Group of First Financial Bank associates volunteering at Coburn Place
Group of First Financial Bank associates volunteering at Coburn Place

community banking at First Financial

We care about your community because it’s our community, too

At First Financial, we take responsibility for the communities we do business in because they are our communities. For us, success isn’t merely a question of opening more accounts. It’s helping our neighbors achieve their dreams of homeownership, building their finances, or starting businesses, that make our towns better places in which to live and work.

Communities are rich and multifaceted, and so is our approach to community support. Our ALIVE strategy focuses our efforts on six key areas:

  • ACCESS to banking services and capital.
  • LENDING in the community.
  • INVESTING in local initiatives and the community and INCLUSION with involvement and empowerment for all.
  • VOLUNTEERING our time.
  • EDUCATION to improve financial literacy.

As a regional bank, we’re in a unique position to make our communities stronger and improve our neighbors’ lives. By increasing access to banking services and financing home purchases and business ventures, we tackle inequality directly and support vibrant local economies. We also support critical community organizations through funding and volunteering. In 2019 alone, we invested more than $1.6 million across approximately 1,045 community programs. And our total portfolio of philanthropic investments exceeded $341 million by the end of 2019, including $122 million of Government National Mortgage Association project loans in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Here are a few partnerships and projects we’re particularly proud of:

United Way of Greater Cincinnati

First Financial CEO Archie Brown served as chairman for the United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s 2019 campaign, and board member Cynthia Booth served as vice-chair. Brown and Booth worked with volunteers and thousands of corporate and community partners to raise money for programs that sustain every person’s health, education, and financial stability in 10 counties across the tri-state area. The ability to make such a substantial local impact drove Brown and Booth to organize the most successful campaign in its history. In addition to our $1 million pledge at the corporate level, First Financial associates donated a total of $628,473 to the United Way’s 2019 campaign.

Thrive Alliance

Stable, quality housing is critical to strong communities, yet it can be hard to find — especially for people with disabilities. That’s why First Financial has partnered with Thrive Alliance to provide housing services for people with disabilities in Columbus, Indiana. Tenancy in Thrive Alliance’s affordable and accessible homes averages 9.6 years, indicating that the organization delivers stable housing and represents a powerful community resource. First Financial’s funding allowed Thrive Alliance to buy and renovate six single-family homes, which are currently occupied by 13 adults and three children.

Ethel M. Taylor Academy

The Ethel M. Taylor Academy provides Cincinnati’s public-school students with innovative experiences that foster their educational and personal development and build their confidence and self-esteem. In 2019, we funded a visit to the nationally recognized Center of Science and Industry for the school’s sixth graders.

3CDC and REDI

Between donations to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), we put $125,000 to work supporting economic development in downtown Cincinnati and beyond. In partnership with the City of Cincinnati Economic Development Task Force, 3CDC works to build a vibrant downtown business and entertainment district by efficiently coordinating development. REDI supports businesses interested in relocating to Cincinnati or growing their presence in the area.

Catalytic Development Funding Corporation

The Catalytic Fund serves the Northern Kentucky cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport Bellevue, and Dayton, offering financial assistance and technical expertise on quality residential and commercial real estate projects. We contributed $21,000 to support the fund’s efforts in accelerating the region’s urban renaissance.

The First Financial Foundation

We established the First Financial Foundation at the end of 2017 to support programs and organizations that enhance and develop the communities in which First Financial does business. In particular, we target emerging markets, prioritizing neighborhood development, workforce development, education, culture, and the arts. A few of our 2019 investments included:

  • $35,000 for the Center for Independent Living Options (CILO), which supports people with physical, sensory, cognitive, or psychological disabilities across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. CILO’s efforts help people with disabilities lead rewarding, independent lives with pride and dignity.
  • $9,913 for the Resident Resource Network (RRN) in Columbus, Ohio, which connects affordable housing residents to supportive services such as employment, education, health, government benefits, and more. RRN serves as a regional leader in breaking the cycle of generational poverty by improving housing stability, increasing self-sufficiency, and creating safe, supportive communities.
  • $30,000 for LTHC Homeless Services in Lafayette, Indiana, which serves as the coordinated point of entry and initial assessment for people experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis in Tippecanoe County. Since 1989, LTHC has helped thousands of individuals find housing solutions, services, and resources for long-term success.
  • $20,000 for NISRE, Inc., a Community Development Corporation in Columbus, Ohio, that provides affordable housing solutions and a range of economic empowerment initiatives designed to alleviate poverty and revitalize neighborhoods in low- and moderate-income communities. NISRE has assisted more than 1,000 homeless individuals since its founding in 2006.

Hands-on help

To encourage volunteerism at First Financial, we offer paid time off for volunteering during scheduled work hours. In 2019, First Financial associates logged more than 18,000 hours repairing homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners, filling care packages for deployed service members, building beds for children in need, and feeding the hungry.

We understand that through our banking decisions and our financial and human resources, we can support growth and equality in our communities. So that’s what we do.


The information on this page is accurate as of January 2021 and is subject to change. First Financial Bank is not affiliated with any third-parties or third-party websites mentioned above. Any reference to any person, organization, activity, product, and/or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement. By clicking on a third-party link, you acknowledge you are leaving bankatfirst.com. First Financial Bank is not responsible for the content or security of any linked web page. Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender.

You’re about to leave bankatfirst.com

First Financial Bank is not affiliated with any third-party websites. Any reference to any person, organization, activity, product, and/or services does not constitute or imply an endorsement. First Financial Bank is not responsible for the content or security of any linked web page.