Banking on Community Commitment at Alliance Bank of Arizona

May 11, 2017

For Alliance Bank of Arizona community involvement is a core value that we act on – from executive leadership on major issues such as economic development and education to powerful community development lending and hands-on volunteering by employees across the organization.

Education is a priority

In Arizona today, we see education as the lever with the most potential to improve communities across the state. Education is fundamental to improving not just the community, but also the state’s economic performance.  Alliance Bank supports key education initiatives and nonprofits, as well as providing on-the-ground support for kids, in ways that reflect the passions of our employees. This can mean an adopt-a-school program or Junior Achievement, one-on-one tutoring or helping guide an early childhood initiative called First Things First.

Strong curriculum, better schools and improved performance among students form a common concern for Arizonans. Alliance Bank’s 2017 Arizona Leaders in Business Survey reports that two of the three top business challenges are quality/availability of workforce and education. In fact, in the same survey 56% of the state’s business leaders said K-12 education – ahead of all other issues – merited their personal involvement.

Here are two major education initiatives Alliance Bank of Arizona supports:

Earn to Learn – This big idea is making a significant difference for students: Arizona Earn to Learn is a needs-based scholarship program in which Arizona high school students gain financial literacy through mentoring, workshops, and management of college savings. Students and families who successfully use their accounts to save at least $500 by making deposits over a six-month period prior to attending Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University or The University of Arizona are awarded $4,000 in matching scholarship funding.

College Success Arizona – This on-the-rise nonprofit provides college tuition assistance and – most important – focused, person-to-person mentoring to promising students from low- to middle-income families. The goal is to boost college completion, and Alliance Bank of Arizona is proud to have made a $100,000 commitment to this growing program that works with 25-50 students each year.  

“Alliance Bank of Arizona has been a major supporter even before we had our first student,” says AZ Earn to Learn founder Kate Hoffman. “Not only did the bank help us get our organization off the ground, they also provide important financial support – and they have done this every year since the program launched in 2012.”

Help for affordable housing

Alongside support for education is the Alliance Bank’s support for another building block of opportunity – affordable housing. Alliance Bank is a division of Western Alliance Bank, the only banking company in Arizona that works with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco to offer down payment assistance programs for low- and moderate-income borrowers. Qualifying families can receive up to three-to-one matches on their savings up to $5,000 – or as much as $15,000 – toward the purchase of a home.

“All of this work is in response to our communities,” says Barbara Boone, SVP and Community Reinvestment Act Manager, Western Alliance Bank. “We look at how we can help break down barriers to education, to affordable housing, working with other organizations that have our same goals. And, of course, we help create jobs and help build local economies when we lend to business and nonprofits. For ABA, it’s part of our real commitment to this region.”

Learn more about community involvement at Alliance Bank of Arizona.