Clark Lauritzen

First National Bank has always believed in doing the right thing and giving back to the communities we serve to ensure they are successful and continue to thrive. These values are part of our Operating Philosophy and imbedded within our corporate DNA. We truly believe that in order for us to be successful as an organization our communities must also be successful. Therefore, we have maintained a passion and commitment giving back and helping those in need. We have remained first in the community by putting the community first.

Although our rich history of giving back spans nearly 160 years, I am pleased to introduce for the first time our annual "First in the Community Impact Report." This report summarizes our 2015 community contributions throughout our seven-state foot print (Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois and Texas) and the positive impacts our community partners achieved. In 2015 alone, we supported over 850 community organizations and our employees committed more than 25,000 hours of their time toward board service and volunteer activities.

Seven-state foot print: Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois and TexasI am both proud and inspired by our 2015 impact results but I am even more excited about several new initiatives we have planned in the coming years and the positive impacts they will create. Stay tuned as we continue to share our annual impact results and further our commitment to the community.

Sincerely,

Clark Lauritzen
Clark Lauritzen
Executive Vice President

To view the full, printable version of the 2015 Community Impact Report click here

Contributions

In 2015 First National Bank contributed over $19.7 million back to our communities:

  • $4.2 million in sponsorships that support access to arts, culture, humanities and athletics.

  • $3.8 million in donations to programs that focus on creating an educated workforce, strong local economies, stable housing, vibrant neighborhoods, good health, access to culture, community cohesion and a sustained environment.

  • $11.7 million in investments to community development partners in the form of charitable grants and investments that focus primarily on building an educated workforce, strengthening local economies, providing stable housing, and building vibrant neighborhoods. In addition, First National Bank has more than $44.4 million in outstanding community development investments across all of the communities we serve dating back as far as 1992. New investments are being made each year.

  • Over 25,000 employee volunteer hours were spent serving on non-profit boards and volunteering for charitable events held throughout the year.

  • Over 115 financial education classes were held which brought over 2,200 individuals closer to self-sufficiency


Below is a summary of the impacts that were achieved because of our contributions to community partners by focus area. For a full description of each focus area click here.

Stable Housing & Vibrant Neighborhoods

In 2015 we contributed over $125,000 in sponsorships, $23,000 in donations and $8 million in community development grants and investments to community partners who are dedicated to creating and maintaining stable housing and vibrant neighborhoods. Last year, our community partners were able to build, rehabilitate and/or finance 868 housing units for low-to-moderate income families.

Habitat for Humanity - Making a Community Impact
We are committed to providing stable housing in all of the markets we serve and our ongoing support of Habitat for Humanity is proof of that commitment. In 2015 alone, we gave over $1.5 million to support local Habitats across our footprint in the form of sponsorships, donations, grants and loan purchases. Because of our ongoing commitment, in 2015 we helped build a total of 37 homes across four states. Plus, 434 of our employees volunteered over 3800 hours of their time to help with the building process.

Habitat for Humanity - Making a Community Impact Julie's Story - Making a Personal Impact
Julie was sober for 4 ½ years. When she started she had no job, no car, and no future goals. Since then, everything has changed. Julie spent a year at Restored Hope where they teach single mothers how to become self-sufficient. It was there that she learned about Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. Julie filled out an application and was accepted into the program. She took the required classes at night after work and began accumulating the necessary 250 hours of Sweat Equity on Saturdays. Being accepted into Habitat has motivated her to clean up her credit, save money, and to work hard. Soon she moved into her new home with her three young children where they have a huge yard for them to play safely.

First National Bank employees in China.

Global Village Trip - Making a Global Impact
Our support of Habitat for Humanity reaches beyond our banking footprint. In September 2015, twelve First National Bank employees went on a ten day Global Village Trip to China where they spent a week in Jianyang City and traveled to a nearby village to build a home for a family in need.

Educated Workforce

In 2015 we contributed over $146,000 in sponsorships, $1.2 million in donations and $965,000 in community development grants to organizations working toward building an educated workforce. Last year, our community partners were able to bring:

8,134 People Closer to Self-Sufficiency

Strong Local Economies

In 2015 we contributed over $157,000 in sponsorships, $429,000 in donations and $2.74 million in community development grants and investments to help build strong local economies. Last year our community partners were able to achieve the following results:

1,953 businesses served, 157 new businesses created, and 4,166 jobs created or retained

Nebraska Enterprise Fund
Chad Fosdick opened an appliance, furniture, computer and phone rent to own store called Premier Rental Purchase in 2014 with loans from First National Bank North Platte and Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF). The company had a successful first year and quickly exceeded their sales and revenue goals. Premier Rental Purchase started with four employees, but had to add two additional jobs within the first year to accommodate for their growing business.

The company's success continued throughout 2015 when their year over year revenue doubled. They also realized there was a lack of appliance repair services within the community. Instead of referring those customers to repair companies outside of North Platte, Premier Rental Purchase thought outside of the box and decided to open their own appliance repair shop – Mr. Appliance. This new wing of the business created two additional jobs, both of which were filled by North Platte residents. Between the two companies, Chad is on target to achieve a 50% increase in revenue in 2016.

Chad's success goes beyond what his businesses achieve. Chad is also an active member of his community and gives back to those in need by repairing appliances at no cost for Bridge of Hope and supports the Wounded Warriors Regiment and Project Everlast.

Community Cohesion

In 2015 we contributed over $101,000 in sponsorships and $579,000 in donations to help build community cohesion. Because of our contributions:

  • Over 231 community events took place
  • Our employees volunteered 25,000 hours of their time

Taste of Fort Collins
Taste of Fort Collins First National Bank's Taste of Fort Collins started in 1997 as a one day event on The Oval at Colorado State University and attracted just a few thousand people. With attendance and popularity steadily increasing over time, The Taste of Fort Collins is now a three day event and is widely regarded by the city's residents and government as the official kickoff to summer and a reminder of the amazing town in which they all live. In 2015 the event attracted more than 55,000 people who enjoyed local food, vendors, attractions and national music - all while coming together as a community to support local non-profits. Much of the event's success is made possible through First National Bank's title sponsorship. Additionally, First National Bank offers free admission to First National Bank customers. In 2016, The Taste of Fort Collins is expected to attract more people than ever before!

Access to Culture

In 2015 we contributed over $3.4 million in sponsorships and $629,000 in donations to help infuse the experience of culture into our communities.

First National Bank partnered with the Shawnee Mission School District in Johnson County, Kansas

Bringing Back Middle School Athletics
First National Bank partnered with the Shawnee Mission School District in Johnson County, Kansas to help bring back middle school athletics, something which had been missing from the district for 28 years. Our $25,000 sponsorship in 2015 assisted with purchasing uniforms and equipment, making improvements to athletic fields and leveraged our sponsorship of Kansas University athletics to create memorable experiences for the students via mascot appearances, game ticket giveaways and more. The athletics program to date has given over 1,300 students the opportunity to participate in middle school athletics, learn new skills, the importance of teamwork and achieve good health. All of these lessons will last a lifetime.

 

Supporting the Collegiate AthleteSupporting the Collegiate Athlete
First National Bank's support of collegiate athletics dates back several decades beginning with the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Over the years, our support has in increased in both geography and dollar amount because of our belief that collegiate athletics unite local fan bases consisting of students, faculty, alumni, like-minded individuals and future community leaders, which ultimately creates community cohesion. In 2015, we awarded more than $2,460,000 in sponsorships and donations to support college athletics at eight schools across four of states we serve.

Good Health

In 2015 we contributed over $130,000 in sponsorships and $566,000 in donations to organizations committed to achieving good health.

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthsBreast Cancer Awareness Months
First National Bank supported Breast Cancer Awareness month in October with various cause marketing efforts across all of the communities we serve. Through the use of our websites, social media channels and branches we were able to help spread awareness of breast cancer and encourage people to understand their breast cancer risk. Seven of our employees were able to inspire others as well as create hope and awareness by sharing their own personal breast cancer survival stories through these channels. In Omaha, Nebraska we partnered with Medical Imaging Consultants to provide free mammograms to 44 underserved individuals at the One World Community Health Center and the Charles Drew Health Center.

Sustained Environment

In 2015 we contributed over $17,700 in sponsorships and $260,000 in donations to help sustain our environment These contributions supported various nature conservation efforts, community beautification projects, and parks and recreation districts across our footprint. Sustaining the environment continues to be an important objective for First National Bank as we already have several new projects planned for the years to come.