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Community Spark Awards Showcase Financial Brands’ Commitment to Communities

By April 18, 20223 min read

Social Assurance announces the commencement of its annual Community Spark Awards!  This event recognizes and celebrates the contributions of banks, credit unions, and other financial brands to their local communities through volunteerism, philanthropy, and local community development initiatives.

The past two years have been difficult, but we’ve seen remarkable sparks that have made our communities stronger. The Community Spark Awards seek to highlight the financial brands doing the most to leave their mark and strengthen their communities. This award is open to all in the financial services industry.

“The role of community-minded financial brands is so critical to the support of their communities,” says Social Assurance CEO, Ben Pankonin. “These stories point to the purpose for local banking and highlight the ‘why’ that gives local financial brands an advantage.”

The following provides information about this year’s Community Spark Awards and information on past winners. Click on the button below to enter your submission!

Submit Your Nomination for the Community Spark Awards

Community Spark Awards Details

The Community Spark Awards run from April 18 through May 24. During this time, there are three stages:

  • Submission Period: From April 18 – May 2, submit your nomination for the Community Spark Awards
  • Voting Period: May 13 – 18, the top 10 submissions (determined by an internal deliberation committee) are open to the public for voting
  • Celebration Period: May 24: The top three submissions with the most votes are announced and celebrated!

Nominations for the Community Spark Awards will be taken through May 2, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. CST. A nomination should focus on a single initiative by a financial institution that has created a remarkable impact or “spark” in its local community during 2021. Entries are scored on the initiative’s innovation, creativity, and overall community impact.

During the voting period, Social Assurance will announce the top 10 finalists on the same link as the submission entry landing page. Additionally, it will showcase the finalists on its social media accounts and tag them in their respective posts. Reshare these posts on your own feeds to engage your community and spread the word on how your brand has made a difference locally in the past year.

Community Spark Awards Prizes

Social Assurance knows the time and effort that financial brands put in to make a difference in their community. Through the Community Spark Awards, we want to help further along with these initiatives. We do so by awarding prizes to the top three submissions with the most votes at the end of the public round of voting.

These three national winners will be selected to receive a donation for a local nonprofit organization of their choice.

  • First place prize: $400
  • Second place prize: $200
  • Third place prize: $100

Social Assurance will reach out to each of the top three winners to learn which non-profit organization will receive its donation. In order to be eligible, the recipient organization must be a registered 501(c)3 entity.

Previous Community Spark Awards Winners

Last year’s winner of the Community Spark Awards Dean Bank. A full-service bank headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts, it serves the financial needs of individuals, families, and businesses of Norfolk County and the Blackstone Valley region. During the height of the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dean Bank collaborated with the Town of Franklin to create a closed-loop gift card program called “Think Franklin First.” Within the initiative’s first six months, 443 cards were purchased for a total value of $30,860—every dollar of which went to small businesses in Franklin.

Read more about the impact of Dean Bank’s Community Spark Award-winning initiative here.  Don’t forget that your financial brands can learn more about entering the Community Spark Awards here.