The University of San Francisco awarded the third annual California Prize for Service and the Common Good to OneCalifornia Bank and Foundation at a gala ceremony Oct. 21. The prize honors an organization or individual who performs outstanding service in pursuit of the common good, especially for the poor or marginalized.
A for-profit bank owned by its nonprofit foundation, OneCalifornia engages in charitable and educational activities, including programs and grants to stimulate communiy development, encourage affordable housing, alleviate economic distress, and increase financial literacy for disadvantaged communities and organizations in California. OneCalifornia Bank was chartered in 2007 by Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor, who donate 100 percent of their economic rights in the bank to the One-California Foundation.
“OneCalifornia Bank and Foundation's theory of change is that business discipline should be harnessed to support a healthy, prosperous, sustainable society,” Taylor said in accepting the award on behalf of the bank. “Business can be an enormously powerful force for good. We are unabashed in that opinion. But it must be exercised within the mandate of larger collective goals. An exclusive effort to maximize share-holder value will eventually run afoul of the social and environmental compact upon which we all depend, sometimes cataclysmically as we have seen in the financial services sector.”
USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. praised OneCalifornia's focus on measuring success through the lens of the so-called triple bottom line—social, environmental, and financial sustainability. “OneCalifornia is a great example of an institution with a bottom line that extends beyond dollars and cents. At a time when financial institutions are under fire, it is important to hold up OneCalifornia to our students and the local community as an organization that does it right. OneCalifornia shows us how important values-based, socially responsible businesses are for the overall health of civil society.”
Endowed by USF supporters Susan and Philip Marineau, the USF California Prize not only shines a spotlight on outstanding members of California's civic community but also supports USF's mission to educate minds and hearts to change the world by recognizing and promoting the achievements of USF's students in community-based learning programs. Proceeds from the California Prize gala go to support student projects at home and abroad.