Introducing Impact by FNBO
Our Renewed Commitment to Building Stronger Communities
At FNBO, we take pride in being the ‘great big small bank,’ helping our customers, employees and communities do more so that they can reach their goals and improve their overall financial well-being.
Throughout our 162 year history, we have remained steadfast in our focus and commitment to supporting our communities and working toward our vision of successful communities in all the places we call home. We believe that in order for our communities to be successful, every individual must be successful. That’s why we consistently direct our community investments in a manner that helps ensure that every individual has access to the tools, resources and opportunities that help them improve their lives.
This is evidenced by results we realized with our First in the Community strategy that served as the platform that directed our community investments between 2016 and 2019. Throughout this timeframe, we invested $132 million and 137,500 employee volunteer hours back into our communities. As a result, we helped our community partners create or retain 23,033 jobs, make 6,170 affordable housing units available and bring 65,900 individuals closer to self-sufficiency.
We understand that building strong communities is a journey, not a destination. As such, we are constantly evaluating how best to serve our communities so that we can continue realize even greater impacts. We also know our role as a strong community bank places us in a unique position to positively impact our communities at every level. Whether it’s by providing financial advice and guidance, giving loans, investing in community partners, supporting our employees and locally-owned companies, or by taking measures to improve the environment, we can make an impact in our communities at every level.
These understandings serve as the basis for our renewed community and corporate social responsibility strategy, called Impact by FNBO. Impact by FNBO remains committed to our vision of successful communities and will continue to be leveraged across our seven-state footprint, including Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas Colorado, Illinois and South Dakota. We will also continue align our community loans and investments, as well as several key elements of our banking operations, in a manner that positively impacts these interconnected elements of a successful community:
- Affordable Housing & Neighborhood Stability
- Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development
- Education & Workforce Development
- Environmental Sustainability
- Access to Arts & Culture
- Community Cohesion
- Community Health & Wellbeing
Impact by FNBO isn’t limited to a defined timetable, as was the previous strategy, but it will focus on four community goals in order to provide the greatest impact on the long-term success of their communities:
- To improve the availability of affordable housing and the vitality of disinvested neighborhoods
- To help entrepreneurs build new businesses and create jobs
- To create pathways to economic prosperity for individuals
- To positively impact the environment
The biggest difference between Impact by FNBO and our previous strategy is that Impact by FNBO aims to work toward these four goals while also showing a much larger community impact by making investments and delivering solutions across five functional areas of support:
- Supporting community partners that deliver impactful solutions that support our four goals through investments made in the form of donations, grants, impact investments and employee volunteer hours. As previously mentioned, these investments totaled $132 million between 2016 and 2019 and are expected to follow a similar cadence in the coming years.
As an example of this commitment, we recently announced $880,000 in grants to 47 organizations in support of initiatives that improve the availability of affordable housing and the vitality of disinvested neighborhoods, while helping entrepreneurs build new businesses and create great jobs. FNBO also awarded $3.5 million to help mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through grants that address housing stability and workforce readiness needs, as well as investments in community loan funds that provide relief loans to small businesses.
- Financing loans and investments to community partners and under served individuals and businesses. Examples of this financing could include giving a mortgage to a first-time homebuyer and/or in a low-income neighborhood, or by providing a loan to a low-income entrepreneur to start their own business.
- Engaging employees and members of the community so that they can contribute to the long-term success of their communities. We are committed to achieving a 50 percent employee volunteer participation rate from our 4,900 employees. As part of this commitment, FNBO provides each employee with eight hours of paid time off each year to volunteer when and where they want. We also provide employees the opportunity to use their professional skills to make an impact in their communities through a robust financial education program, a pro bono volunteer program and are encouraged to serve on nonprofit boards.
- Purchasing goods and services to support bank operations from local, small and disadvantaged businesses. In 2019, 17% of FNBO’s purchases supported small businesses and 27% supported businesses owned by women, minorities and/or veterans in order to help these businesses and their communities thrive.
- Striving to be resilient and have a new-positive impact on the environment.
As you can see, every aspect of our business has an impact on our communities. By focusing on these five functional areas of support, we can be sure we are always making decisions that are in the best interest of individuals and entire communities.
Perhaps one of the coolest things about Impact by FNBO is that it’s more than a name to describe our community and corporate social responsibly strategy. It’s a rallying call for everyone - individuals, customers, employees and community partners alike - to act now and join us in making positive impacts in their communities. Just as every individual has the right to work toward their goals and achieve financial wellness, every individual has a responsibility to do their part in helping others succeed. We invite everyone to get involved with their communities by donating to their favorite nonprofit, volunteering their time or by simply committing a random act of kindness.
We will continue to tell our community story through our annual impact reports. Also, be sure to follow us on social medial to hear updates on the things we are doing in our communities.
Click here to learn more about Impact by FNBO.
About the Author: Alec Gorynski serves as the Vice President of Community Development and Corporate Philanthropy for First National Bank and President of the First National Community Development Corporation, both located in Omaha, Nebraska. In his role he heads the bank’s efforts to be an agent of positive change in its footprint communities through philanthropy, investing, leadership, and the use other bank tools across its seven-state footprint. Complementing his professional experience Mr. Gorynski is a co-founder and board member of Spark – a community development intermediary; past-president and Treasurer of Omaha 100 – a nonprofit CDFI; and holds board and sub-committee positions with Lending Link, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Omaha Community Foundation, and InCommon Community Development. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Peru State College.Read More Insights