners, visitors, and leaders – who advocate for your area. There are the places – homes, businesses, schools, parks, places of worship, to name a few. Add in other things, such as public transit, safe streets, and essential services, and you will have a community that has the potential to thrive and bring people together.
But what happens when that community is not maintained? Essential services may stop. People stop visiting the area. Residents and businesses may choose to leave. Buildings may fall into disrepair. That sense of pride that once brought people together is lost.
It takes work, creativity and innovation to help revitalize areas that don’t always have easy access to money or other resources. The best way to support communities is to put the power of impact into the community’s hands, allowing them to have a say in how their neighborhood grows and evolves. That’s where Impact Funds come in.

Impact = Opportunities
An Impact Fund is a vehicle to let folks direct their money to development projects within their communities. Impact Funds can be found in many types of organizations and have varying goals. Financial institutions (banks, credit unions) with community development missions (Community Development Financial Institutions, aka CDFIs), can also have Impact Funds. CDFIs specialize in offering products and services to low income communities. Banking with a CDFI certified bank or credit union provides community members the opportunity to ensure their funds on deposit go to support their community.
One such institution actually exists in South Minneapolis – Sunrise Banks. Through their Impact Deposit Fund, customers deposit into savings, checking or CD accounts and have it allocated to services and projects that benefit low-to-moderate-income communities. These can include affordable housing, community services, spaces for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, and places for neighbors to gather.
As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), it is part of the mission at Sunrise Banks to support the development and vitality of local communities, especially those that have been underserved by traditional banks. Sunrise Banks dedicates at least 60 percent of lending to investments in low or moderate-income communities. In 2023, Sunrise Banks dedicated over $296 million from their Impact Deposit Fund to these projects.

Listening to Our Communities
When customers walk into Sunrise Banks to ask for financing, they often start with a story—what inspires them to pursue an idea? How can the bank best support them?
When the Minneapolis American Indian Center needed to repair and expand its aging building, Sunrise Banks stepped in. When developers fought to save the damaged Coliseum Building from being torn down after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, the bank supported them. And when Malik Rucker, the executive director of V3 Sports, said he wanted to bring opportunities to swim, work out, and even eat outside back to North Minneapolis, Sunrise Banks backed his dream.
Learn more about the Impact Deposit Fund at

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