Impact Investing Profile: Pathfinder Bank

Pathfinder Bank tells us how a $500,000 deposit at their new Southwest Branch helped serve local residents who did not have easy access to a bank.

Pathfinder Bank’s new Southwest Branch opened in November 2022 to provide new opportunities to local residents who have historically not had sufficient access to retail banking. The company’s leadership intentionally chose to settle in an area that had experienced disinvestment and lacked sufficient financial services and education.

Located in a renovated century-old mansion on West Onondaga Street on the Westside of Syracuse, the new branch sits in one of Syracuse’s poorest census tracts – 65% are living below the poverty line and the median household income is $18,300. The physical proximity of the new branch allows community members to easily access banking services without needing vehicles or traveling long distances.

In order for the branch to be successful, it needed to meet a certain threshold of deposits within a specific timeframe. Understanding the impact this new development can have on the community, the Community Foundation made a $500,000 deposit. Our investment helped Pathfinder leverage additional investments and deposits that set the bank off on the right foot within its first few months.

The new branch offers specialized services for those facing financial challenges such as interest-bearing business checking accounts along with checking accounts with low or no cost that eliminate worries about overdrafts. Free financial literacy classes that teach people budgeting, basic banking and how to establish credit are also in the works.

What strikes the branch’s representatives most, though, are the personal connections they have been able to make. They are witnessing new small businesses attain funding that they may have struggled to receive before and customers being happy to find bank representatives who they can relate to.

Pathfinder’s new Southwest Branch is helping to transform the narrative of a neighborhood and foster a thriving and inclusive financial ecosystem where it is needed most.

Our impact investing program provides sustainable long-term benefit to the community while preserving capital and attaining a modest financial return. We engage in this practice by carefully selecting opportunities such as loans, equity investments, guarantees or recoverable grants that align with our mission and contribute to the betterment of Central New York. Learn more at cnycf.org/impactinvesting.

Related Stories

People gardening
Stories June 5, 2024

Delivering Hope through a Movement for Food Justice

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, InterFaith Works of Central New York began distributing ...

Woman standing in office
Stories March 19, 2024

Giving Seamlessly: Leyla Morgillo

Giving has always been intrinsic to Leyla Morgillo's being whether it be through her time ...

two children playing in a playhouse smiling to camera
Stories March 5, 2024

What's Happening

Giving Voice Winter 2024: What's Happening

Man and woman stand together
Stories February 12, 2024

Giving Perspectives: Susan & Michael Meath

The Community Foundation’s 5forCNY initiative, which invites community members to give back to the region ...

A mother reads to her three children on a couch
News Releases February 7, 2024

Community Foundation Funding Launches Nonprofit Bridge Loan Fund

The bridge loan fund will help nonprofit organizations continue essential community services while awaiting the ...

News Releases January 21, 2024

New Impact Investment Will Carry On Syracuse Housing Programs

More than $3.1 million is now advancing housing, business development and lending through our local ...

Young girl standing next to bookshelf
Stories December 11, 2023

Making Literacy Accessible

The United Way of CNY recently used a $100,000 grant from our Literacy Initiative Fund ...

Linda Verni Williams
Stories November 15, 2023

Centered Giving: Linda Verni Williams

When Linda Verni Williams first opened the Oneida Lakes Arts & Heritage Center (“the center”) ...

Family sits on porch of new home on Shuart Ave
Stories August 19, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Home HeadQuarters

A $500,000 Program Related Investment (PRI) to Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) acted as a loan loss ...

People gardening
Stories June 5, 2024

Delivering Hope through a Movement for Food Justice

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, InterFaith Works of Central New York began distributing ...

Woman standing in office
Stories March 19, 2024

Giving Seamlessly: Leyla Morgillo

Giving has always been intrinsic to Leyla Morgillo's being whether it be through her time ...

two children playing in a playhouse smiling to camera
Stories March 5, 2024

What's Happening

Giving Voice Winter 2024: What's Happening

Man and woman stand together
Stories February 12, 2024

Giving Perspectives: Susan & Michael Meath

The Community Foundation’s 5forCNY initiative, which invites community members to give back to the region ...

A mother reads to her three children on a couch
News Releases February 7, 2024

Community Foundation Funding Launches Nonprofit Bridge Loan Fund

The bridge loan fund will help nonprofit organizations continue essential community services while awaiting the ...

News Releases January 21, 2024

New Impact Investment Will Carry On Syracuse Housing Programs

More than $3.1 million is now advancing housing, business development and lending through our local ...

Young girl standing next to bookshelf
Stories December 11, 2023

Making Literacy Accessible

The United Way of CNY recently used a $100,000 grant from our Literacy Initiative Fund ...

Linda Verni Williams
Stories November 15, 2023

Centered Giving: Linda Verni Williams

When Linda Verni Williams first opened the Oneida Lakes Arts & Heritage Center (“the center”) ...

Family sits on porch of new home on Shuart Ave
Stories August 19, 2023

Impact Investing Profile: Home HeadQuarters

A $500,000 Program Related Investment (PRI) to Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) acted as a loan loss ...

View More