Published: May 30, 2023 | Updated: May 25, 2023

First Interstate launches Believe in Local campaign

BILLINGS, Mont. — First Interstate Bank has kicked off its 2023 Believe in Local campaign to celebrate the bank’s longstanding commitment to the communities it serves. Forty nonprofit organizations across First Interstate’s 14-state footprint will each receive a $25,000 donation from First Interstate in support of their philanthropic work.

“Giving back to the places where we live and work is central to who we are as a community bank,” said Kevin Riley, president and CEO of First Interstate Bank. “We have a vested interest in supporting and strengthening in the places we call home, and Believe in Local captures our core values in action. This program celebrates the organizations providing much-needed tools and resources to help alleviate the diverse challenges facing our community partners and neighbors.”

First Interstate will reveal the first batch of 2023 Believe in Local recipients, with additional winners announced weekly until Sept. 13, when First Interstate Bank marks its sixth annual Volunteer Day. On Volunteer Day, First Interstate closes all branches at noon to grant employees paid time to volunteer in their communities.

“Volunteer Day is really the exclamation point behind our Believe in Local campaign,” Riley said. “As a community bank, we are committed to providing support through donation and sponsorship dollars year-round, but we are also passionate about local volunteerism.”

In 2022, First Interstate and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation provided more than $9.1 million in donations and grant support to its communities. Additionally, First Interstate employees logged nearly 35,000 hours of volunteer time and tallied almost $850,000 in employee gift match dollars.

“Our employees are the driving force behind all the great philanthropic work we do as a Bank,” said Amberly Pahut, executive director of the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. “They not only volunteer their time but help target our giving to the organizations creating the biggest impact in their neighborhoods. Believe in Local further empowers our team with opportunities and resources to magnify the impact of these nonprofits.”

Selected nonprofit organizations for Believe in Local were first nominated by employees then vetted by a committee of First Interstate Bank employees to ensure funding would achieve the bank’s low-moderate income and DEI priorities.

Believe in Local was made possible by a $21.5 million donation from First Interstate Bank to the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation in concert with the Great Western Bank merger to deploy meaningful and relevant assistance across the expanded footprint. This is in addition to First Interstate’s annual donation of 2% of its pre-tax earnings to local communities through foundation grants and donations. These funds aid in the improvement of workforce development, boost early childhood education, improve financial literacy across all age groups, and mitigate poverty, among other worthwhile initiatives.

First Interstate Bank has branches in 14 states including Idaho, with branches in Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Spirit Lake in North Idaho and throughout the state.