Throughout 2022, we have further invested in building and bettering the communities we serve through important community connections. We’ve had the privilege of providing much-needed funding to local organizations in the Kansas City and Denver areas. Each one of these organizations supports underserved communities’ housing needs, education, small business efforts and emerging talent.
As we near the end of 2022, we wanted to look back at the organizations and communities we have been able to support and how that support has been put to work.
In 2021, we decided to make a significant impact by giving $2 million to Kansas City and Denver organizations as we closed out the year. The organizations impacted by this donation included three Kansas City groups: CHES, Inc‡., The Porter House KC‡ and KC Scholars‡, who received $400,000, $350,000 and $500,000, respectively, to support their missions – and two Denver organizations, NEWSED‡ and Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI)‡, who each received $375,000. It has been our pleasure to support and partner with each one of these organizations during the course of the past year and witness their efforts to better the communities we all care about.
Let’s take a closer look at each organization and what impact each has made in the past year.
CHES, Inc.‡ is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling and financial empowerment organization. Its members are dedicated to helping Kansas City citizens maintain financial knowledge and skills necessary for long-term credit, financial and homeownership success. The donated funds helped CHES, Inc. launch two additional programs in direct response to community needs, CHES Financial Empowerment‡ and Kansas City Bank On programs‡.
Each one of these programs works to provide community members the opportunity to improve their financial well-being and empower them to take control of their finances. In addition, CHES, Inc. used the donated funds to host eight, two-day rental assistance intake events, with each event connecting 250 to 300 community members with federal COVID aid.
The Porter House KC
The Porter House KC‡ seeks to provide entrepreneurship guidance, education and expertise to underserved small business owners in the Kansas City area. A recent milestone of the organization was serving more than 300 current entrepreneurs, 150 of whom graduated from at least one of their community programs. The donated funds helped launch The Porter House KC’s Alchemy Sandbox program‡, which delivers critical financial assistance to small businesses. The program has provided 20 small business with up to $5,000 in grants, which has directly supported businesses in the community.
KC Scholars‡ is focused on increasing the college completion rate for low- and modest-income students and adult learners in the Kansas City area through college scholarships, planning, persistence support and a college success program. KC Scholar students come from 103 unique high schools in six counties with over half having few or no resources for college.
KC Scholars is using the donated funds to provide students and adults the opportunity to earn a postsecondary education through scholarships, support services and financial incentives to promote college savings. Once graduated, these students will positively impact the Kansas City region’s economy and workforce.
Since 1973, NEWSED‡ has grown to be one of the largest nonprofits that focuses on homeownership and promoting holistic social and economic development opportunities in the Denver community. NEWSED also takes time to organize and host cultural events and activities that celebrate Denver’s significant Latino population. The most prominent of these events being the Cinco de Mayo Festival, which is Colorado’s largest cultural event.
UMB partnered with NEWSED for their 33rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in 2022. In addition, the donated funds were used to facilitate financial education classes and host first-time homebuyer courses for Denver residents.
Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI)
RMMFI‡ creates the space for communities and people of all backgrounds in the Denver area to realize their unique potential through the power of entrepreneurship. RMMFI put the donated funds toward launching and growing new community programs in Denver, which included a Spanish language program, the REBILT Program and the Thrive Business Accelerator (TBA) program.
Since 2021, RMMFI has helped 165 unique entrepreneurs navigate their personal business journey and graduate from their Business Launch Boot Camp (BLBC), as well as supported the launch of 97 businesses.
We are excited to continue to see the impact these organizations and donations will have in the coming years for the Kansas City and Denver communities.
To learn more about UMB and our connections to the communities we serve, visit our community involvement page and follow us on Facebook‡ and LinkedIn‡.
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