Public ire against big banks is still going strong, and we’ve covered how you can move your money to institutions that offer people better options and tracked the big response. This week’s GOOD Company Project finalists highlight two institutions that are making sustainable finance work locally and across the country to give people responsible options for their personal finances.
Sunrise is a family owned company that manages three banks in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. They are certified Community Development Financial Institutions because one of their primary purposes is investing in communities in need of economic development, whether in small businesses, affordable housing or local facilities. Sunrise offers its customers an FDIC-insured Socially Responsible Deposit Fund that combines impact with investment returns. The SRDF has financed projects like a local café, renovations and development in North Minneapolis, and a community development organization that combines social work with affordable housing. For every dollar invested in the SRDF, the bank says it finds an average of $6 in economic impact.
Kasasa, the central business of the BancVue company, offers online banking with a twist. Rather than handle your finances with financial services giant, your money is matched with a community bank or credit union. You get a high-interest return on your money with fewer fees, your investment goes into a community institution, and those institutions get to partner with an online banking platform as robust as those offered by major banks—helping attract a broader base of customers. Kasasa also offers a charitable giving plan that directs a portion of the fee from each swipe of your debit card to the charity of your choice, making micro-philanthropy an automatic part of your everyday life.
With one financial crisis immediately behind us and another one threatening from across the Atlantic, there’s never been a better time to look to companies like these two GOOD Company Project finalists: Banks that are locally grounded but still leveraging new technologies and business models to remake the financial sector so that it works for everyone.