Jefferson Bank is truly a community bank because its leadership and staff believe in the value of a strong Jefferson City. And that means doing its part to help our community support every man, woman and child who needs it. Bank leadership encourages employees to get involved, and the bank puts its money where its mouth is, setting examples as an organization through a number of sponsorships and activities. More importantly, the bank makes it easy for employees to give: staff is encouraged to volunteer on company time, for instance.
No effort is too large or too small. From supporting the local United Way to sponsoring countless community teams and groups of every shape and size, Jefferson Bank believes that it all matters. And the smallest gestures can make the biggest impacts.
Brad Bates, a longtime volunteer and coach with Jefferson City Little League Baseball (and a Jefferson Bank teller, once upon a time), has seen firsthand how the act of giving can make all the difference in the world. “Jefferson Bank is a true community partner,” he says. “They see the value of keeping kids involved and playing together.” The bank has been instrumental in making it easy for kids and parents to get involved in Little League, contributing funds to help get a new league website built. “It’s been very important,” Brad says. “An online home where parents can sign kids up or find out more information gets more people involved. And involvement is important. Activities such as baseball offer kids an opportunity to make lifelong friendships. It doesn’t matter where they live or what socioeconomic class, they become teammates and friends, and that helps shape kids for life.”
Eight of every ten Jefferson Bank employees participates in nonprofit and community events on a regular basis. Marketing Director Jayne Dunkmann is a prime example, as she also co-chairs the United Way of Central Missouri Annual Fundraising Campaign. “When I started at Jefferson Bank in 2007, I was impressed by how involved people were with United Way,” she says. “Most bank employees were involved in some way.”
Jayne was so impressed by the bank’s philosophy on giving – as well as the effectiveness of the United Way in the community – that she assisted in leading the bank’s effort to raise funds for the United Way’s annual campaign. This led to a volunteer position on United Way’s marketing team and, more importantly, a lead role in the local community’s efforts to help the less fortunate. The bank’s symbiotic relationship with the community and United Way is effective, and it makes sense.
“Jefferson Bank has supported the United Way since our doors opened in 1967,” Jayne says. “The community (our customers) supports Jefferson Bank, so in turn we must support the community. Without customers, there is no Jefferson Bank. Without “community,” there are no customers. And it’s just the right thing to do!”
Since 1968, Capitol Projects has provided meaningful and dignified work opportunities to hundreds of adults with disabilities. The Jefferson City-based venture is a “sheltered workshop,” meaning it offers programs “designed toward enabling individuals with disabilities to progress toward normal living and to develop, as far as possible, his or her capacity, performance and relationship with other persons.”
It’s a program that does a lot of good in the community and, more importantly, for the community. By not only helping people with disabilities but providing opportunities for them to help themselves, it is a WIN for everyone.
Jefferson Bank has supported Capitol Projects and its mission since 1975, when the nonprofit was raising funds for a new building for its sheltered workshop program. Local businesses, including Jefferson Bank, raised more than $250,000 in two weeks.
The support hasn’t wavered since.
“Jefferson Bank continues to be champions for Capitol Projects within the community,” says Tami Bock, Capitol Projects executive director. “Employees have long sat on our board and we continue to add more. And for the last few years, the bank has ‘adopted’ us at Christmastime, showering us with an awesome display of treats and beverages. But more importantly, they give their time to come out and visit with our employees and make them feel special. It’s something our employees look forward to every year.”
Giving their time. That’s the key part of community service. It doesn’t take much to write a check, and checks can make a big difference. But giving time, giving of yourself, is what makes the impact that matters. Do you give $10 to a food drive, or do you help organize the food drive? Being out there with people, setting good examples and showing you care: That’s where the “community” part of community giving starts to hum. And that’s what Jefferson Bank encourages of their own people and the community.
“The interest Jefferson Bank shows in the lives of our employees is what makes them feel valued,” Tami says. “That’s what makes this community a better place for all of us to not only live, but to thrive.”
Brad, the Little League coach, agrees. “These are people who don’t just care about the bank; they truly care about their community,” he says. “I personally think it is a responsibility of all of ours. If we can do something that makes life better for a child or a group, shouldn’t we get involved and do it?”
Jefferson Bank does it.