Overview & Non-Profit Partnerships
St. Mary's Community Outreach Program is targeted to meet the needs of the underserved in Southern New Hampshire. St. Mary's defines underserved as low- and moderate-income persons, minorities, and non-English speaking people. St. Mary's Community Outreach Programs offer individuals in need help during a crisis situation, either directly through a loan program, or indirectly through an organization supported by a grant. Unlike our charitable giving campaign, the loans are viewed as economic self-help-and individuals are expected to repay the loan. St. Mary's views each loan program as an opportunity for individuals to positively affect their credit while working through their crisis. We give individuals a chance to get back on their feet, and a chance to gain self-confidence and alleviate some of their mistrust of financial institutions.
How are Community Outreach loans & grants made?
For Community Outreach loans, individuals and families in need turn to social service agencies for help. In turn, the agencies, when appropriate, have them complete a loan application for St. Mary's. Not a typical loan application; rather, the individual is asked to explain the compelling circumstances that led to the need for the funds and how they will repay the loan. Since the success of the program relies on individuals repaying the loan, emphasis is placed on the importance of repayment. St. Mary's encourages the borrower to repair their credit and get ahead.
Non-profit organizations interested in a Community Outreach grant submit their request in writing, along with materials to support the administrative strength of the organization and the substantive results of the organization's programs and activities.
St. Mary's Community Outreach Program Committee is made up of a cross-section of St. Mary's employees, including representatives from Consumer Lending, Community Lending, Branch Administration, Executive Administration, and Marketing. When a loan application or grant request is received, it is reviewed by this committee. This structure allows the applications to be viewed from a balanced perspective, not simply from a lending viewpoint. The circumstances around the loan and grant are reviewed, not simply the numbers involved.
How do the underserved receive the funds?
Our Community Outreach Programs are administered through working partnerships with selected area non-profit social service agencies. The combination of our financial expertise and the agencies' abilities to deal with a wide range of social/economic, counseling, and training issues is the most effective way to reach the underserved groups we seek to help.
Current non-profit partnerships:
- American Red Cross Manchester
- Child & Family Services
- Families in Transition
- In-Town Manchester
- Neighborworks Greater Manchester
- New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
- New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority
- New Life Home for Women & Children
- Odyssey House
- Southern New Hampshire Services
- The Salvation Army
- The Way Home
- Nashua Pastoral Care
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Nashua