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.
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.