Community Giving, Local Real Estate

Giving Back, Neighbor2Neighbor, with OlyFed

At OlyFed, they have a culture of giving that extends nearly 120 years. A good neighbor themselves, they’ve recently kicked off the Neighbor2Neighbor program that provides financial assistance to affordable housing organizations in our community each time the bank closes on a new mortgage or construction loan. What better housewarming gift than passing along the opportunity for others to experience the joy of finding a secure, caring and comfortable place to call home?

Affordable Housing Assistance Meets Community Needs

Khassidy Russel, Assistant Branch Manager at Olympia Federal Saving's Westside branch.Each year, OlyFed dedicates no less than 5% of its profits to community groups that improve the quality of life in Thurston and Mason counties. The Neighbor2Neighbor Affordable Housing Assistance Fund has chosen several groups to be recipients of this year’s funding. They include South Puget Sound Habitat for HumanityHomes First and Interfaith Works.

“We’re very excited to be able to provide additional support to the housing needs of our community,” Josh Deck, president and CEO says.

“Even better, we love that this program helps complement our existing Two Cent initiative, where we contribute two cents to a local nonprofit for every one of our customer debit card transactions. Now, both our deposit and loan customers, are directly supporting our community when they do business with OlyFed. We believe this is just another way for us to demonstrate our mutual banking values and our commitment to community leadership.”

The Two Cent program has provided more than $150,000 to 50+ community nonprofits since it was started in November 2018. “At OlyFed, we truly take a holistic approach to meeting the financial needs of our customers and community to not only strengthen the local economy, but to also ensure the local health, vitality and culture of our area continues to thrive for the well-being of generations to come,” says Ryan Betz, chief strategy and marketing officer.

OlyFed Encourages a Spirit of Volunteering & Giving Back

Casey Kilborn organizing balloons at the main downtown branchContributions to the Affordable Housing Assistance Fund are in addition to their regular, ongoing support. They back these three housing organizations as well as hundreds of other nonprofit organizations that help improve the quality of life of our region through education, arts, culture, youth, health, environmental and social service programs. Last year alone, more than $460,000 was invested back into the community to build and grow programs that make the South Sound an even better place to live.

OlyFed also sends its employees into the community as volunteers. In 2022 they contributed more than 1,200 hours to over 70 different organizations, says Betz. Staff members also serve on the board of directors of 30 local organizations, providing leadership support and professional expertise toward the fulfillment of a variety of social and economic development related missions. Employees are granted two paid days off to volunteer and the bank works with their schedules around committees, boards, workgroups, events and causes.

Habitat for Humanity site in Tumwater, WAThis past year OlyFed has continued to work with Habitat for Humanity providing financing for both its homeowners and for the organization’s infrastructure work to develop a new townhome community in Tumwater, says Betz. In addition, OlyFed has made a four-year, $100,000 commitment to Interfaith Works’ new emergency shelter facility in Olympia.

Financial Education Opportunities

To help folks meet their financial needs and goals, OlyFed offers monthly homebuyer classes.

On June 27, 2023, they’ll offer an education session that Betz says will focus on everything you need to know to build and finance your next home. This class will walk attendees through the construction process and what they can expect. It’ll be held at Sofie’s Scoops, 510 State Ave NE, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes complimentary treats courtesy of OlyFed. Register online for this and other classes and come ready to ask questions – and eat tasty, hand-crafted gelato.

This drive to give back shouldn’t come as a surprise. “OlyFed is built on neighbor helping neighbor business model,” says Betz. “Giving back is part of our DNA. We are a mutual bank, which means we’re accountable to our customers, not shareholders. This allows us to put people and relationships above the bottom line and part of the way we live out our values is by giving back and supporting the community that’s allowed us to flourish for 117 years.”

Follow OlyFed on Facebook and Twitter for the latest class offerings and updates. Or stroll into your local branch to ask questions in person. While you’re there, say thanks for all they do in and around the community to build a strong, resilient community and future.

Loan team at Olympia Federal Savings in Olympia, WA