Making a Greater Community Impact

Wells Fargo is concentrating its philanthropic power to help solve three critical issues: housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth.
Jun 10, 2019 9:00 AM ET

Wells Fargo is evolving its philanthropic strategy to help solve three pressing issues affecting individuals, families, and underserved communities across the U.S. — housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth — the company announced June 5.

The company, through its business and the Wells Fargo Foundation, will use its philanthropic resources, business expertise, and collaborations with public-private sector organizations to develop, activate, and scale new ideas that help solve these national community challenges, said Allen Parker, CEO of Wells Fargo.

“Wells Fargo is focused on paving a path to stability and financial success for individuals and families who lack access to affordable housing, tools to manage financial health, and capital for small business growth,” Parker said. “Together, we can help spark systemic change and economic development for underserved communities. When people start up businesses, learn how to build wealth, and can afford a home in their own neighborhood, communities will thrive.”

In particular, Wells Fargo will commit $1 billion in philanthropy through 2025 to address challenges related to the U.S. housing affordability crisis — including homelessness, available and affordable rentals, transitional housing, and homeownership, said Jon Campbell, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation.

“America’s housing affordability crisis isn’t restricted to a few cities on the East and West coasts,” said Campbell. “Families across the U.S. are forced by rising housing costs to sacrifice other basic needs like food, health care, and education. Wells Fargo seeks local organizations, national nonprofits, and policy leaders to join in understanding the full spectrum of housing affordability — from homelessness and transitional housing to single and multi-family rental housing and homeownership — and unlocking more housing options for those in need.”

Last year, Wells Fargo donated more than $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits across the U.S. to help meet the needs of underserved communities, including many low- and moderate-income individuals.

Beginning in 2019, Wells Fargo is targeting 2% of its after-tax profits, concentrating on problem-solving and funding programs for the three companywide philanthropic priorities, Campbell said. However, he also noted that Wells Fargo will continue its local giving in the communities in which it operates, including for strategic market priorities such as education, arts, and culture.