To celebrate 100 years of better banking, the bank donated a record-breaking amount through its annual nomination contest, sparking massive community turnouts for nonprofits!
FARGO, ND – One area nonprofit has 100,000 reasons to smile this Giving Hearts Day – thanks to Gate City Bank. And five others have 5,000 reasons!
During a Giving Hearts Day event at Dakota Medical Foundation the morning of February 9, cheers, happy tears and falling balloons filled a room as the winner of Gate City Bank’s $100,000 nomination contest was finally revealed. The contest had been announced in early January, to celebrate 100 years of better banking – and in honor of the incredible Giving Hearts Day charities that keep our communities strong.
Gate City Bank’s Giving Hearts Day nomination contests have grown in popularity in recent years, allowing individuals to nominate their favorite charities as many times and as often as they want. The turnout in 2023, however, was BIGGER than ever before – drawing over 254,000 nominations! (More than three times the number of nominations in 2022.) Community members were motivated to share the love in 2023, and their voices were heard loud and clear.
Creative Care for Reaching Independence (CCRI)! A representative of CCRI – the Moorhead, MN-based nonprofit that exists to enhance and enrich the lives and learning of people with disabilities – walked away with the $100,000 donation, as well as a joyful heart and a plan to further the charity’s mission in an inspiring way.
“It’s such an honor to be chosen to receive this incredible donation. I don’t know how to describe it; I don’t think I was breathing!” said Anna Larson, Development/Communications Director of CCRI. “Gate City Bank has been a partner of ours for a long time, and we’re so grateful to them for making our community better by getting behind all Giving Hearts Day nonprofits. There were so many great charities that were part of the bank’s nomination contest.”
In an essay CCRI initially submitted to Gate City Bank to be eligible for the $100,000 donation, the charity described in heartfelt detail how nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. The nonprofit went on to say that its passion is to address this reality with empathy and kindness, and that it plans to use the funds to further new and innovative initiatives involving its mental health services, which are strongly needed in the communities it serves.
But the giving didn’t stop there!
Gate City Bank’s 2023 nomination contest also included bonus gifts of $5,000 to an additional five lucky charities, including:
Plus, just as Giving Hearts Day was getting ready to wrap up, the bank donated an additional $25,000! As part of Dakota Medical Foundation’s Golden Ticket selections, which were chosen through random drawings throughout the day. The money went to Men’s Winter Refuge, a homeless shelter in Minot, ND, which has helped over 1,200 men experiencing homelessness.
Each of these additional winning charities expressed excitement and gratitude in being able to use the funds to grow their missions and improve their communities!
Along with putting a record-breaking donation on the table, to show extra love for charities in 2023, the bank attempted to break a Guinness World Record! For the most heart hands on a video call.
While the final number of 330 heart hands fell slightly short of the 400 needed to break the record, the bank accomplished its true goal – to show a massive sign of love for charities. VIDEO: See the energy and excitement as the bank reached 330 heart hands!
Gate City Bank has partnered with Giving Hearts Day since 2014, and has become known for finding new and creative ways to support charities, giving back more each year. Through community nomination contests like the one that was done in 2023, matching team member donations, surprise bonus gifts and more, the bank’s efforts have resulted in a $1.7 million impact. The bank has had a heart for its communities since day one – all the way back in 1923.
“Our story began a century ago, when our founder William D. Gillespie assembled a small group of tenacious visionaries and led them on an incredible journey, one that would ultimately spark the reimagining of community banking and giving,” said Kevin Hanson, President & CEO. “Today, their vision lives on and is shared in the spirit of Giving Hearts Day. Seeing so much passion for our regional charities is nothing short of inspiring – a true testament to the goodness that lives in our communities – and we love showing support in momentous ways.”
Indeed, there’s something truly wonderful about a giving heart. It insists on putting others first, it inspires kindness and generosity – it brings out something better in each of us. Giving hearts are at the core of who Gate City Bank is. This largely stems from a beautiful partnership with Dakota Medical Foundation, which owns and is the main driving force behind Giving Hearts Day, helping the event reach greater success each year.
“When it comes to supporting Giving Hearts Day charities, Gate City Bank stands out by going above and beyond every year,” said Amanda Sayre, Giving Hearts Day Director at Dakota Medical Foundation. “We so appreciate the bank’s innovation and creativity in growing community awareness around this special day, and telling the story of why it’s important to give.”