At Commerce Bank, giving back to the community is ingrained in our culture. We are only as strong as the communities in which we do business. During 2013, the Commerce Bancshares Foundation invested nearly $1.5 million in community and charitable programs throughout our footprint with a total of 756 grants awarded to 621 organizations. In everything we do, we strive to be a good corporate citizen and encourage all employees to volunteer for the charities of their choice. Our commitment to the community is evident in a variety of ways:
- Charitable Giving
Through the Commerce Bancshares Foundation we provide direct grants to not-for-profit organizations in each of our markets. Each market president determines the priorities in their communities. Organizations supported are as varied as the needs of the diverse communities in which we do business. They may include social service agencies, arts organizations, civic initiatives and educational institutions. We also support the United Way organizations that serve each of our communities, both at the corporate level and through employee giving programs. Many of our officers contribute each year at the leadership level.
In addition, The Commerce Trust Company manages a number of charitable foundations set up through the generosity of our customers. The Trust Company serves as sole trustee for a number of these foundations, with responsibility for grant making. Whether making decisions directly, or advising co-trustees on philanthropic opportunities, The Commerce Trust Company is mindful of the many not-for-profit organizations meeting the needs of our communities.
- Employee Volunteer Efforts
- Commerce has active community service committees made up of employees who work with their associates to identify Commerce-sponsored volunteer opportunities. Blood drives, community festivals, runs/walks and food drives are but a few of the activities in which our employees are actively engaged. In all of our markets, active involvement of our employees in supporting community needs is the norm and volunteer projects serve as team building activities for Commerce employees as well. In addition to community efforts, employees are encouraged to participate in Junior Achievement and Teach Children to Save Day which are opportunities that focus on financial topics. Bankers speak at financial literacy workshops and participate in a variety of initiatives to promote homeownership and the development of affordable housing.
- Community Recognition Awards
- Each year, Commerce recognizes community volunteers who have gone above and beyond in providing their time, talent and treasure to help those in need. These individuals are unsung heroes in that they go about doing good quietly and rarely receive public recognition for the good that they do. Commerce's advisory boards play an active role in nominating and selecting individuals for this recognition. The honorees are feted at a luncheon and the charity of their choice receives a contribution in their name from a combined grant made by the Commerce Bancshares Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation for which Commerce Bank serves as trustee.
- Commerce Commendations
- Commerce likewise recognizes employees each year who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to community betterment and to making a positive difference in the lives of others. Employees are nominated for this award by other Commerce employees and the winners select a charity to receive a contribution in their honor from the Commerce Bancshares Foundation.
- Management Involvement
- Commerce managers are encouraged to actively serve on boards in their communities. Many serve in leadership roles. They also chair a variety of civic initiatives and participate in a variety of civic organizations including Chambers of Commerce and economic development associations.
Complying with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Commerce Bancshares has an ongoing commitment to community reinvestment. Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), the bank is obligated to serve the credit needs of the communities where we are located. This includes providing financial services that meet the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. Commerce takes its responsibilities for complying with the Community Reinvestment Act seriously and consistently earns an "Outstanding" CRA rating from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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