Wisconsin’s banks are always involved in community service projects, but during April 2020 in particular they’re stepping up to give back to their customers and community in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. School, church, and business closures have impacted communities large and small across the state and the nation. Wisconsin’s bankers are prepared to offer a helping hand in special ways during the crisis. WBA promotes several different ways member banks and organizations can get involved:

Power of Community Week | April 20-25
During the week of April 20-25, the Wisconsin Bankers Association Power of Community campaign will bring together our member banks and associate member companies to celebrate your commitment to the communities you serve. This week-long campaign will bring together the efforts of the Wisconsin banking industry to show our collective impact and involvement in the state. Social isolation requirements mean that banker will donate their time and resources in a different way this April. See below for ideas:

  • Collect monetary donations for a non-profit (Meals on Wheels, local food pantry, etc.)
  • Write “thinking of you” cards for residents of a local senior center to cheer them up during the visitation ban.
  • Donate money for NOW Meals (Nutrition on Weekend) - Check with your local school district(s) to see how they’re assisting students during school closures.
  • Support local restaurants – Buy gift cards for staff incentives or order take-out for an all-staff lunch.
  • Organize a “buy local, shop online” campaign in your community (social media is a great tool for this!).
  • Have a company blood donation drive or incentivize staff to donate blood (offer local restaurant and business gift cards for double the impact!).
  • Decorate your drive-through – If your lobby is closed, decorate the drive-through area as a way to cheer up your customers.

Visit www.wisbank.com/BanksPowerWI for an interactive map of the state showing what Wisconsin banks are doing to celebrate Power of Community week! Don’t see your institution on the map? Fill out the form on the same webpage and let us know what you’ll be doing!

Teach Children to Save Day | April 24 Ongoing
Teach Children to Save Day is another great way for your bank staff to participate in the WBA Power of Community Week. Traditionally, Teach Children to Save Day involves bankers making presentations to students in grades K-12 about budgeting, saving, recognizing needs versus wants, and other foundational financial concepts. With school closures in effect throughout the state, the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) encourages all WBA member banks to contact their local schools to see how they would prefer to hold the event this year. Some schools may invite bankers in later in the year or for summer school classes, or banks can choose to donate the reading and activity books to the school as an additional resource (the WBF is distributing over 5,000 free books to member banks as part of the Reading Raises Interest kits).

Miss out on ordering this year? Sign up to be notified when next year’s kits become available at www.wisbank.com/ReadingRaisesInterestKits.

Instead of visiting classrooms, banks could also distribute kid-friendly savings brochures via the drive-through or offer online “virtual” bank tours. Or, consider purchasing a digital book for your school (look at resources such as www.storylineonline.net/library).

Remember to amplify your efforts by reporting your participation to the WBF using the presentation summary form (or sample Excel spreadsheet) found at www.wisbank.com/FinancialLitForms. In April 2019, Wisconsin bankers from over 40 institutions conducted more than 400 presentations to over 12,000 students in classrooms and community centers across the state.

For more information about Teach Children to Save Day and the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation’s financial education outreach programs and resources, please visit www.wisbank.com/community/financial-education.