L-R: Marshall Sloane, Century Bank Founder; Linda Sloane Kay, Executive Vice President; and Barry Sloane, President and CEO
“At Century Bank, we feel a real connection to May Institute – to the organization, to its mission, and to the individuals and families it serves,” says Barry Sloane, President and CEO.
Founded in 1969 in Medford, Mass., by Barry’s father, Marshall Sloane, Century Bank has always had a strong family focus. Barry’s sister, Linda Sloane Kay, EVP, is also a member of the bank’s current management team. Both siblings are very proud of the fact that their bank is not only an important regional financial institution with more than four billion dollars in assets, but is also New England’s largest family-run bank.
Century Bank’s personal, family focus carries through to its philanthropic practices. “We are very relationship-based in our philanthropy,” says Barry. “We support people we know, appreciate, and admire, and often do business with.”
Barry describes the bank’s commitment to philanthropy as a natural outgrowth of its business. “We have our largest concentration of activity in the financing of not-for-profit organizations, education, and healthcare. Our purpose is to support the organization or a specific program in whatever fashion we can. We typically make unrestricted gifts. We leave it to management to know where the need is greatest and how to address that need. We try to stay out of their way.”
How did Century get involved with May Institute?
“We go back quite a while with May,” Barry explains. “We were asked to come in and help with its financing needs six years ago. Then we were involved in a period of transition, both in terms of leadership and program development. We’re extremely happy with the resolution of both – the new management team and the refocus on the client mission.
“I think it’s fair to say that not only is May Institute one of the largest organizations in its field but – more important – that they deliver all of their services with the highest level of quality and safety. At Century we call that ‘client-centricity.’ May delivers it all with a big heart, as well.
“I’ve visited a number of May Institute’s residential homes over the years and have met young people who, without May’s help, would be unlikely to live independently. They are so proud to show you around their room, their dining room, their kitchen, and show you how they all work together. Meeting the staff and residents at a May residence is amazing. You know, for decades there was a great fear that these homes couldn’t blend into neighborhoods. Now they’re really good neighbors.
“It’s one of the most fulfilling parts of our world here, helping organizations like May Institute prosper and be well-financed. To contribute to their efforts and share in the rewards that come with seeing their client populations do well.
“We were quite involved in the 60th anniversary celebration last year,” continues Barry. “I was honored to help underwrite that event and have the opportunity to speak. It was a wonderful group that attended – staff, parents, and families – all of whom had a connection to May programs.
“What I would recommend to other businesses as they get involved with their own giving programs is: ‘Concentrate on the organizations where your money goes directly to someone’s program.’ At Century Bank, we want to see a gift go to a hospital, a school, an educational program, a hunger program. We want to know that, thanks to our financial support, a human being is touched, treated, and helped.
“We try to do as much of that as our budget allows. I’m happy to say our budget keeps growing each year. We’re in our sixth year of record growth. But the one expense category in which I’m constantly over budget is donations. I take that as a badge of honor. Our support – financial, organizational, and philanthropic – will continue. And we will hopefully be a permanent part of May Institute’s support network.”
Close cooperation between two or more people working toward a common goal