Cornerstone Partner Spotlight: Olympia Federal Savings



If you've received an email from anyone at United Way of Thurston County (UWTC), you'll notice several logos displayed beneath our own. These organizations are UWTC's Cornerstone Partners.

Cornerstone Partners are central to our success, providing foundational financial support for our organization, as well as important leadership on our board and other committees, insight on community issues, and thousands of volunteers who volunteer their time and their talents. 

Cornerstone Partners work every day to deliver the highest service to our community. We are grateful for the dedication of our Cornerstone Partners as we work together to achieve our mission of mobilizing the caring power of the community to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Thurston County. 

Below is a spotlight on one of our Cornerstone Partners, Olympia Federal Savings.

United Way of Thurston County: What is something interesting or surprising that most people don’t know about your organization?

Olympia Federal Savings: OlyFed has been around for 116 years, so we have a long history with the community. We were founded by a small group of caring business and community leaders who wanted to help families save and make homeownership a reality. In fact, OlyFed’s first mortgage loan in 1906 was for $1,500 and many of the homes in old historic capital district were built with construction loans from OlyFed. Just a sidebar, when we acquired the land to build our Tumwater Branch; because it was owned by Eagan’s we also purchased franchise rights and we keep secret recipe for Goop locked up safe in our vault.

United Way of Thurston County: Is giving back to the community part of your organization’s mission?

Olympia Federal Savings: Community is part of our DNA! It’s who we are and why we exists. As a mutual bank, we’re accountable to our customers, not shareholders, which means that giving back is written into our charter and business plan. Last year OlyFed supported more than 100 local organizations, contributing more than 12% of our profits ($445,000) to community programs. Our employees serve on the board of more than 25 nonprofits (including United Way) and contributed more than 800 hours of volunteer service in 2021.

United Way of Thurston County: How does your organization engage employees in serving the community?

Olympia Federal Savings: Our employees are incredibly generous, kind and thoughtful when it comes to serving our community! Last year they helped raised more than $40,000 for United Way as part of our workplace campaign. Our team is always on the lookout for ways to serve. While they have 16 hours of paid volunteer time each year, many go way beyond when it comes to sharing their time and talents. Service opportunities are shared company-wide through emails, chat and our company intranet. Even better, we make a point of recognizing our employees for their extraordinary philanthropic efforts at our all company quarterly celebrations.