A History Of Giving

For three decades, the Eastern Bank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Eastern Bank, has been deeply committed to strengthening the communities we serve and helping our neighbors to prosper. Eastern is regularly ranked among the Top 10 most charitable companies in our region by the Boston Business Journal, most recently for the 12th time.

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Eastern employees give back at the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter.

Creating Impact Within The Communities We Serve

We take pride in our outspoken advocacy and community support that includes more than $240 million in charitable giving since 1994, and our grassroots grants to local organizations help to ensure equal access to employment, health care, housing, homelessness, child development, immigration, and other basic human services. These significant philanthropic resources fuel our similarly outsized commitment to community service and engagement. And, we are building on the key learnings from our grassroots support to address the most challenging and pressing issues of our time, particularly around economic inclusion and mobility. We have selected mutually reinforcing strategy areas where the combination of our philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy can have the greatest impact including around: advancing equity in the small business ecosystem; enriching early childhood development (0-5); securing safe and affordable housing; and promoting workforce development.

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Enhancing Our Impact Through Philanthropy, Corporate Volunteerism, and Advocacy

Our goal is to create meaningful impact to help our communities prosper through financial support of community organizations across our footprint, as well as volunteerism, advocacy, and collaborations with other businesses and community organizations.

We do this because it is both the right and the smart thing to do, knowing that we are only as strong as the communities we serve.

The need has never been greater to step up and work with community organizations to advance progress for all. Every day, we at Eastern strive to lend our support, voice, and actions toward a more just and equitable world. Using our voice in the communities we serve and advocating for civil rights, economic justice, racial and gender equity, and inclusion for everyone is based on the simple idea that all people deserve an opportunity to prosper.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Long-standing advocates of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), we work to build inclusive environments within and outside of our company. Building and sustaining DE&I is a critical aspect of our work and work environment. Developing a more robust, collective mindset with different experiences and perspectives leads to better decision-making, making us a better employer, a better provider of services to our customers, and a better member of our communities. Our focus includes:

Start with a strong board: Our Board and senior management are 45% women and/or people of color. Deborah Jackson is our first female and second African-American person in the Lead Director role.

Build and sustain a diverse workforce: 47% of new hires in 2022 were people of color, a company record.

Sustain an inclusive and equitable workplace: Of our total workforce, 66% are women. Our 11 Employee Resource Groups further enhance our DE&I initiatives, sharing work and cultural experiences for business and personal growth with a focus on Asian, Black, LGBTQ+, Latino/Hispanic, Veterans, Women, Parents, Disabled, Young Professionals, Sustainability and Volunteer communities.

Expand and develop supplier diversity: Most recently, company-wide supplier diversity spend increased by 40% year-over-year.

Advocate for social justice: We advocate for the underrepresented. Examples of recent legislation we have supported include for women on boards, pay equity, pipeline advancement, a post-traumatic stress disorder Commission for veterans, and the Work & Family Mobility Act.

View our 2022 inaugural DEI Report.

Economic Inclusion and Mobility

Structural barriers based on racial, gender, and other differences keep us apart and perpetuate income and wealth gaps. Our local communities face these challenges at alarming rates. The wealth gap is widening, economic mobility is slowing, and philanthropy is lagging behind. Eastern seeks to address this through larger grants focused on economic mobility and inclusion, in addition to our volunteerism and advocacy. Providing our support in this way embodies the virtuous circle of doing well by doing good for the communities we serve.

Developing Sustainable Solutions To Our Society’s Most Vexing Challenges

The business case for making significant investments in a full range of high quality early childhood development programs is one of the most economically efficient ways to create greater upward mobility, a more capable and diverse workforce, and ultimately a stronger economy. Early childhood development is central to economic inclusion and mobility. We believe businesses need to be part of the conversation, and are developing ways businesses can convene to spur innovation and change.

Fostering Greater Economic Mobility Through The Growth Of Black and Latinx Businesses

Black and Latinx entrepreneurs face three primary interwoven barriers: lack of access to advice, capital, and markets. In 2017, we along with other community organizations established the Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) to address the real and widening income and wealth gaps affecting Black and Latinx communities by confronting the persistent structural barriers that prevent Black and Latinx businesses from reaching their full growth potential. FBE builds collaborative ecosystems and programs to provide capacity, capital and connections, and help catalyze further growth and job and wealth creation for Black and Latinx businesses. We are proud to have incubated FBE, and in 2022 it merged with Mill Cities Community Investments as part of its next stage of growth.

Gender And Racial Equity

Diversity within our communities brings energy and knowledge that cannot be achieved otherwise, and diversity at every level of our organization is both good business and an economic imperative. Developing a more robust, collective mindset with different experiences and perspectives leads to better decision-making, benefitting all of us. We elevate and advocate for others and try to make a positive difference wherever we can. We push for greater diversity in board and senior level management roles in the private sector and our workforce, and for racial and gender equity more broadly.

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Convening business leaders around LGBTQ+ rights legislation.

Supporting The LGBTQ+ Community

Advocating for and defending LGBTQ+ rights has long been important to Eastern. For the 10th consecutive year, Eastern earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a nod to our corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. For our long-standing commitment to Greater Boston’s LGBTQ+ community, we also received the Boston Business Journal’s Corporate Ally Award.

Creating Opportunity In Our Gateway Cities

Gateway Cities are not only an important focus of our business but fuel and inform our work. We are proud to be part of their revitalization, including as safe and welcoming environments for New Americans. Working with others in the private sector, local elected officials, and nonprofit executives, we continue to expand public-private partnerships to create greater opportunity, drive economic development, and represent a collective example of the benefits gained through greater investment in these typically under-resourced communities.

Sustainability Is Social Justice

Climate change and other environmental damage affect our most vulnerable citizens disproportionately. As part of our commitment to social justice, our sustainability efforts focus on formal initiatives, volunteer programs, and advocacy.

Saluting Military Service And Supporting Returning Veterans

We provide philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy on key issues to support active military, veterans, their families, and the organizations assisting them. We value and respect the sacrifices and diverse perspectives of veterans and their families and are committed to hiring and training them.

Recognitions and Affiliations

SBA Badge
Business of pride
Veterans Legal Services
Business of pride
100 Talent
Massachusetts Fallen Heroes
Fintech Vertical
The Partnership Inc
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Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
40 Under 40
Women of Fire
Power 50
Women in Banking
2021 Top 100