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"To whom much is given, much is expected' that's one of my favorite quotes," says Mike Price, CEO of Mercantile Bank of Michigan. "We've been very fortunate here at Mercantile … and it's our duty to give back to the communities that support us."
We strive to be as generous as possible with financial support, but we also believe our responsibility goes far beyond writing checks. We've built a culture that encourages hands-on involvement in community service. So, on any given day, you might find a group of Mercantile employees organizing a fundraiser to help fight disease, helping build a home for a needy family, or volunteering at a school to mentor young people.
Every day, in these and many other ways, Mercantile employees give of themselves to better their communities.
Each year Mercantile employees nominate nonprofit organizations they are passionate about for a Jean Day. One Friday each month employees are able to make a donation to the selected organization allowing them to wear jeans to work that day. Mercantile has raised over $10,000 in the past two years through Jean Days.
What is a MercMob? It’s when Mercantile employees support locally owned businesses by gathering for lunch at a local restaurant. We launched the program in early 2012 and have already “mobbed” nearly a dozen local restaurants. It’s a great way to connect with our colleagues and support local businesses.
As the Bank approached its 15 year anniversary in December 2012, we wanted to find a unique way to celebrate our local communities. Mercantile’s 15 Days of Giving campaign was a community driven program that gave daily $1,000 donations to different Michigan based nonprofits over 15 days. Each daily winner was selected by public vote via social media. One nominated organization was also randomly selected to receive $5,000.
Employee participation in community events is a large part of the Mercantile culture. From walks, runs, bowl and bike-a-thons to dinners, auctions and galas, you can always find Mercantile employees among the guest list. In these and many other ways our employees make a real difference in the community and the lives of others.
We recognize the positive impact our financial support can have on the communities we serve. That is why we provide financial support to nonprofit organizations that meet a wide variety of community needs. We encourage our employees to do the same and are proud of the 100% employee participation we have in our corporate United Way Campaign.
In 2012, we provided financial support to over 100 Michigan based nonprofit organizations. In honor of our 15 Year anniversary we engaged the community through our 15 Days of Giving campaign and asked you to decide which causes we should support. With your help we were able to support 16 more organizations throughout Michigan.
We believe that each and every one of our employees can improve our community by volunteering their time. Mercantile’s culture encourages our employees to actively support the community by volunteering. We support our employees’ volunteer efforts by providing up to one week of additional vacation hours for those who volunteer and participate in our Employee Incentive Vacation Program.
Mercantile employees volunteered over 13,000 hours (approximately 55 hours per employee) in 2012. On any given day you can find one of our employees building an affordable home, walking to fight cancer, making sandwiches to feed hungry children, or reading to a struggling student.
We know that by sharing our financial expertise we can help children, families and businesses achieve their goals. We have partnered with schools to teach young children the importance of saving money and teenagers the basics of personal finance. We have partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide financial education classes to help families learn to make good financial decisions and to work through financial problems. We have also helped entrepreneurs and small business owners strengthen their businesses by reviewing business plans and sharing our knowledge.
In 2012, our partnerships enabled us to teach over 110 financial education classes that impacted approximately 2,000 people.
We understand the difference strong leadership can have on our community. We encourage the leaders at Mercantile to share their skills and expertise to strengthen and support the organizations that enrich the neighborhoods and communities we serve.
Over the past year, 128 of Mercantile’s leaders shared their time, talent, and leadership by serving on numerous nonprofit boards and committees. We recognize that through leadership we can help enhance and grow our communities. Through serving, we also better understand people’s needs and work together in the community to help meet those needs.