May 19, 2014

Good Things Happen

To EagleBank, serving the community is much more than volunteering or donating. It’s an integral part of the business plan.

One of the pleasures of being a community bank is knowing that our success results from helping other local businesses succeed.

When we can help a nonprofit organization whose business is helping members of the community directly, the satisfaction is even greater.

That’s why we are especially proud of our relationship with Whitman-Walker Health, an internationally recognized provider of health care to the DC-area gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and broader communities, as well as those living with HIV. Established in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health has provided culturally competent, quality care for thousands, especially those who face barriers to health care access.

As a nonprofit, the organization then known as Whitman-Walker Clinic focused on caring for its patients—many of whom were losing their battle with AIDS—leaving its financials in a less healthy state. While doing so much good, the organization had made some business decisions that in 2008 threatened its survival.

Of course, the deteriorating economy in that year didn’t help. Corporate and private donations began to dry up just as Whitman-Walker Health faced long-term debt repayments in the millions of dollars.

In need of a major infusion of capital, Whitman-Walker Health appealed to one of the nation’s big banks with which it had a long-standing relationship. The bank declined to even consider the loan request.

A friend put us in touch with people at Whitman-Walker Health and we did what we always do: We sat down with them over a blank sheet of paper and asked, “How can we help?” Upon hearing the compassion and commitment to the community, we secured our relationship.

We not only took care of the organization’s pressing need for cash; we also offered advice on its whole financial situation. We helped Whitman-Walker Health out of its immediate difficulties and set up a line of credit that continues to sustain its crucial services. And our expert advice is ongoing as well.

A recent example: Whitman-Walker Health, now on firm financial ground, was looking to expand its operations into a new building in downtown DC. It so happened that one of our developer clients was constructing a building (for which we had provided the financing) and was looking for tenants. We put together a deal and helped two clients with a single transaction.

When you’re headquartered in the community—when you’re really involved in the community as a daily part of your business—good things happen.