During a health crisis, the underserved and those facing financial obstacles are often hit the hardest. For this reason, First Interstate and its Foundation have worked to proactively provide support in the form of donation dollars to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across our footprint.
CDFIs provide affordable financing to underserved areas, primarily in minority populations and communities experiencing poverty. These services are essential and often the only avenues for these individuals to borrow money.
Across Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota, First Interstate Bank recently donated a total of $70,000 to Native CDFIs. In South Dakota, First Interstate awarded $10,000 each to Lakota Funds and Four Bands Community Fund. These dollars will be used to support their operations and respective food programs.
“In this time of uncertainty and ever-evolving storylines, we ask that investors look local and find the helpers,” said Lakota Vogel, Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. “First Interstate did just that. They provided pivotal financing to our CDFI, allowing us the flexibility to use all of the tools in our financial toolbox to navigate through this crisis. They’ve invested in our 20-year record of serving our communities and stand as model investor for a post-pandemic economy.”
Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director for Lakota Funds in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, echoed these sentiments.
“We’d like to extend our thanks to First Interstate for this generous donation,” Brunsch said. “We will use these dollars to help offset operating costs as well as food sovereignty and ag support programs.
Since March 1, 2020, First Interstate Bank has donated more than 522,000 to nonprofit organizations across our footprint facing challenges related to COVID-19.
“Stepping up and supporting our communities when they need it most is engrained in our cultural DNA at First Interstate,” said Kelly Bruggeman, Executive Director for the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. “It is an honor to work for an organization that recognizes that and encourages us to do what we can to make our communities stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.”
In addition to donation and sponsorship support, First Interstate Bank encourages clients still in need of financial assistance and solutions to connect with their local First Interstate banker to discuss available options.