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Donor Spotlight: Blackhawk Bank

Posted on : 07 Dec 2022 | No Comments

One of Blackhawk Bank’s Core Values is to “Give Back” and like many financial organizations based on integrity and honesty, they stand by it. From donations to community organizations and volunteering at fundraisers, to in-house charity campaigns and food drives, Blackhawk Bank is focused on improving the lives of the people in their communities from every angle.

“Blackhawk Bank is a 141-year-old institution based in Beloit, Wis. but our footprint goes all the way down to the Chicago suburbs and up to Janesville. But you know, Rock County is our home base,” said VP of Business Banking Gale Price. Blackhawk Bank supports not just their hometown, but the whole Stateline region and other communities within their Bank footprint, with frequent donations to community organizations like RAMP Center for Independent Living, participation in fundraising activities like the 2022 Bert Blain Memorial Heart Walk, and assisting local youth through scholarship sponsorships.

“Some larger national corporations and organizations don’t have the same level of engagement in the community even with a large employee base, simply because they are not connected to the roots of the community. Blackhawk Bank has the ‘we’re giving back to our hometown’ mindset that pushes us to do our best in supporting those around us,” noted Price. In addition to traditional charitable giving, Blackhawk Bank goes above and beyond in educating the public (not just their customer base) on topics like personal tech security, the mortgage lending process for first-time home buyers, and financial planning options (like 401ks) through frequent blog posts and articles on their website, allowing them to make a direct impact on the financial well-being of community members.

Blackhawk Bank also makes it a priority to identify local charitable organizations and amplify them at each branch through monthly fundraisers like “Jeans Days,” where employees will donate to the selected charity for the month and wear jeans to work. Price says, “It’s a fun activity and an easy way for our employees to donate to an organization they may not have heard of before. We try to structure the exposure of new community organizations with the hope that our employees will be inspired to get involved outside of work, and possibly engage their friends and family.”

It’s no surprise that Blackhawk Bank’s dedication to supporting their community has led them to be one of KANDU’s biggest supporters over the years, consistently sponsoring and volunteering at events like Dragons on the Rock, the bygone Party at the Pitts, and Grapes and Hops (where Blackhawk Bank VP of Business Banking Jack Walden and VP Treasury Management Kim Lantta participate as celebrity pourers), and with generous donations to campaigns like KANDU’s annual appeal.

Gale Price first became familiar with KANDU’s mission and client base during his previous work with the city of Janesville as a building manager and then economic development director before moving to Blackhawk Bank. He recalls, “KANDU is certainly one of those organizations that does so much in the community to help others. During my time working for the city and serving on KANDU’s facilities committee, I witnessed first-hand the creative problem-solving KANDU employs to determine how to best support each person being served through the organization.” Price goes on to say, “I can see KANDU’s unique clientele, and I fully believe every person in our community should have the opportunity to participate, but they didn’t always exist. KANDU is directly helping make that happen.” KANDU’s ability to provide increased programming and opportunities for adults with disabilities is directly supported by charitable giving from companies like Blackhawk Bank.

Blackhawk Bank recently concluded their annual Grateful Giving Thanksgiving Food Drive, which provided Thanksgiving Day meals for families in need through the Bank’s mission partners. “Giving back to the community and being involved in our community is a tenet of our organization. This is especially important around this time of year when we like to recognize and be extra thankful for what has been afforded to us, and in turn pay it forward,” said Price.

With an impressive track record of decades of charitable giving, volunteering, donations, and support to the surrounding community, Price says the whole team prioritizes giving back to the community because in order to see positive change they know: “We need to be involved. We need to be engaged. And we can all contribute.”