Show your school spirit as you spend money
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Corporate partnerships with schools come in different forms. There is the standard donation of items such as paper products for the concession stands, t-shirt sponsorship and one-time cash donation.
Those are all great ways for companies to give back to their communities but one bank in the area has found another way to give back to the school districts in its area. Citizens Bank & Trust has branches throughout northern Missouri in places like Kearney, Smithville, Chillicothe and St. Joseph along with a branch in Leawood, Kan.
The bank has started a program with high school themed debit cards that help the school districts every time a customer uses the debit card for any type of purchase.
Each time a customer uses their Smithville themed debit card the bank donates five cents to that school. With some people using their debit cards anywhere from 35-40 times a month the money can add up quickly.
Citizens Bank & Trust Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Randy Baker said his company started this as a way to make a bigger impact with the school districts in the communities Citizens serves.
“Being in 24 different communities we were struggling being in the programs and the posters and all that. We didn’t see how that was giving back to the school. Even though your name is on the poster, even though we encourage that, we just felt that wasn’t giving back to the schools.
“We created this where there is ongoing revenue for the schools. With all of the budget cuts in both Missouri and Kansas that it has been harder for the schools to find extra money for extra projects. So we thought this would be a great way for ongoing revenue and it creates brand awareness for the schools.”
This idea has been a bonus for the school districts but Citizens has also benefited. The bank has seen an increase in debit card usage and with new debit cards issued.
“Even the smaller districts are making $1,000 a quarter in income,” Baker said. “Every town we’ve been in, it has quadrupled our debit card customers and quadrupled our debit card usage.”
Currently Citizens offers these cards for Smithville, Kearney and Chillicothe in the Metro along with 16 other schools in northern Missouri but talks are underway with other school districts.
“We have a couple of branches that we are going to open next year on North Oak Trafficway so we are talking to the North Kansas City School District,” Baker said. “We also have a branch in Leawood (Kan.) so we have talked with the Blue Valley district.
“We love the partnerships where we both win. That’s the goal.”
For more information go to www.ebankcbt.com.
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