Corporate Social Responsibility

Tompkins Corporate Social Responsibility

At Tompkins Financial Corporation, our communities are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We’ve been serving our communities since 1836, so you could say we know how to roll up our sleeves, get involved, and do what’s right.



One of our company’s core values is “Commitment to the Community.” Each of our regions have embraced this value to create thriving employee volunteer programs and community donation programs.

Each of our four regions makes independent decisions on local volunteer efforts and donations that will have the largest impact in their individual communities.  Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with local non-profit and philanthropic organizations is a key component to  supporting the communities that support us.

Community Based Programs

Volunteerism and Community Support

By working closely with local organizations, we’ve made an impact by addressing multiple areas of need in the communities we serve.  This includes annual donations of approximately $850,000 across our four regions.

In Central New York, Tompkins contributes to over 200 organizations annually, and employees volunteer nearly 9,000 hours in board and community service. The bank supports a large number of arts and theater projects such as community theaters, concert bands, and high school plays. The bank also supports projects for children – including science, education, sports, and research – as well as larger community events. The bank administers two awards programs that recognize exceptional efforts in volunteer work and education: the James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence honors unpaid volunteer efforts with a monetary donation to the recipient’s non-profit of choice; and the Raymond Van Houtte Teacher Awards recognize outstanding teachers and administrators with monetary awards as well. The bank is also the annual presenting sponsor of the Fab5 Young Professionals Awards, which recognizes leaders, entrepreneurs and volunteers ages 21 to 40 in Tompkins County. The awards have become a highly-regarded program that brings attention and credit to the strong work being done by young professionals.

In Western New York, Tompkins is tremendously involved in volunteer efforts, supporting community events such as the United Way Day of Caring. The bank created our own program – the Community Minute Challenge – which awarded multiple donations to smaller organizations. The quarterly program was managed and carried out on social media, with the winning organization – based on votes from the community – receiving a $2,500 donation. In total, $10,000 was awarded to philanthropic organizations in need. Most recently, in celebration of the bank’s 150-year anniversary, Tompkins committed to a $150,000 donation to the local YMCA, enhancing the health and wellness of the entire community.

In the Hudson Valley region of New York, Tompkins supports more than 200 organizations on an annual basis. Teams of our employees volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Local farms, Second Chance Foods, animal rescues, and so much more. The team has collected more than $17,000 for the American Cancer Society during a Relay for Life event at Mahopac High School, and raised more than $16,000 for cystic fibrosis during the Great Strides for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation event in Wappingers Falls, among many other contributions. Tompkins recently created a local program called the “Acorn Alliance,” in which employees may participate in up to 15 volunteer opportunities during business hours throughout the year. Tompkins is also committed to supporting the future workforce, offering scholarships for students interested in advanced manufacturing. This partnership introduced the Bank to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, expending our efforts to enhance the lives of children in our community.

Tompkins in our Pennsylvania region is a longtime supporter of organizations that help children. For the past 20 years, Tompkins has participated in the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), which supports numerous youth educational programs across southeastern Pennsylvania. Participating in EITC is a way we can direct tax dollars to positively impact children where we live and work. In recent years, we donated more than $268,000 to local programs through the EITC program, bringing the total amount of donations though our participation over the years to more than $2.5 million. In addition, Tompkins regularly host fundraisers that gross more than $15,000 annually for Muscular Dystrophy Association, with the funds used to help send children with neuromuscular disease to a summer camp. Tompkins VIST Bank also participates in United Way donations and volunteering including an Emerging Leaders United (ELU) sponsored event where a young professional from our bank participated in an interactive financial literacy game program with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and throughout 2020, Tompkins remained committed to supporting nonprofit organizations at a time when our communities needed additional support. One of our key initiatives was the Food to the Front Lines program, where we provided food and grocery items to front line workers as a thank you for their service.

Financial Literacy & Education

There is a critical need for financial education in the communities we serve. We’re proud to offer many opportunities to help people thrive and grow on their financial journey. Each of our affiliates offer various educational opportunities, including complimentary home-buyer seminars, fraud prevention classes, financial services 101 for high school students, investment education, and more.

Through our bank affiliate websites, the general public can view articles dedicated to topics such as saving, credit, home buying, and other timely topics. Additionally, we offer a video series, Tompkins Talks, which delivers digestible financial education content to people looking to learn through the video medium.


Commitment to our Employees

At Tompkins Financial, our culture is underpinned by our core values, including Commitment to our Employees.

The success and growth of our business is largely dependent on our ability to attract, develop, and retain a diverse population of talented and high-performing team members at all levels of our organization. Accordingly, the company strives to offer competitive salaries and benefits that are consistent with employee positions, skill levels, experience, and geographic location. In a drive to remove bias from the candidate screening process, we completed a review of over 300 job descriptions to remove biased language.

A key component of our recruitment and retention strategy is to offer employees at all levels the opportunity to participate in the company’s success.  We maintain a robust profit-sharing plan for all employees who meet minimum service requirements.  As of December 31, 2021, 83% of all employees received a profit-sharing distribution during 2021.  

The safety of our employees is always a top priority.  As the COVID-19 events unfolded in 2020, the company established a Pandemic Response Team and quickly implemented our business continuity plan to protect employees and assure workforce continuity. Business restrictions were imposed and, when possible, work from home protocols were implemented. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, the company utilized enhanced cleaning and disinfectant processes for branches and offices, as well as a drive-thru only and by appointment operating protocol in an effort to minimize exposure for customers and employees..

As of December 31, 2021, there have been no employee layoffs or furloughs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Training and Professional Development

Tompkins Learning and Development provides access to internal development classes around communication, management, leadership and personal development. For the year 2021, the average Tompkins employee spent 33 hours on their learning, for a total of more than $350 spent per learner.

As part of our comprehensive learning program, we offer access and funding for conferences, external training opportunities, and education tied to industry certifications for our employees.  We also offer an educational assistance program that provides dollars towards higher education for team members pursuing bachelors and masters level degrees.  Finally, we partner with multiple higher education institutions to offer discounted tuition rates to our own team members, with some programs even extending the discounts to immediate family of our team members. 

One of our more robust learning opportunities is the Tompkins Professional Development Program, which focuses on experiential learning and capstone project work aimed at exposing young talent to key leaders and helping them acquire a deeper understanding of how our company operates.

To ensure future success, custom learning is developed based on specific individual development to create plans for rising leaders in the organization. Overall, Tompkins is committed to making learning accessible to all team members through our access to two learning systems and hundreds of online learning opportunities via courses, videos, articles or podcasts.  Almost half of our employees were active users of our optional learning platform, Degreed, with more than 3,525 learning items completed in 2023. 

Lastly, we recognize that the success and professional development of our team is directly tied to the communities we serve, so officer appointment requirements include a demonstration of commitment to the community. Individuals being considered for a promotion must demonstrate a commitment to the community through their volunteer participation in internal and/or external community involvement activities.

Compliance Training

100% of our team members participate in a comprehensive training program to ensure our ethics and business practices exceed all regulatory standards.  Although each team member’s quarterly training is tailored to their specific job function, we ensure that all of our employees complete the most important programs.

All employees complete either a fair lending course or a fair treatment course, dependent on job function and day-to-day responsibilities. We also train on unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP). This course ensures that all employees understand practices that could be considered unfair, deceptive or abusive.  By ensuring all employees complete these courses, we can be confident that everyone across the organization is delivering a high standard of care to our customers.

Additional training programs completed by all employees include CRA (Community Reinvestment Act), Identity Theft, Protecting Customer Privacy, Handling of Consumer Complaints, and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At Tompkins we value belonging; the sense of acceptance, being empowered and recognized as an important contributor to Tompkins’ success. We continuously strive to build an inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity and strength of the communities we serve. Our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Initiative brings together minds and ideas from across the company to implement educational sessions and cultural celebrations. Our team has implemented several initiatives since its launch, including the following:

  • Partnering with Human Resources on onboarding and mentoring to ensure a focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Increased employee communication to include resources and opportunities for employees to have access to diversity, inclusion and belonging education, get involved in events, submit ideas and suggestions, and increase engagement in fostering an inclusive culture.
  • Hosted events such as the Veterans Coffee Hour honoring our Veteran employees, the DEI Book Club, Launch of Employee Resource Groups, Chalk The Walk and DEI Discussion Groups
  • Each month we take the opportunity to provide education and increase awareness of difference, inequality, history and culture. Examples of monthly highlights include: Black History Month, Suicide Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Awareness, Women’s Equality Day, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Unconscious Bias Training.
  • Established social justice groups in each market to focus on diversifying our community outreach efforts.

Employee Commuting Incentives

Tompkins is proud to do our small part in reducing our carbon footprint by offering incentives to employees working at our Corporate Headquarters Building to car share, walk and use public transportation. For several years, and when appropriate, the availability of remote work arrangements for employees has been a part of our culture. Post pandemic we now have 7.5% of our employees working fully remote and 34% of our employees on a hybrid work schedule reducing the number of days commuting to work down to two or three days a week. We have 9% of downtown Ithaca based employees participating in the Alternative Transportation Program intended to provide an incentive to employees who use other modes of transportation as an alternative to driving into the downtown area of Ithaca and parking.


Community Reinvestment Act

We’re committed to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including those living in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. As an organization of community banks, it is our duty and privilege to do what is right. Each of our affiliate banks have funded various community development loans in order to meet the needs of the areas we serve. These include loans for affordable housing, agencies dedicated to disadvantaged youth, affordable childcare institutions, agencies dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities, downtown revitalization projects, children’s centers, healthcare facilities, and more.

Tompkins Financial Advisors Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Fund

The ESG portfolio is a mix of investments that utilize qualitative screens to invest in companies that adhere to the principals of socially responsible investing while delivering long-term capital growth. We have offered a specific internally managed ESG portfolio for more than 10 years, which is quite uncommon in our industry, as these types of portfolios have only reached the mainstream in recent years. Our portfolio performance has been strong over time, with its three-year, five-year and ten-year out-performance relative to the benchmark being greater than 2% on an annualized basis.  The Tompkins Financial Advisors team hosted an ESG portfolio education event in 2020 to highlight the key impacts and advantages of the fund. 


Paycheck Protection Program

In 2020 more than 3,000 businesses received a total of $465,000,000 under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, thanks to all Tompkins community banks and their work to expedite the program. These efforts have protected more than 30,000 jobs across New York State and Pennsylvania. Our teams worked around the clock to process applications because we knew how important it was to protect the paychecks of as many local members of the community as possible.

Loan Relief

Tompkins was proud to offer loan payment deferment for various loan types, including consumer and commercial loans and mortgages. We were quick to offer these programs prior to government orders issuing the guidance across the board, setting an example for financial institutions across our communities.

Team Member Support

Tompkins offered low interest loans to employees who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognized that some of our team members may have experienced increased expenses or loss of household income, and we were pleased to be able to offer this program on an as needed basis.