Fundraising Initiative Helps
Deserving Students Perform at
an Overseas Drama Festival
Summit State Bank
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Asset Size: $387 million
A bank can do more to serve a community beyond merely
making a donation of money. Sometimes a bank can organize
and spearhead a special fundraising drive.
That’s exactly what Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa, Calif.,
did in 2011. The bank planned and managed a five-month
communitywide campaign to raise more than $70,000 to send
a group of promising high school drama students to an overseas
“Summit believes in not just writing checks for events,
but by participating whole-heartedly to use our tangible and
intangible resources for maximum community benefit,” says
Elaina Hunt, director of marketing and community relations.
“This project is so special to us because we set an example for
these underserved students that anything is possible—and that
community service makes a difference.”
The bank has five branches in Sonoma County, which is a
located north of San Francisco. Although it employs only about
60 people, these employees actively volunteer for about 100 local
The bank has a reputation for innovative ways of charitable
giving. The institution, for example, has a tradition of setting
aside 2 percent of its net profits for donation to nonprofit organizations. And, beyond that, it distributes another 1 percent
to nonprofit organizations that are bank customers.
The bank also provides in-kind support when needed by its
nonprofit customers. For example, the bank’s marketing team
often lends its graphic design talent to its nonprofit customers.
Also, the bank has shared advertising or promotional events with
a nonprofit—such as making joint use of radio advertising or
a trade show booth.
The bank got involved in the fundraising for the Elsie Allen
High School’s drama department in Santa Rosa by a series of
chance events. The school serves a low-income area of Santa
Rosa, and its drama department has a reputation for producing
outstanding students. Two years ago, one of the bank directors
learned that the drama department had been selected to perform
one of its student-written plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Theater
Festival in Scotland. At least eight students would need to go in
order to perform the play.
Sample of a poster used by Summit State Bank, Santa Rosa, Calif., to raise funds to
send nine high school drama students to an oversea theater festival.
A group portrait of the nine drama students who were able to travel
to Scotland to put on a student-written play at a drama festival.
Summit State Bank coordinated the fundraising drive that enabled
them to travel to the event.