Mighty in EuroMoney: Putting A Rural Investing Bank's Impact On The Map Of Next Gen Depositors

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. 

“We’re hoping to spread the message that where you bank makes a difference and by banking with us you can support financial inclusion for all Americans,” says Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams.

Marketing will be the challenge. “We just don’t have the multi-million dollar marketing budgets that the large banks have, and getting our story out beyond the Delta requires a unique approach.” 

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.  The result, of course, will be positive publicity for banks like Southern that have a measurable impact on the real economy. 

Read full article, here: https://www.euromoney.com/article/b17mgvj6pp6cky/financial-inclusion-american-tragic

What Hollywood, 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.

 

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Data Sources:

BlogTeam MightyComment
Money In Motion, Not Under A Mattress
 

If you’ve been following Mighty, you may have heard us talk about your money in motion.

What exactly does this mean?

Let’s talk numbers.

 

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

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.

america puts trillions in bank accounts.jpg

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. 

 

2. 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.

Now’s the time to think like an impact depositor.

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, out of self-interest.

Deposits in, loans out. Interest in, interest out.

You and your money power the economy, in large part in result of your bank choices. 

 

3. America puts 40% of all of its bank money into 0.1% of its banks. You have more bank choices than you may realize.

The majority of Americans' dollars are in eight Globally Systemically Important Banks, commonly referred to as too-big-to-fail banks.

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

America has 6,000 bank choices. It, and you, have more choices in banks than you may have ever considered. 

You can be just as selective as an impact investor when choosing who gets to wield the power of your money, and what for.

know the other 99 percent.jpg

 

 
 
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Balancing Profit with Values: What Does Fink Think?
 

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.”

His request for companies to take more initiative in owning and creating social impact was met with a variety of reactions. From praises about making the world a better place to doubts about the letter’s efficacy, Fink’s words incited thought-provoking conversation on financial inclusion and social impact.

He brings up some important points. And you don’t have to be in charge of $5 trillion to consider what they can mean for you.

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

Play #1: Leverage the fact that you control money, and you have choices in that control. 

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.”

Community leaders in the private sectors, like banks, stores, and restaurants, can take a lead in preparing for a sustainable future, both economically and environmentally. (And they already do.)

Play #2: Ask the 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 harnessing data to advance stakeholder understanding and measurement of those issues. Fink posed several question for companies to ask themselves:

What role do we play in the community?

How are we managing our impact on the environment?

Are we working to create a diverse workforce?

Companies can choose to take the initiative to integrate inquiry and measurement into these ideas and define values for their enterprise, or not.

Customers can choose to take the initiative to inquiry and data-driven decision making into their everyday business choices, or not. 

Larry’s letter has gotten a lot of attention. 

But the growing conversation about businesses delivering financial and social value doesn’t have to be dominated by billionaire CEOs.

Anybody can ask the tough questions. And anybody can put their money elsewhere if the answers are unsatisfying.

 

 
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What a Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Can Teach Us About Banking for Impact
 

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 unconventional mantras about human decision making. In a 2011 interview, he famously explained that “if you want to get somebody to do something, make it easy. If you want to get people to eat healthier foods, then put healthier foods in the cafeteria, and make them easier to find, and make them taste better. So in every meeting I say, 'Make it easy.'" [1]

What lessons can we learn from Thaler about banking for impact?

Humans aren’t perfect, or even rational. Even if our bank isn’t the best for us and undermines our values, we might stay there because the prospect of finding a new bank seems hard. We get it.

In order for systemic change to occur, the right choices need to be easy to make. Mighty makes it easy to find the best bank for you and your values. To use Thaler’s analogy, we’re adding the good-for-you options to the cafeteria of bank choices, we’re making them easy to find on one platform, and we’re making them appealing with community storytelling and impact reports.

Inertia can prevent people from making beneficial decisions. A survey in 2015 found that 1 in 6 U.S. consumers are not satisfied with their banking relationship. [2] The American public keeps $11.27 trillion in bank accounts. That means that simply because of inertia, over $1.8 trillion could be sitting in banks that don’t deserve it. [3] Mighty makes it easy for dissatisfied consumers to overcome bank inertia; we want to help you move that $1.8 trillion to banks committed to harnessing your deposits to benefit the people and communities you care about.

Too many options can induce decision-making paralysis. There are over 6,000 banks to choose from. We’re helping consumers embrace, instead of shy away from, the sheer diversity of banking institutions. 

Living a life guided by conscientious decisions instead of inertia is empowering. It’s what makes us Mighty.

 

 

[1] 2011 McKinsey Interview https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-insights/nudging-the-world-toward-smarter-public-policy-an-interview-with-richard-thaler?cid=other-eml-cls-mkq-mck-oth-1710&hlkid=46c5592d2d204dfab731e777b564c39f&hctky=2457333&hdpid=98c37573-591f-4f33-b283-8bf1374da294

[2] http://www.marketforce.com/sites/default/files/Banking-Infographic-2015-US_0.pdf

[3] Total in bank accounts divided by 6. This is an approximation.

 
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Mighty in HuffPost: Build Tools to Empower the Crowd
 

MIghty co-founder Megan Hryndza was quoted in Huffington Post along with other SOCAP scholarship company founders on what it takes to build a social impact business.

Mighty's vision is to bring impact investing to everyone. As Meg is quoted, equipping people to take up local investing to meet their priority interests is what Mighty is in the business to do. From the article:

Founding a startup is hard. Founding one that has a social mission is even harder. Thanks to the work of Social Capital Markets and its annual SOCAP conference, social entrepreneurs can more easily develop their networks, find potential investors, and expand their global network. For #SOCAP17, we caught up with 65 of these inspiring leaders to ask them for their advice in starting a company with a mission of making the world better.
#35: Megan Hryndza, CoFounder & CEO of Mighty
Getting people to care about your cause is easier than getting them to adopt the cause as one of their own. Focus on equipping people to take inspiration from your cause and make it their own.
 
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Mighty helps you track the impact of your money in your bank and grow what you value. Get Mighty.
 
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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.

SPEAKERS

  • 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

ORGANIZER

Rehana Nathoo, Vice President , The Case Foundation

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

 
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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.

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Mighty helps you track the impact of your money in your bank and grow what you value. Get Mighty.

 

 

 

 

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Bank Impact Covered by CNN, Goes Mainstream?
 

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 in Chicago with Impact Engine featuring contributors to Fast Company and Forbes exploring impact banking, and how the bank account may be the onramp to bring managing money for impact to the mainstream. SOCAP hosted an event the next day, and CNN covered impact banking shortly after (see article below), with Fast Company writing that it’s really not that hard to get started to align one’s bank money with one’s values.

 
this is impact banking.jpg

A look at the trend of Google searches for "DAPL banks" or "black banks," for example, further supports it: banking for impact is primed to go mainstream. 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 to build the demand for impact banking. Sign up to Mighty to receive your invite to compare your options to bank for impact.

banktoreflectyourvalues.jpg

See CNN article, here. #bankforimpact

 

 
 
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I Intern Here, Let Me Break Mighty Down For You
 

By Amy Ma, Mighty Intern

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've learned that people have some basic questions about Mighty and banking for impact. So I've started our Mighty 101. Here's part I.

Why Does Mighty Exist? 

Mighty exists for one reason--to help you take ownership of your bank deposit. Americans put a massive amount of money into banks: over $11 trillion in deposits. This money has an impact on communities and does so in account holders' names. If you have money in the bank, your money is making an impact, touching lives, whether or not you realize it or not. Mighty wants to bring you transparency into how your money in your bank is being used.

Our mission is to empower you to see and experience the impact of your banking, and to reap the benefits of the value you want to create.  

 

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 do is 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. Putting depositors' capital to use while they aren't using it in order to create community wealth is why banks exist. 

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.

 
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CDFI Connect Covers Mighty: Emerging Efforts to Capture Impact Capital
 

Rachel Reilly Carroll is the Associate Director for Impact Investing at Enterprise. Rachel highlighted Mighty among other organizations helping to connect mainstream investors with CDFI banks.

Are bank accounts the on ramp for mainstreaming impact investing? CDFI banks can partner with Mighty Deposits to appeal to impact investors by providing investment transparency and telling their impact story.

See full article, here.

 

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Mighty helps you track the impact of your money in your bank and grow what you value. Get 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.

Panelists

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.

 
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Digiday's Tearsheet Covers Mighty
 

Tearsheet called us up at Mighty to talk about why we do what we do.

We love talking this stuff. So thanks Tearsheet for calling. 

They quoted Mighty founder Meg Hryndza, too:

“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.”

 

Tearsheet opens the article by saying that "Fintech wants you to feel good about banking." We know we can't control how you feel, but we have conviction we can help power tools that give you better transparency about what your money is doing. How you feel in response is up to you. Steps of emotions may or may not be involved. Read the full article, here.

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Mighty helps you track the impact of your money in your bank and grow what you value. Get Mighty.

 
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"If I Only Had A Trillion Dollars," Say St. Louis Parkway High School Students
 

We had the opportunity to talk about Mighty today with students visiting the University of Chicago from Parkway High School in St. Louis.

Here they are:

The students were all interested in entrepreneurship, building businesses, investing in companies.

We asked them how much money they needed to start to be able to realize those dreams.

The answer in the room was "millions" and "trillions," followed by "yeahs" and nodding heads from others in agreement. Everyone had big dreams of making their mark, and getting the capital they needed to get started.

 
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. 

 
Team Mighty
How To Find Local Banks
 

Remember when branch address was the leading identifier of a local bank?

(Disclaimer: some of us at Mighty do. Some of us do not. All of us identify local community both near and far. We have that in common.)

2017 newsflash: The bank down the street is no longer the local bank, necessarily.

The bank down the street may have one office or thousands, resulting in different ways your money is used to build different markets.

Mighty is building a platform framing the modern identifiers to spot local banks most focused on making local investments.

 
Team Mighty
Behind the Scenes: Mighty's Commitment to Human Centered Design
 

Banks are not vaults, they are engines. 

They power economies. They are associated with power. They get people powered up. Note the common theme.

Here at Mighty, we know banks are designed to leverage the money of those who deposit money, in order to support the growth of those who need money. In other words, everyone.

In other words, banks are powered by community capital, and are designed to generate community wealth.

Our commitment to human-centered design drives us to build our technology by constantly talking to our growing Mighty community, learning about how our digital platform fits into real people's lives, and how it can deliver new connections across people and money. 

 
 
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