FIPO bank representatives present a check to 2018 awardee Alchemist CDC
Local banks ally to support job creation and community health in the Promise Zone
June 2018 - An example of the Promise Zone’s success in making connections and developing community partnerships is the Financial Institution Partnership Opportunity (FIPO). This opportunity, now in its second year, brought together 10 banks from across the region to combine funds, align priorities, and maximize impact through concentrating support around a single community initiative. Local community-based organizations (CBOs) had the chance to present a ready-made project and compete for this funding opportunity.
This year’s winner of $137,500 is Alchemist Community Development Corporation’s Alchemist Kitchen, a food business incubator. This project will provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for low-income entrepreneurs, a pipeline for local products from small to mid-size farmers, and help improve the health of residents in the Sacramento Promise Zone.
FIPO also benefited participants in unexpected ways. Bank members of FIPO expressed that collaborating with other financial institutions was a positive experience which could serve as an inspiration for other collaborative efforts. They also noted surprise benefits for participating CBOs. Though there could only be one winner, many other organizations which applied for funding also had volunteer needs which were met by the banks. Financial institutions also learned more about the role CBOs play in regional economic strategy, which informed their future giving plans.
Participating banks this year include: First Foundation Bank, Five Star Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Mechanics Bank, Oak Valley Community Bank, Rabobank, Tri Counties Bank, Umpqua Bank, United Business Bank, and Wells Fargo.