Giving addresses community issues around affordable housing, small businesses, education, and sustainability
[TRENTON, NJ] – Wells Fargo announced the company donated more than $6.3 million through 412 grants to local nonprofits, schools, and community organizations in 2018 to help the communities and people of New Jersey. Wells Fargo’s philanthropic contributions build on a long history of collaboration with local nonprofits and community leaders to make a positive impact by addressing urgent community issues such as affordable housing, small business growth, access to education, and sustainability.
When combined with the $400,000 donated by the company’s New Jersey team members, nonprofits in the state received a total of $6.7 million from Wells Fargo, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, and its team members in 2018. That amounts to an average daily donation of $18,356.
“Across our community, many residents are working hard to make ends meet,” said Deborah Smith, Wells Fargo’s Community Affairs Manager for New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. “Here in New Jersey, we want to help people find a stable place to live, help small business owners expand, and help young people gain a quality education that prepares them for the workforce. We are determined to help people and communities, especially in underserved areas, succeed financially. We will continue to provide philanthropy, volunteers, expertise, and other resources to revitalize and strengthen local neighborhoods.”
Beyond philanthropy, Wells Fargo team members in New Jersey volunteered more than 26,000 hours in 2018 to support nonprofits and causes important to them. These volunteer hours are the equivalent of $641,940, according to the Independent Sector. In 2018, over 100 New Jersey volunteers, in collaboration with CareForce, an AmeriCorps Organization, revitalized the historic Weequahic High School in Newark. The company’s inaugural New Jersey Day of Service benefited over 285 residents.
“Part of what makes Wells Fargo unique is the generosity of our team members who help multiply our community impact,” said Smith. “Sometimes giving our time is even more valuable than money because it puts our desire to build a strong community into action and gives us a tangible way to personally make a difference.”
United Way Worldwide recently recognized Wells Fargo for having the No. 1 workplace giving campaign in the U.S. for the tenth consecutive year.
Making an impact in New Jersey
Wells Fargo concentrated its local philanthropic contributions on addressing urgent community issues such as:
- Affordable housing. To help increase affordable, stable housing and homeownership in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, Wells Fargo collaborated with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Homefront, and others to provide homebuyer education, down payment assistance, and other affordable housing solutions.
- Small business growth. Small businesses are critical to job creation and a vibrant community. Many diverse-owned small businesses, especially those in rural and low- to moderate-income communities, face unique challenges and often lack access to the full spectrum of resources necessary for growth and success. Nonprofits serving small businesses –including the Union County Economic Development Corp. and New Jersey Community Capital –received special grant support from the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business Diverse Community Capital Grant Program. This support helps to bolster diverse-owned small businesses throughout the state.
- Economic equity and inclusion. Support included grants to nonprofits that directly serve diverse and historically underserved groups, including initiatives focused on the development of women and diverse talent, education and vocational training, and other solutions for communities with limited access to traditional financial services. For example, grants supported the YWCA of Greater Princeton and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s Women of Color initiative.
- Access to education. Support included grants for local K-12 schools, scholarships for post-secondary or vocational training, and financial education. The company has partnered with the Liberty Science Center, Mercer County Community College, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey to help impact access to quality education.
- Minimizing the impacts of climate change. The company supported the work of nonprofits helping communities become more resilient in the face of a changing climate, including environmental education, resiliency planning, green infrastructure, and bringing renewable energy to low-income communities. For example, through the bank’s Resilient Communities grant program, Wells Fargo has partnered with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance to help preserve a healthy beach habitat at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.
About Wells Fargo
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) provides banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,800 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. With approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated more than $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits in support of affordable housing, small business growth, financial education, and sustainability, among other community needs. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargo team members also make a difference by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights, and more information on the company’s corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories.
Crystal Dundas, 215-437-2006
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