Spotlight on SoFi
SoFi—short for Social Finance—started out in 2011 to provide students with access to more affordable college loans, later diversifying into mortgages, personal loans and investing. SoFi has since built its brand on “getting your money right.” Financial independence, the company says, is less about being rich than “getting to a point where your money works for the life you want to live.”
SoFi’s core values are accordingly built around such principles as embracing diversity, doing the right thing and taking care of other people. While those tenets were in place long before the pandemic struck and George Floyd was murdered, they have gained fresh relevance over the last few challenging months—especially for educated, high-earning millennials, who form the company’s key market and who evince a strong sense of social justice.
Through philanthropic and employee-based initiatives SoFi has committed “to fighting racism, standing in solidarity with all of our communities, providing space for open dialogue, as well as taking action as informed allies.” On June 1, one week after the nationwide resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement had begun, SoFi announced a three-phase $1 million funding initiative in support of organizations that empower Black and African Americans. Phase one, now under way, will provide donations to five groups working for institutional reform: the Bail Project, Black Visions Collective, Equal Justice Initiative, Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Advocacy Coalition Mission. Phases two and three will include a donation match program for employees and long-term investments to change the financial industry.
It’s no surprise that a socially committed lending institution like SoFi would define a nation’s racial inequities through the lens of financial inequality. On June 19—a.k.a. Juneteenth—the company issued a call for action to address the racial wealth gap, noting that between 1983 and 2013, “white households’ wealth grew by 14%, while Black and African American households’ wealth fell by 75%,” and that “in 2016, non-Hispanic white households had a median net worth of $143,600, while Black and African American households had only $12,920.” SoFi’s $1 million commitment can be a seen as a step toward addressing that discrepancy—and helping a country plagued by systemic racism begin to get its money right.
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About Brand Acts of Kindness®
Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.
The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.
About Carpenter Group
Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.
Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.