Change Bank Provider

Right now our bank provider is Chase. I have real concerns about banking with them.

  1. They seem not very adept and supporting nonprofits as opposed to your typical for-profit corporation.

  2. The bank itself does not have an explicit commitment to equity.

I did some research and two top contenders appear to be Springbank and Amalgamated.

Both are B-corps, have physical locations in NYC, and give access to ATMs.

I’m curious now about

  • Customer service experience
  • Fees
  • Support for nonprofits
  • Online portal experience
  • Links to accounting software like Quickbooks
  • Permission levels for multiple users
  • Recommendations from other nonprofits
  • Financial literacy support
  • How will the bank grow with us?

What else should we be paying attention to?

Note: Thank you to XR NYC for sharing about their most recent bank protests which sparked my doing research into this.

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I just spoke with Spring Bank and they appear very promising.

They take a community bank approach. They’re physically located in the Bronx and Harlem and want to replace predatory check cashing places.

They have a person dedicated to supporting nonprofits. They do not change fees for nonprofit checking accounts or savings accounts (given minimum of $100 in the account).

They have online banking services including Bill Pay and ACH deposits, an app, and the ability to have multiple users with different permission levels.

Online reviews are positive and more positive than Amalgamated.

They have, in the past, done financial literacy workshops.

My overall experience with them was very pleasant. They were easy to get a hold of and the person I spoke with gave me their personal email address and phone number so I could reach them directly in the future.

I tried to contact Amalgamated as well and I couldn’t get through their chat system. I then called them and unfortunately was only able to leave my information so they could call me back. On their website they also don’t have a dedicated page for nonprofit support. My gut says the proposal is to go with Spring Bank!

Hey everyone. From a values standpoint, I agree with switching banks. 100% support.

Deborah, at my day job we use Spring Bank. The biggest thing to know is that with community banks you lose the “conveniences” big banks offer. For example, Spring Bank doesn’t have a good app. The operating hours for the branches are a bit shorter and the wait time is long. There is a literal scanner you have to use for non-teller transactions lol.

Stuff like that. Basically you just have to budget more time when using a community bank. You have to be prepared to be very patient and to wait/go slow.

Re: Amalgamated - they closed their last branch in the Bronx in 2020. As of last year, they continued to plan to close branches citing low usage. I can ask if I know other nonprofits that use them.

On a values standpoint, Amalgamated has used their money to do more progressive things on economic inequality - social impact finance, community wealth building, supporting unions, etc. Spring Bank often engages BIPOC community in a very liberal, charity-like way.

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Finance Circle consented to the following!

  • Open a Spring Bank Account
  • Move $5000 from Chase into Spring Bank
  • Re-evaluate in January 2022

We now pass this proposal to the Mission Circle/Board to decide.

The Mission Circle consented to open Spring Bank Account as well. I just submitted the paperwork. :slightly_smiling_face: