Making a difference.

Dedicated to making a difference in the places where we live and work

We’re proud of our history as a community bank and are dedicated to making a difference in the places where we live and work. From the foothills of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains, to the vibrant neighborhoods of Columbus, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, to the Indiana heartland, we get involved. We contribute to the mission of organizations throughout our footprint. And our employees lead and volunteer for causes and projects that are meaningful to them, making a positive impact throughout our communities.

How we give back

Our team seeks to engage organizations and partners throughout the Northwest footprint to assess community needs and determine how to best use resources to meet those needs. We are focused on serving low- to moderate-income (LMI) populations and underrepresented groups.  

After critical community needs are assessed, innovative and strategic solutions are developed to make a meaningful impact.  

We also focus on financial empowerment initiatives with the belief that improved financial knowledge leads to a better future. Drawing upon the expertise of our team members, we have developed and partnered in the creation of financial education programs for the communities we serve. 

Community development goals are achieved in three ways:

1. Community Investment

Northwest invests funds to support the creation of jobs, affordable housing, and other services in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. We feel it is our responsibility to strengthen the communities in which we serve.

Ways we invest:

  • Grants that support affordable housing projects and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, through both internal and Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh home loan programs
  • Our Northwest Charitable Foundation
  • Nichols Trust
  • Local donations and sponsorships
  • Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) — between 2016 and 2020, Northwest made $2.5 million in qualifying contributions to local schools
  • Mortgage-Backed Securities
  • PA NAP Program — this chart outlines the investments we made between 2016 and 2020
2. Community Lending

Northwest is committed to nurturing dreams of prosperity, from homeownership to entrepreneurship. Our motivation stems from doing the right thing and affording everyone, including those who live in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, the same opportunity to succeed. We are committed to:

  • Providing mortgage loans for home purchases, improvement and refinancing
  • Serving the borrowing needs of small businesses and farms with gross annual revenues of $1 million or less
  • Financing development in low-to-moderate income areas of communities we serve
  • Providing mortgage loans for home purchases, improvement and refinancing
  • Serving the borrowing needs of small businesses and farms with gross annual revenues of $1 million or less
  • Financing development in low-to-moderate income areas of communities we serve
  • Seeking community development opportunities that support affordable housing, economic development, and community revitalization initiatives in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods

This chart outlines community development loans originated by purpose and by state between 2016 and 2020.

In addition, we offer the following 28 flexible lending programs throughout our assessment areas.

3. Community Outreach & Service

We recognize that being a community bank goes beyond serving the financial needs of families and businesses. Service to our communities takes many forms, including:

  • Developing products and services that effectively meet the daily financial management needs of all our clients
  • Promoting financial capability by offering training on budgeting, credit, financial management and more
  • Forming strategic partnerships with charitable organizations to address community needs
  • Supporting community organizations and projects through grants, sponsorships and associate volunteerism
  • Conducting community listening sessions to learn how we can best provide support

Specialty Programs 

Northwest’s specialty programs empower clients who might not qualify for a traditional mortgage or checking account to achieve their dream of homeownership or money management.  

Through our specialty home loan programs, consumers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down and enjoy a lower monthly payment with no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) requirements. These programs include: 

  • First-Time Homebuyers Program – Targets LMI borrowers 
  • Affordable Housing Loan Program – Targets LMI borrowers 
  • Heroes Loan Program – Targets active military, veterans, first responders 
  • First Front Door Program– Offers down payment and closing cost assistance through FHLB loan program 
  • Hometown Loan Program – Targets LMI borrowers 
  • HomeOne Loan Program – A partnership with Freddie Mac that offers loan down payments 
  • Home Possible Loan Program – Targets LMI borrowers 
  • Habitat Loans (new originations)  
  • Habitat Loans (purchases)
  • NeighborWorks – Provides grant funds to eligible first-time homebuyers 
  • Loan Modifications – Offered to borrowers who are facing potential foreclosure and don’t qualify for traditional refinancing options. The program is to avoid foreclosure and provide affordable loan terms. 
  • ‘Second Chance Checking’ – Northwest provides a basic checking account to individuals who do not qualify for a regular account due to past banking issues, such as a closed account resulting from unpaid overdraft fees. This account helps the unbanked rebuild a banking relationship.  The account includes quarterly financial education resources and is a safe, affordable transaction account designed for those who might not otherwise have access to one. 
Other Products and Programs

Northwest offers several other innovative and flexible loan products and programs. These include: 

  • Government Loan Programs 
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) 
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) USDA’s guaranteed loans 
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loans 
  • Veterans Administration (VA) mortgage loans 
  • USDA Rural Housing Loans 
  • Disaster Relief Loan Programs 
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – response to COVID-19 pandemic 
  • COVID-19 Consumer Special Impact Program – offers loan amounts between $1,000 and $3,000 with terms from 12 to 24 months with an interest rate of 5.99%; borrowers can delay their first payment date from 90 days from loan closing 
  • Government Shutdown/ Government Employee Pay Interruption Interest Only – This unsecured loan program was available to affected government employees to provide pay interruption hardship mitigation 

In accordance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Regulation BB, Northwest is required to maintain and make available for public inspection a complete CRA Public File, which includes the results of our most recent FDIC CRA Performance Evaluation. 

Northwest uses the parameters and guidelines of the CRA Performance Evaluation to help guide our approach to serving our communities, and we are proud of the results we have achieved and the positive impact we have had on our communities. 

We are proud to say that our FDIC 2020 CRA rating was Outstanding for all three performance tests (lending, investment and service)  

Access Northwest's CRA Public File.

Charitable Giving – Partnering to strengthen our communities 

Throughout our more than 125-year history, Northwest has been focused on strengthening the communities we serve through corporate sponsorships and Foundation grants. This commitment to charitable giving serves as the cornerstone of our identity and helps define our mission as a community bank. 

About the Northwest Charitable Foundation
The Northwest Foundation makes contributions to nonprofit organizations to fund large-scope and large-impact programs and/or projects. The Foundation is part of Northwest's overall charitable giving initiative, which enables us to support programs that improve quality of life in areas of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York where our customers, associates and shareholders live and work. 

 Here’s a breakdown of the Foundation’s overall giving in recent years:

  • 2019 — Awarded 217 grants in the amount of $1.2 million
  • 2020 — Awarded 171 grants in the amount of $1.2 million
  • 2021 — Budgeted $1.0 million for distribution
Partnering through events and sponsorships

At Northwest, we provide monetary support for community events or activities that enable us to partner with a variety of community organizations. Here are some examples: 

  • One-time or special events (races/walks or benefits)
  • Fundraisers 
  • Golf tournaments and scrambles 
  • Corporate tables at galas 
  • Advertisements 
  • Sporting events 
  • Foundation grants 
  • 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations 
  • Opportunities that support our funding priorities 
  • Initiatives that have widespread community impact with measurable outcomes 
  • Priority consideration for initiatives that support low- to moderate-income individuals

Between 2016 and 2020, the Northwest Charitable Foundation granted over $3 million to organizations: 

  • PA– 305 organizations totaling $1,854,839 
  • NY – 136 organizations totaling $1,029,565 
  • OH – 69 organizations totaling $493,460 
  • Combined – 510 organizations totaling $3.3 million 

 We also provide Community Development Investments throughout our assessment areas. The bank made 590 qualified community development investments totaling approximately $61.3 million between 2016 and 2020.

Financial Education – Providing and supporting financial education is a major focus for Northwest

Improved financial knowledge leads to a better future for individuals and families and, in turn, stronger communities. Drawing upon the expertise of our associates, we have developed or partnered in the creation of several financial education programs for the communities we serve. 

Belmont Financial Education Center 

Located at 1140 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, the center provides financial education and counseling to individuals, families and businesses in the community—no strings attached—empowering them with the knowledge and tools they need to improve their financial health. 

The Belmont Financial Education Center will help to close the racial wealth gap that exists in the city of Buffalo. We’ll see people who live on the East Side of Buffalo be able to put their children through college, be able to invest in homes, be able to start businesses and retire in comfort and security. This is what true economic development looks like. 

Northwest Bank Awards 

Northwest received Honorable Mention in the Economic Inclusion category of the 2019 ABA Foundation Community Commitment Awards. The ABA Foundation Executive Director stated, “The level of commitment to corporate social responsibility demonstrated impressed the review panel”. This was due to the bank’s efforts in opening a branch and providing financial education in a low-income area of the east side of Buffalo, NY. 

Volunteer Service 

A focus on financial education 
Our team members are the people you see mentoring children, building Habitat homes, teaching financial education classes and more. 

We partner with EVERFI, an international social impact education innovator, to provide scalable, online financial literacy scholars program to nearly 200 high schools and elementary schools across select counties in PA, NY and OH. The majority of students attending these schools receive free or reduced-price lunches.  

Launched in 2012, the EVERFI “Financial Scholars” program is a combination of online learning and bank volunteers providing in-classroom instruction throughout the bank’s assessment areas. The course is provided at no cost to sponsored schools and organizations due to Northwest’s financial investment. As part of the Financial Scholars program, bank volunteers visit individual classrooms in-person to provide deeper learning opportunities around key financial education content. 

From 2016 to 2020, bank officers and employees provided community development services to approximately 505 schools and community development organizations totaling 38,193 hours.

Resources & Insights

Through our online financial wellness center, we offer free tools and resources for all life stages: 

  • Financial foundations – includes short videos to provide the foundational education for your personal finances, including checking outs, car loans, credits cards and more
  • Home Ownership – provides all you need to know about home ownership, mortgages and refinancing
  • Investing in your future – provides tools and insights to help you reach your goals
  • Planning for retirement – includes guidance and advice as you think about retirement–no matter your age