Background & Purpose

CBAI established the Foundation for Community Banking in 1996 in furtherance of its mission to professionally serve and support member banks through every available channel, and to promote the community banking philosophy. The Foundation is also intended to increase public awareness of community banks and their contributions.

The Foundation has established annual scholarships for high-school seniors to help deserving students further their educations. Scholarships are available for at-large Illinois high-school seniors. It costs CBAI member banks nothing to sponsor these students. Scholarships are also available for the children and grandchildren of community bankers and for part-time bank employees. 

With college tuition rising every year, these statewide scholarships have helped young adults to further their educations since 1987. Donations to the CBAI Foundation are totally tax-deductible and may be made over a period of years.

Since its inception, the CBAI Annual Scholarship Program has distributed more than nearly $400,000 to over 200 appreciative Illinois high school students. In the process, they have learned more about the important roles that community banks play in their lives.

Bronze $ 2,500 - $ 4,999
Silver $ 5,000 - $ 9,999
Gold $10,000 - $24,999
Platinum $25,000 - $49,999
Diamond $50,000 - $99,999
Presidential $100,000+

For a full brochure about all scholarships, please click here.


CBAI Foundation Board of Directors for 2019-2020

Kim McKee, Chairperson
North Central Bank, Ladd

Jeff Bonnett
Havana National Bank

Tracy Downs
German-American State Bank, German Valley

Ryan Heiser
The Fisher National Bank

Dan Graham
Flora Bank & Trust

Erik Schelling
PeopleFirst Bank, Joliet

Jason Semple
Dieterich Bank, N.A., Effingham

Ron Shambaugh
Best Hometown Bank, Collinsville

Kraig Lounsberry
CBAI, Springfield

Valerie Johnston
CBAI, Springfield


Annual Essay Scholarship Program

The CBAI Foundation for Community Banking offers 24 scholarships to top Illinois high-school seniors statewide each year. The scholarship awards available this year by the Foundation total $21,500. These scholarship awards help deserving students highlight the importance of community banking to the local economy. You could win up to $4,000 for higher education, and your school is eligible to win $500! .

Students must be sponsored by a participating CBAI member bank. Students, for more information, please contact Bobbi Watson via email or at 800/736-2224..

CBAI member banks that would like to participate, please click here!

CLICK HERE to Download the Foundation for Community Banking 2020 Essay Scholarship Program Information!


The SHAZAM®, Kasasa, and CBSC Scholarships

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The SHAZAM®, Kasasa, and CBSC Scholarships are sponsored by the SHAZAM, Kasasa, and Community BancService Corporation (CBSC). Scholarships are $1,000 per year for up to four years of higher education. SHAZAM has been a preferred service provider of CBSC since 2000 and is governed by a board that includes community bankers. Its product/service menu includes: ATM processing, ATM and debit-card products, card-authorization services, merchant processing, ACH services, and information-security solutions. Kasasa has been a preferred service provider of CBSC since 2006. Kasasa is a leading provider of innovative products, world-class marketing, and data-driven consulting solutions to community financial institutions across the U.S. Kasasa products are designed to deliver controlled new account growth, higher profitability, and increased customer retention.  Both firms have proven to be a valuable supporter of CBAI, its subsidiaries, and its members including Community BancPac contributions, Convention exhibiting, sponsorships, and advertising. CBSC is the business-services affiliate of CBAI. The Foundation is deeply gratified by this latest, and most impressive, show of support.

Eligible Banks

CBAI member banks contributing or pledging a cumulative minimum of $2,500 to the Foundation.

Eligible Students

The children and grandchildren of eligible CBAI-member bank employees, directors, and officers and part-time bank employees who are entering their freshman year of undergraduate school or post-high school trade school as full-time students.


A bank can submit one student's name on a scale commensurate with its donations to the Foundation. Contributions are cumulative and applied from the establishment of the Foundation.


Students' names are put into a drawing to take place during the CBAI Annual Convention. Representatives of the sponsoring bank need not be present to win. Deadline for submission is August 15 each year.

For a nomination form, please contact the CBAI Department of Communications at


New Annual Scholarships for Community Bankers School (CBS)

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Annually awards five scholarships ($1,299 per year for two years) for an eligible CBAI member bank employee to attend the CBS.

The Scholarships are exclusively sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; THE BAKER GROUP, CBAI's Career Development Division (CDD), and Howard & Howard Attorneys. 

For sponsorship information, please contact the CBAI Department of Communications at

CBAI member banks that have contributed/pledged at least $2,500* to the Foundation are eligible to submit the name of the bank in the drawing and send an employee to CBS; the award must be used in the year of the award.

*Donors of less than $2,500 will be given up to three years to move to the new threshold; they will be incented by the new Annual Scholarship to the Community Bankers School and the anticipated increase in the number of Child of a Banker Scholarships available to them.

Donor Recognition

The CBAI Foundation for Community Banking has established a timeless donor recognition wall to identify those banks, individuals, estates, businesses, foundations and other organizations that contribute to the Foundation. Located at CBAI headquarters in Springfield, this wall is a grateful acknowledgement of the donors who give so generously to the educational needs of Illinois high-school seniors.


Bronze $2,500 - $4,999
Silver $ 5,000 - $ 9,999
Gold $10,000 - $24,999
Platinum $25,000 - $49,999
Diamond $50,000 - $99,999
Presidential $100,000 +

Click here for a listing of those donors giving $2,500 or more to the Foundation since its inception. THANK YOU!

How to Contribute

If you would like to pledge a gift to the CBAI Foundation for Community Banking please see the links below. To obtain further information, please contact Valerie Johnston at 217/529-2265 or view brochure now.

CBAI Member Banks click here for donor card.

Corporate Representatives click here for donor card.