The Important Thing You Might Have Overlooked Doing Since the Last Election

Your money in your bank is used to finance what you believe in, or undermine your interests. Choose a bank that shares your values.

Guest post written by Bridget Newsham. See bio below.


Regardless of what side of the political aisle you are on these days, I think we can all agree things feel a little out of our control. Times are tough out there. We know you’ve been busy protesting, having tough political conversations with your uncle at the holiday dinner table, and taking other important steps to impact change in our world—that’s awesome! But I am here today to make sure you take one quick final step (it’ll take less than 10 minutes, muuuuch quicker than that 2-hour protest you went to last week) to ensure you make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort: changing your bank account.

My bank account you say? Yep, you read that right. Although the other civic actions you’ve been taking are critical to making change, let’s be honest here: money makes the world go round, and banks are funding a whole array of causes that you might not agree with. We wouldn’t want the other hard work you’re doing to be wasted because your money is being used to undermine the very issues you’re fighting for.

This idea isn’t new. And it’s actually become trendy. Calling out banks for where and what they invest in has hit the celebrity circuit. Sarah Silverman called out her bank for supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline and then plucked her money right out of that bank and put it into a community-focused credit union that aligned with her values. In response to the police killings of young black men in 2016, Killer Mike of Run the Jewels urged people to put their money in black-owned banks, and 8,000 people did.

The cool thing about all of this is that if you’ve got a few dollars in a bank, you can vote with that money, and bank without sacrificing anything. As a matter of fact, there are community-investing banks across the country, and with these banks, there’s a good chance you’ll get a better rate and lower fees.

Chicago native, tech entrepreneur and former banker Daniel Ramirez-Raftree recently moved to New York but decided to keep a portion of his money in a local Chicago bank because he knew his money would be used for good. “If you’re a civic-minded person concerned about social impact,” Ramirez-Rafttree said, “I can tell you you’re much more likely to agree with what community banks are doing with your money than what almost any other bank is doing with it.”

Eliot Abrams is a University of Chicago alumni who worked with fellow classmates to transfer one-million dollars of the University’s money to four community-focused banks. “Through some research, we realized the university had a ton of cash on hand at all times,” said Abrams. “So we thought there was no reason not to keep this money in a community-focused bank.” And the university agreed. The only restriction was that the money needed to be insured by the FDIC, but good news! The majority of banks in the country are FDIC-insured. Your deposits in all FDIC-insured banks are equally safe up to at least $250,000. And many banks offer multimillion-dollar deposit insurance.

The beauty of choosing among community-focused banks is that each is a little bit different. Some invest in Black-owned businesses, some invest in rural communities, others have a strong interest in the environment. Some do all of the above. Many have an explicit purpose beyond growing richer.

Embedded in communities, community-focused banks create flexible loan options, provide higher interest rates, and many being small businesses themselves, are well-suited to work with other small businesses. Though they may not have thousands of branches nationwide, most have online banking or mobile apps, and local market expertise. Abrams summarizes: “community-focused banks tend to have more flexibility in terms of what they can offer.”

By now you must be asking yourself, huh—maybe it’s time to consider voting with my bank dollars in addition to my ballot and my megaphone?

Bridget Newsham is an editor and writer based out of Chicago, Illinois. She writes primarily about local politics, housing, and urban development but is always excited to take on new and interesting subjects. Her work has been featured in Chicago Magazine, VICE, South Side Weekly, amongst others.

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Four Myths about Opening a Bank Account

You’ve got more options in banks than ever before, too, though you maybe haven’t experienced a sense of color and flavor in the banking aisle.

4 myths.jpg

Options. People love ‘em.

Options in how you like your coffee, the color of your phone cover, and your flavor of toothpaste. Makes you feel in charge, right?

You’ve got more options in banks than ever before, too, though you maybe haven’t experienced a sense of color and flavor in the banking aisle.

Well rest assured, Mighty is like your digital shopping aisle of banks: we make it easier and friendlier to see your different flavors of options, and choose. Variety that makes your mind and spirit light up, like banks focused on building small business, or underrepresented communities, or a more sustainable planet.

“BUT…!” you say. There are a few holdouts. “Opening a bank account will be a grueling, time-intensive ordeal!” you plead. “I think…?” you add. “WHAT IF I SCREW IT UP????!!!”

This is fear talking.

We know it’s been a while since some of you have opened a bank account, and this infrequency of experience can leave you feeling anxious.

We get it.

We’re debunking a few prevalent myths about starting a new bank account to help you put your mind at ease at the thought of the new so you can get on taking charge of picking banks that best serve you and all of your interests.  

Myth #1: I have to visit a bank in person to open an account

Truth: Many banks offer online account opening

If visiting a bank branch sounds like the last thing you’d ever want to do, we’ve got good news for you. Hundreds of banks offer online account opening, and not just big banks. The number of banks that offer this is growing. In one 2017 survey, half of the banks surveyed offered online account opening, a significant jump from previous years.

For banks that don’t yet offer online account opening, many will let you open an account over the phone. This offers not only the benefit of getting to stay at home but also gives you the chance to talk to someone at the bank and get to know the bank’s values.

Just because you don’t HAVE to visit a branch in person, doesn’t mean you can’t. There’s nothing wrong with preferring to visit a branch and getting some face to face time with the people controlling your money!

Myth #2: It takes a long time to open a bank account

Truth: It can take as little as 15 minutes

Thanks to online account opening, you can open a bank account in around 15 minutes. Some banks advertise account-opening times as low as 5 minutes. Considering the amount of time the average person spends on the internet browsing different ways to cook noodles or ideas for organizing a closet, that’s a tiny chunk of your day. 9 out of 10 people agree starting a new bank account is easier than dealing with your cable company (low bar, we know). OK, know a majority of people also say opening a bank account is easier than registering on online shopping sites (are those pair of designer slippers really worth the hassle?).

Of course, opening an account in person can take longer, more like 30 minutes to an hour, accounting for that time it takes you to take in that fresh air as you walk up to the bank door. You can plan ahead and speed things up by making an appointment and having your ID and old addresses ready.

Myth #3: I need to complete tons of paperwork to open a bank account

Truth: In most cases, a government-issued ID is enough

You do not need every single document ever proving your existence. Yes, banks have to abide by regulations to make sure you are exactly who you say you are. (This is good for everyone.) This can usually be accomplished with a government ID and a social security number, and knowledge about your previous addresses. Online, you’ll usually have to answer a few more questions to prove you are who you say you are. In person, your presence helps them verify that you are you. (Some banks might require additional forms of ID beyond government ID and SSN if you walk into the bank; if in doubt call them in advance to confirm!)

Myth #4: I am going to make a huge mistake and create more problems for myself

Truth: You can relax

Relax. Banks on Mighty are insured by the FDIC for up to $250k, and many banks can insure higher amounts if you need that. Even if the bank closes down or is bought out, your money is safe.

Plus, you can keep your old accounts open and work with multiple banks (lots of people do) as you test out new banking relationships and see what works for you.

If you have questions for bank you like the looks of, give them a call and ask to talk to someone. The majority of the banks in the US are more like community-based organizations than global corporations, so the chances are high you’ll talk to a knowledgeable person versus a robot. Many banks would love to receive your call, especially if you identify yourself as someone who values the local or small business market they are serving.

So there you have it. And because we don’t like to dish advice we wouldn’t take, below are the accounts of two Mighty team members taking our own advice and reporting back what happened.

We took our own advice. Here’s what happened:

From Noa, in Chicago:

# of accounts opened: 1

Method of account opening: Visited a branch

Documents needed: Drivers license and utility bill

Minimum Deposit: $200

Fees: None

Time spent opening account: 31 minutes

Part that took the most effort: Traveling to the bank

Reflections and highlights: I walked into the bank with the confidence of an almost college graduate pretending to be an adult and a teller saw me right away. I told the teller, let’s call him Mark, that I’d like to open a savings account and he brought me over to his desk and had me fill out a small form. Mark typed away on his computer while I sat quietly, now much less nervous in part to the calming tune of ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’ by Usher playing in the background. I left with instructions on how to download the bank’s app (where I could digitally deposit checks) and clear information on other accounts and potential fees. Now that my account is opened, I still use my favorite apps, just a different routing number. I previously felt this feel-good-buzz when I donated to a cause or bought something with a sustainable label. Now I feel this daily without spending but saving. I’m in control of my money, rather than my bank being on control of me.”

From Sophia, in Seattle:

# of accounts opened: 2

Method of account opening: Online

Documents needed: Driver’s license

Minimum Deposit: $100

Fees: None

Time spent opening account: 16 minutes per account (32 minutes)

Part that took the most effort: Deciding which two new banks I wanted to use

Reflections and highlights:  “I opened two new savings accounts, at two different banks, both of which I had never contacted before, in 32 minutes. Without leaving my house. Still wearing PJs. Including the occasional disruption from my cat’s inexplicable desire to walk across my laptop keyboard.  Both of the banks I chose are out of state. I don’t plan on visiting them in person, ever. I don’t need to. I can access this money digitally. My primary plan is to just let my money stay there and earn interest while I feel good about how the bank is using it. After I see how I like the banks, I might open more accounts with them, and/or make them my primary banks.  The best part of the experience actually happened later that evening, when I was out hiking with friends. They asked me what I did that day, I said I opened two new bank accounts, and they gave me the old “opening a bank account is such a hassle!”. I asked them the last time they tried to open an account. They said it had been decades. At the same time, these same friends have carried their poop and toilet paper in little plastic bags off of mountains because they respect nature enough to leave no trace… and make the effort.  I try to respect our planet too, and that’s why 16 minutes spent in my pajamas opening bank accounts with banks certified for their focus on environmentally sustainability was a pleasure, not a hassle.”

Mighty is a place to find banks in the US that share your values. Reserve your invite to try our features still in development.

BlogTeam MightyBlog
We helped Chicagoans place $3.5 million in virtual bank deposits as part of Chicago Ideas Week. Here’s the recap.

Chicago has 193 different banks—are you banking with one that uses your money in alignment with your values?

Last month, a group of students, small business owners, community organization leaders, and finance professionals gathered to explore this very question as part of our interactive Chicago Ideas Week lab at the University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Lab panelists, pictured from left to right: Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, Consultant at Acceleration Group; Jefferey Beckham, Founder at Black Box Creative; Megan Hryndza, Founder & CEO at Mighty and panel moderator; Eliot Abrams, PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Jabari Porter, Chief Investment Officer at the City of Chicago Treasurer Office; Sophia Wagner, Lead Product Analyst at Mighty & panel coordinator.

Lab panelists, pictured from left to right: Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, Consultant at Acceleration Group; Jefferey Beckham, Founder at Black Box Creative; Megan Hryndza, Founder & CEO at Mighty and panel moderator; Eliot Abrams, PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Jabari Porter, Chief Investment Officer at the City of Chicago Treasurer Office; Sophia Wagner, Lead Product Analyst at Mighty & panel coordinator.

As covered by Next City, the purpose of the event was for Mighty to share its new beta platform — described by Mighty as being like “Trip Advisor for community-investing banks” — with an audience of lab participants who signed up to make $100,000 of virtual deposits each into banks across the Chicago metro area using the Mighty platform, and to discuss why they made their decisions.

“I put my money in GN Bank, Urban Partnership Bank, and Liberty Bank and Trust because they are each banks with a history of financing black American communities in Chicago,” a lab participant said. Meanwhile, a live poll continuously refreshed at the front of the room, visualizing where lab participants were choosing to make their deposits.

“I put some of my money in a particular bank because I saw that people in the room were putting their money there, and I could on Mighty that the bank is Chicago-focused and puts more of its money in the bank toward community financing than the average bank in Chicago,” a second lab participant said.

“I liked learning about banks that are 100% focused on Chicago,” another lab participant said. “And learning how different people have put together a banking portfolio influenced my thinking, too.”

The lab began with a panel featuring four Chicagoans and the portfolio of banks they used at their organization, or personally. Projected on a large screen behind the panelists were the names of the banks each banked with.

Pictured from left to right: Megan Hryndza, panel moderator; Jefferey Beckham, speaking about his banking portfolio as a small business owner; Eliot Abrams, speaking about his experience with the University of Chicago building its banking portfolio with consideration for a bank’s community impact; Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, speaking as a millennial interested in community development and his banking decisions; and Jabari Porter, speaking about the City of Chicago’s bank portfolio.

Pictured from left to right: Megan Hryndza, panel moderator; Jefferey Beckham, speaking about his banking portfolio as a small business owner; Eliot Abrams, speaking about his experience with the University of Chicago building its banking portfolio with consideration for a bank’s community impact; Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, speaking as a millennial interested in community development and his banking decisions; and Jabari Porter, speaking about the City of Chicago’s bank portfolio.

Jeffrey Beckham, Founder of Black Box Creative, spoke from the point of view of a small business owner. Beckham said he used different banks for different reasons: one strictly for transactional purposes, and another for the values-aligned, neighborhood-oriented relationships it offers his business and the other small businesses he works with.

Eliot Abrams, a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about his role while an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago to work with his classmates to prompt the University to place $1 million of university deposits into banks focused on making community investments. (A case study of the student-led campaign was written up by Democracy Collaborative, here (see page 33)). Abrams said that getting the university to agree to making the deposits required just a few short meetings.

Abrams explained that as part of his senior class’ community outreach initiative, he and his fellow students asked the university to move some of its money on deposit in FDIC-insured banks to others that were equally insured but more focused on financing small businesses and housing in neighborhoods around the university. According to Abrams, both students and university officials agreed that making a deposit in a community-investing bank was an easy and low-risk way for the university to make an impact.

Daniel Ramirez-Raftree, a NY-based consultant with Acceleration Group, spoke about his decision to use both a global bank and a Chicago-focused bank.

Ramirez shared that he moved to New York City to advance his career after two years of working with Urban Partnership Bank in Chicago, which he learned about while a student at the University of Chicago. Ramirez-Raftree said that he maintains an online savings account with the Chicago bank to keep a connection to Chicago community.

“While it’s true that I could perhaps make a higher interest rate if I put my money in an online-only bank, I did the math and decided that the small bump in interest isn’t worth my sacrificing my aligning my money with my values,” Ramirez-Raftree said, adding that his interest rate from Urban Partnership Bank is better than that offered by some global banks. “I know community-investing banks make many small loans and this is more costly than only making large loans, so I understand why a community-centric bank may not always offer market leading rates.”

Jabari Porter, Chief Investment Officer with the City of Chicago’s Treasurer’s Office, highlighted the City’s placement of $20 million of deposits with GN Bank as part of the City’s initiative to build a bank portfolio that balances the City’s financial management needs with its commitment to support community investments in neighborhoods across the city. Porter encouraged the audience to engage their local representatives if municipal deposits were something a community was interested in attracting to its locally-focused neighborhood bank(s).

Lab participants began placing their virtual deposits using the Mighty platform at the conclusion of the panel having listened to the experiences of the panelists, and by exploring bank impact data on Mighty and conferring with the ideas of fellow lab attendees.

Lab participants at Mighty’s Chicago Ideas Week lab: How to Pick a Community-Focused Bank.

Lab participants at Mighty’s Chicago Ideas Week lab: How to Pick a Community-Focused Bank.

Sophia Wagner, Lead Product Analyst at Mighty, left, speaks with panelist Eliot Abrams, PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, right, at Mighty’s Chicago Ideas Week lab: How to Pick a Community-Focused Bank.

Sophia Wagner, Lead Product Analyst at Mighty, left, speaks with panelist Eliot Abrams, PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, right, at Mighty’s Chicago Ideas Week lab: How to Pick a Community-Focused Bank.


Here’s a summary of the three ways in which the lab participants chose to place their virtual deposits.  


1 - Chicago Lab participants chose to make their deposits with banks that put the majority of their deposits to work in Chicago.

At the start of the event, lab participants learned that among the 193 different banks with a branch or HQ office in the Chicago metro area, just 7% of these banks’ total deposits are at work in Chicago.*

After engaging with the Mighty platform, lab participants made clear that the banks in Chicago that put the majority of their deposits to work in Chicago are of special interest.  

In the course of the simulation, lab participants overwhelmingly chose to deposit their virtual cash with Chicago-focused banks putting the majority (if not all) of their deposits to work in Chicago. Specifically, 18 of them.

This resulted in the lab participants’ virtual deposits supporting banks that put 96% of their deposits to work in Chicago, versus the 7% of deposits at work in Chicago according to the status quo Chicago bank industry average.



Where deposits are at work* among all Chicago banks**


Where deposits are at work* among all Chicago banks chosen by lab participants***

*Deposits at work is the share of bank deposits held in branches in the Chicago metro area as a percentage of Chicago banks' total domestic deposits. **All Chicago banks includes banks in the US with a branch or HQ office in the Chicago metro area. Data source: FDIC Summary of Deposits Survey, Q3 2017. ***All Chicago banks chosen by lab participants includes banks in the US with a branch or HQ office in the Chicago metro area with which lab participants chose to place virtual deposits as part of Mighty’s Chicago Ideas Week lab.

2 - Chicago Lab participants deposited their money with 18 different banks, most all of which are focused on financing the real economy, and many which are focused on financing populations where equity historically lacks.

“An immediate benefit of Mighty is seeing that there are many more bank choices in Chicago — and differentiated bank choices — than I had ever realized,” a lab participant said.

Through the course of the simulation, lab participants deposited their virtual cash into 18 different banks.

Of the $3.5 million of total virtual deposits placed:

  • 99% or $3.47 million was deposited with banks focused on financing the real economy, which Mighty also refers to as the neighborhood economy or communities, in the form of community loans and investments.**

  • 61% or $2.14 million was deposited with banks certified for their focus on financing poverty alleviation.**

  • 35% or $1.23 million was deposited with banks certified for financing Black American Equity in communities.**

  • 17% or $595,000 was deposited with banks certified for financing Asian American Equity in communities.**


Types of banks with which lab participants collectively placed $3.5 million of virtual bank deposits

**Real Economy focused banks, which Mighty also refers to as community- or neighborhood-focused banks, are banks that put more of their assets into financing business loans, housing loans and securities, construction loans, municipal loans and securities, farm loans, and consumer loans than the bank industry average in the US, as reported on the Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Call Report, Q3 2017. Examples of non real economy financing by banks includes assets in the bank, like trading assets, used to invest in financial markets, and assets used to cover bank operating expenses. **Poverty Alleviation certified banks are banks certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for making the majority of their loans for the economic benefit of low- and moderate-income communities. Banks receiving this certification are certified as Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, Q3 2017. **Black American and Asian American Equity certified banks are banks certified by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for being either (1) majority owned by individuals that are of a minority group, or (2) governed by a majority of individuals (at the Board level) that are of a minority group and the bank primarily serves a population pertaining to the minority group.

3 - Chicago Lab participants created $1 million of new community investment, mostly in the form of business and housing loans.

Of all of the money in all of the banks with a presence in the Chicago metro area, 50% of the total money in these banks is used to finance the real economy across the US in the form of loans and other community financing for businesses, farms, housing, construction, public works, and consumers.

Using the Mighty platform, lab participants made deposits with a consideration for banks that put a larger share of their total bank money (60%-85%+) into community financing than the bank industry average (50%).

The 18 banks selected by lab participants collectively put 81% of their total assets into community financing.

In result of the simulation, the virtual deposits created a 31% (or $1 million) increase in community financing, mostly in the form of business and housing loans, versus the community financing that would result from the deposits having been made in a network of banks that behave like the Chicago bank industry average status quo.


Percentage of money in Chicago metro area banks (Status Quo) that is invested into the real economy, or communities, versus the percentage of money in lab participants’ chosen banks (Simulation Cohort) that is invested into the real economy.


Money invested into the real economy, which Mighty also refers to as community- or neighborhood-focused financing, is the sum of business loans, housing loans and securities, construction loans, municipal loans and securities, farm loans, and consumer loans as a percentage of total bank assets, as reported on the Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Call Report, Q3 2017. Examples of non real economy financing by banks includes assets in the bank, like trading assets, used to invest in financial markets, and assets used to cover bank operating expenses. All Chicago metro area banks includes banks with a branch or HQ in the Chicago metro area, as reported on the Summary of Deposits Survey, Q3 2017. Averages weighted by bank size.

The event, of course, was a simulation. But if a group of 35 lab participants controlling a sum of $3.5 million could create $1 million of new community investments through the low-risk, relatively easy yet intentional placement of deposits with Chicago and real economy focused banks, imagine what a larger group of committed organizations and individuals could do for the city.

"The simulation was really eye-opening,” said a small business consultant in attendance at the lab. “I work with a network of small businesses and its powerful to know there is a whole network of banks specialized in financing community investments like loans for small businesses in different neighborhoods with diverse needs. I’ll use Mighty as a resource to better advise my small business clients interested in bank relationships that match their needs and ethos.”


Mighty is a place to find banks in the US that share your values. We’re piloting our beta platform with banks including Burling Bank, City First Bank, Southern Bancorp and Urban Partnership Bank.

Are you an individual or organization interested in building a bank portfolio that shares your values? Sign up to receive a personal invitation to use Mighty as a resource to do just this.

Are you a bank that would like to learn about how your bank can learn from the insights collected in our lab? And how Mighty can help you communicate your bank’s impact to your stakeholders? Contact us and we’ll be in touch.

BlogTeam MightyBlog
Financial inclusion: American tragic

“The plight of the unbanked in the US’s poorest regions is a modern-day scandal in the world’s richest nation. Southern Bancorp is one bank seeking to address the problem. The bank has been working with marketing technology firm Mighty, offering data analysis on the impact of the 5,000-plus banks in the US. The aim is to increase awareness about how deposits support community investments and to point consumers to banks that align with their values.”

Read the full article in EuroMoney, here.

PressTeam Mighty
Why we need not bank on disproportionate representation.

What do Hollywood, the US Congress, business, and banking have in common? Disproportionate representation.

The Dealers of Entertainment, the Architects of National Policy, the Job Creators, and the Money Managers. These industry and culture shaping positions demand diversified, representative control. Except there isn’t.

Right-sizing representation isn’t about deciding how to better slice a pie. It’s the commitment to eliminate blind spots in the decision-making bodies that shape the inclusivity of our culture and our economy for all Americans.

To think about it as slicing pie is a blind spot in of itself.


The Underrepresentation of Women

One of every two people in the US is a woman.

One woman owns a business for every three men who own businesses.

One woman speaks in top Hollywood films for every four men who speak.

One woman holds a seat in Congress for every five males who hold seats.

One woman is CEO of a Fortune 500 company for every 17 men who are Fortune 500 CEOs.

One woman owns a bank for every 372 males who own a bank.



The Underrepresentation of People of Color

Two of every five people in the US are people of color.

Two people of color own a business for every six white people who a own business.

Two people of color speak in top Hollywood films for every six white people who speak.

Two people of color hold seats in Congress for every ten white people who hold seats.

Two people of color own or govern a bank for every 67 white people who own or govern a bank.



Currencies of Power

Those in power can choose to step forward to address historical and systemic patterns of inequities that are neither arbitrary nor benign, but the result of bias within systems.

Meanwhile, those who may not recognize themselves as powerful can -- and must -- step forward and intentionally act to undo learned patterns that unintentionally preserve inequities within systems.

The ability to produce, express oneself creatively, vote, and manage money are instruments of power that every individual wields.

The degree to which one does so is the choice of the individual.

The majority of businesses in the US are small businesses. While business ownership overall -- aka small business systems -- demonstrate more equitable representation of female and minority ownership than those of government or global business, banking systems have the farthest to go in championing equity for women and people of color.

This may mean that by supporting finance organizations that are focused on building up small businesses, there is more likely to be a direct impact on building up a wave of women’s and minorities’ equity stakes across industries, and consequently a wave of diverse and representative leadership stepping onto national and global stages.


From supporting local business.

To writing an Op-Ed or expressing one's values creatively. 

To voting in local elections or organizing to get out the vote.

To choosing to do work you believe in, or volunteering for causes you believe in.

To spending your money, investing your money, and banking your money with intention. 

It is your choice to wield your instruments of power, intentionally, every day.

Or not.

Using your power indeliberately may result in your relinquishing your power.  And hoping that your relinquished power isn't used to undermine your interests during the time that it takes you to retrieve it.



Data Sources:

BlogTeam Mighty
You already know this but here's your friendly reminder: Your money isn't sitting in your bank.

Your money isn’t sitting in your bank. Find out what it’s used for after you deposit it.

Your money isn't sitting in your bank.


Don’t panic. You already know this, but here’s your friendly reminder.

When you deposit your money in your bank, your bank uses your money to fund loans and investments.

your deposits fund investments.jpg

So your money in your bank is in motion, put to work in the world to finance the economy.

How much money are we talking about?

The public has a lot of money in banks. $11.27 trillion to be exact, equal to about 60% of US GDP.

america puts trillions in bank accounts.jpg

The total net worth of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and the 20 wealthiest investors in the US combined is a fraction of the total money America keeps on deposit in the bank.

This money is community capital. 93% of the American public has some money in a bank account.

Americans put trillions of dollars into bank accounts with limited regard for the trajectory of their funds.

Why? Because money in the bank is not equal to money under the mattress. It doesn't just sit there. 


Only 10% of your deposit stays in bank. Up to 90% is lent out in the economy.

This money on deposit in the bank -- in checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts and other deposit accounts -- is making an impact.

We all know the simple idea: you and your community put cash into the bank. The bank lends this money out to community looking for a loan. The bank earns interest on the loan, and gives you a slice of the interest gained while keeping the rest for itself as profit.

All the while, the bank keeps enough money on hand so that you can get your cash out whenever you need it. 

The story is a bit more complicated in practice. Banks are focused on financing different markets. But deposits in, loans out is a sufficient framework to think about when discussing one of the core functions of a bank.

Consider Bank A versus Bank B.

Community A puts money into Bank A. Twenty eight percent of the money in Bank A is lent to small business owners in Chicago. 

Community B puts money into Bank B. Seven percent of the money in Bank B is lent to businesses across the country.

If you want to your money to go towards growing small business in Chicago, you might consider banking with Bank A.

If you're building a small business in Chicago, you might consider banking with Bank A.


America puts 40% of all of its bank money into 0.1% of its banks. The other 99.9% of banks may be of interest to you. You have more bank choices than you may realize.

Chances are, you've never heard of 99.9% of the banks in the country.

America has nearly 6,000 banks. If you include the nation’s credit unions, this is around 12,000 banking choices. You have choices in banks than you may have never considered. 

know the other 99 percent.jpg

Your bank invests your money according to your bank's values. Find banks that share yours. 

BlogTeam MightyBlog
It's now big business to think about the societal impact of your money (suit and tie optional).

Larry Fink is the CEO of BlackRock, the largest asset management firm in the world with over $5 trillion under its control.

Fink recently made major headlines (New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes) for the letter he wrote and distributed to CEOs of public companies.

In his letter, he stated that for companies to prosper over time, they must “not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

You don’t have to be in charge of trillions of dollars to consider what this can mean for you.

Here are two ideas you can take from Fink's playbook:

Play #1: Leverage the fact that you have choices in how and where you bank your money. 

Just like Larry Fink is demanding social accountability and transparency from the companies BlackRock invests in, the American public can demand social accountability and transparency from the businesses they give their money to.

Fink wrote that “society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges.”

Individuals and organizations can take a lead in financing a sustainable future that’s good for themselves while being good for the ecosystems within which they seek to thrive by making intentional decisions about how they spend, invest and bank their money.

Play #2: Ask tough questions.

Setting ideals about business delivering financial and social performance may sound abstract.   The next step is getting specific about issues impacting communities and using data to advance your understanding about these issues. Fink posed several question for companies that you can also ask of yourself:

What role do I play in the community?

How is my money supporting or undermining my role in the community?

Am I information-driven in how I bank my money, or am I putting off getting informed because I don’t know how to take action?

You can choose to take the initiative to investigate the impact of how your money is serving or undermining your role in your community.

The growing conversation about businesses delivering financial and social value need not be dominated by billionaire CEOs.

Unless you choose to continue to sit on the sidelines while your money is in play.


BlogTeam Mighty
“Easier access to data, versus more data, is what motivates us to take action,” agrees Nobel Prize committee.

Earlier this month, the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler received the Nobel Prize in Economics. He’s famous for his contributions to behavioral economics and his insights into decision making.

“If you want to get somebody to do something, make it easy.”

To exemplify his statement above, Thaler suggested that if you want to get people to eat healthier foods, then put healthier foods in the cafeteria. Make healthier food easier to find.

In every meeting about how to use data to influence decision making, Thaler doesn’t say collect more data. He says, “Make it easy." [1]

What lessons can we learn from Thaler about making banking easy?

The right choices need to be easy to make.

Mighty makes it easy to find banks that share your values. We often say we’re like Trip Advisor for banks, showing you new layers of public data about your bank, specifically the communities being financed by your bank (and your money).

There are nearly 6,000 banks in the US to choose from. 12,000 banking choices if you include credit unions. Too many options can induce decision-making paralysis.

We’re setting up a convenient, digital storefront to access bank information.

We’re making it easy for you to know what your money is doing in your bank. And your choices when it comes to building your bank portfolio.



[1] 2011 McKinsey Interview

BlogTeam Mighty
Case Foundation Invites Mighty to Talk Impact $ for Everyone at SXSW

Half of the country has an investment relationship, but over 90% has a banking one. Case Foundation is organizing to bring Mighty to SXSW 2018 alongside Calvert Foundation and Swell Investing to talk about tech platforms that are engaging Milennials to manage their money for impact. Themes discussed at SXSW tend to be discussed all year, and tech bringing transparency into the flows of community capital for the advancement of communities should be one of them. Please vote for transparency of choice of impact for everyone to make it to the SXSW stage.


  • Rehana Nathoo, Vice President, The Case Foundation

  • Jennifer Pryce, President and CEO, Calvert Social Investment Foundation

  • Dave Fanger, Founder and CEO, Swell Investing

  • Megan Hryndza, Founder & CEO, mighty deposits


Rehana Nathoo, Vice President , The Case Foundation

Please vote for transparency of choice of impact for everyone to make it to the SXSW stage.

EventsTeam Mighty
Mighty Awarded SOCAP17 Impact Scholarship

Mighty is excited to have been named 1 of 125 social enterprises (1 of 48 in the US) accepted into the 2017 startup cohort awarded scholarships to SOCAP 17 in recognition of commitment to building businesses that will create a positive impact for communities. Mighty team will participate in a pre-SOCAP workshop for impact startup awardees on October 10, prior to attending SOCAP October 11-13 in San Francisco. 

To see a list of all impact startups awarded, click here.

EventsTeam Mighty
Trending on Google: people searching for the community impact of their bank deposit.

this is impact banking.jpg

You’ve likely heard of the impact investing economy, in which $1 trillion dollars is expected to target socially and environmentally-accountable investments by 2020.

We hosted an event with Impact Engine featuring contributors to Fast Company and Forbes exploring the idea of choosing a bank that shares your values. SOCAP hosted an event the next day, and CNN covered the topic shortly after.

A look at Google searches over the past years suggests that the idea of people choosing banks with consideration for the bank’s financing focus is a growing movement.


Whether the public sees it as a form of impact investing or responsible consumerism isn’t as important as individuals and businesses being hungry to bank toward community outcomes that they can share in.

Since Mighty started talking about impact banking last year, we’ve engaged thousands of users and garnered millions of media impressions that reinforce the idea that people and banks coming together around shared values is an emerging market force, and a force for good.


BlogTeam Mighty
Why I care about Mighty and why you might want to care, too.

I'm studying economics at the University of Chicago. I chose to intern at Mighty because I'm at the one of the best economic institutions in the world, but the growing sector of banking for impact is under-explored in the classroom. I think this will change, and I want be part of the team leading this change.

Working at Mighty, I spend a lot of my time talking to people. I find that in these conversations, the reasons I care to work here and build a product I want to see in the world are reasons that others care about, too. Here’s a running list of themes I talk about with everyday people in my everyday.

Why Does Mighty Exist? 

Mighty exists to help people feel mighty with their money, starting with their money in the bank. Who doesn’t want to feel that?

Americans put a massive amount of money into banks: over $11 trillion in deposits. The average person has somewhere between a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of dollars in the bank. Not everyone has gobs of money, but everyone has something.

This money has an impact on communities and does so in your name, if it’s your money, whether its $1 or $1 million.

If you have money in the bank, your money is making an impact, touching lives, whether or not you realize it or not. 

Our mission is to make it easy for your to access information about your bank, your money, and how to wield the influence with your money that you want.

Why Banking?

People deposit money into banks in order to keep their money safe. When it comes to banks, people label convenience as knowing their money is kept safe, is earning some interest over time, and is accessible.

What most people don’t think about what happens to their money after they deposit it. Wouldn't it be convenient to know that?

Yes, and here's why:

Ever see Ferris Bueller's Day Off, in which the valet attendant takes Cameron's car out for a ride after the car is dropped off, but before he and Ferris return to pick it up?

Taking your money out for a spin is what banks do with your money while you're away.

Ever see It's a Wonderful Life, in which George Bailey and Henry Potter are both bankers, but run very different kinds of banks, with different motives?

 If you have, or if you haven't, know:  Not All Banks Are Created Equal

All banks do some lending and investing, but they do so differently.

Some banks take your money for a spin to invest predominantly in global markets or large business markets, while other banks focus putting your money into motion to serve local markets and small business markets. The focus of the lending and investing activity depends on bank certifications, leadership and business model, and is evidenced by public data. 

Mighty harnesses public data to make clear how banks focus on lending to/investing in different markets and people (for example, the relative focus on local versus global markets, and local neighborhood lending versus Wall Street trading).  Because when you drop off your car (or bike, or dry cleaning), you want to know what people do with your stuff, right? At Mighty, we hear most people would choose transparency of this information of what happens to their money while they store it in the bank, if it could be made available. So that's exactly what Mighty has set out to do.

What Choice Do We All Have In Banking?

Half of the country banks with one of a handful of the biggest banks.

Most of these people started their first bank account with the help of a parent at one of these banks, or at a bank that was acquired by one of these banks.

You may never have stopped to consider that you have more banking options than you realize. At one point, you started making your own decision (independent from your parents) about your preference for clothes, household items, and cars, but banking? Surprisingly, many adults report they've never known how to assess a bank independent from what their parents taught them. With over 5,800 banks in the U.S. that are equally safe and increasingly accessible (as money goes digital), Mighty helps individuals make the best decisions for their money to serve their values.

Care about your neighborhood? Small business? Local farms? Women-led enterprise? Investments in black communities? There are banks that serve these diversified interests. How about that for interest returns?

Mighty is the marketplace to help you search banks at the intersection of money and meaning, to best serve your interests.

Why Use Mighty?

Mighty allows you to see past the opaque wall of banking to transparently know your impact. We do this by digging through data that banks are required to report and making it legible. We make clear how your savings and checking is being invested. We help you choose to make your banking impact a powerful force for you and your world that matters to you.

Your deposit has always been an investment into creating value. Mighty makes your impact -- what it is and what it can be -- clear.


BlogAmy Ma
Impact Engine, Mighty Host Impact Banking Panel

On June 13th, Impact Engine hosted a panel discussion and networking event Is the Bank Account the Onramp to Bringing Impact Investing Mainstream? by partnering with Coalition Impact in Chicago and Mighty Deposits, a technology platform that connects impact-oriented customers with impact-focused banks. The focus of the discussion panel was what banking for impact looks like now and its future opportunities.

Banking for impact is the power that people have to choose socially-responsible banks, such as those that power small businesses and local farms. By investing their money, banks can leave a positive social impact. 

“There are lots of divestment conversations: fossil fuels, prisons, DAPL,” said Oscar Perry Abello, a New York City-based Fast Company + Next City journalist. "We’d like investment in bad things to stop, but we haven’t talked much about where to invest for good things. Where is our money going? Clean energy, businesses that hire re-entry workers?”

A platform like Mighty is one solution to this dilemma. A marketplace for people to shop banks at the intersection of money and meaning, Mighty helps people find banks that support the same causes they do.

"If you want your money to impact black neighborhoods, investing in black-owned banks in black neighborhoods is a big way you can impact that,” Abello suggests.

Mighty identifies these community-oriented banks and informs about their footprint. That way, people have better access to the power they’ve always had to invest in banks that share their values.

Panelists spoke of a depth to banking that hasn’t been explored much to date—the impact of individual deposits. A little known fact, banking for impact can involve just the simple act of depositing money in socially-conscious banks.

“When we’re talking about the power of banks and what they can do, deposits are the low-hanging fruit,” pointed out panelist Ronald Milsap, manager of Mission-Based Deposits at Urban Partnership Bank, one of two certified black-governed banks in the city of Chicago.  

The discussion touched upon the current state of banking across the country.  

“Bank consolidation over the past 30 years has resulted in global banks eating up local banks like it were a game of Pac Man,” CEO Megan Hryndza of Mighty pointed out. “In 1985, America had more than 14,000 banks. Today, there are just 5,800 – and of those, only 23 are black-owned and only 15 owned by women. What impact innovations can we learn from these banks, and how can we scale the best pratices?”

The panelists affirmed the potential of banks to create positive social impact in the future.

"The conversation is moving to: here are the ways banks can do good and be good businesses at the same time," Mark Newberg, Director of Impact Strategies for Wombie Carlyle, said.

EventsAmy Ma
Is your bank kinda like Sandra Bullock?

We hear most people on the street say that they don’t really understand what their bank does with their money or how it compares to what other banks might be doing with their money instead.

So we sidestepped drawing out economics diagrams to break it all down for the moment and asked a question about first impressions, instead:

“If your bank was like a celebrity, who would it be, and why?”

BlogTeam Mighty
Is the Bank Account the Onramp to Bringing Impact Investing Mainstream?

Join Us Tuesday, 6/13 at Coalition Impact in Chicago, panel begins 5:15p, networking runs 6:30-7p. RSVP via Eventbrite, here.


Oscar Perry Abello is a New York City-based Fast Company + Next City featured journalist covering urban and community development across the United States, with a focus on the impact and role of finance in driving social and economic justice. Oscar is an alumnus of Villanova University, where he received a B.A. in Economics, with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.

Ronald Milsap is Manager of Mission-Based Deposits at Urban Partnership Bank, one of two certified black-goverened banks in the City of Chicago. He previously worked with U.S. Bank. Ronald received his B.A. in Business from Morehouse College and serves on boards for My Block My Hood My City, Urban Initiatives and Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School.

Mark Newberg is Director of Impact Strategies for Womble Carlyle, where he supports the growth of business in the Impact Economy. His previous roles include Deputy Director of Global Innovation Summit, Senior Policy Advisor at the US SBA, and Advisor to the New Orleans City Council post Hurricane Katrina. Mark holds a JD from Tulane and writes on the impact economy for ForbesHuffPost and The National Law Review.

Megan Hryndza is Founder + CEO of Mighty, a startup to shop banks at the intersection of money and meaning for customers prioritizing bank services focused on community and environmental investments. She previously worked with Starcom, Kraft, City First Bank of DC, the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, Women's World Banking. Megan completed her B.S. in Science at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and certificate in Big Data Management from MIT.

EventsTeam Mighty
Fintech wants to make you feel better about where you spend your money

“Collectively, money can get things done. There will be more than ever a receptive audience for understanding they know where they spend their money matters but where they keep their money matters too,” [Hryndza] said. “Mighty is further looking to see where we can deliver on opportunities without people having to wait for the next vote, by bringing a platform for action and influence everyday.”

Read the full Tearsheet article, here.

PressTeam Mighty
Where Are America's CDFI Banks what?

Community Development Financial Institutions are focused on driving investment into America's low and moderate income neighborhoods.

In other words, in building up America's middle class.

Some community development financial institutions are banks.

Some are not.

The CDFI banks are real banks. Banks banks. The CDFI modifier is a designation given by Treasury that certifies that 60% or more of the loans made by a bank are directly in a low or moderate income neighborhood.

Below is where the country's CDFI banks are headquartered. 

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