1. Open new checking and savings accounts -- Close your old mega-bank accounts, and find a new community development bank or credit union that matches your values better. Find your new community bank or credit union (for either your personal or business accounts) on page 20 of the clickable online version of our Community Investing Guide. Find more options via the Community Development Bankers' Association (www.cdbanks.org) and the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (www.cdcu.coop). Remember to tell your old bank why you left.
2. Find a greener credit card -- Cut up your mega-bank credit cards and mail them back to the bank with a note about why you're leaving. Find greener credit card options affiliated with community development banks. The Green America credit card helps support our green economy programs. Other greener credit cards support local permaculture projects, protect the bioregion of the Pacific Northwest, or support carbon offset programs. (Find a list of greener credit cards in this article from the Green American.)
3. Get your faith community involved -- If you have influence over how your faith community or other community group does its banking, you can encourage them to also break up with their mega-bank, and shift their institutional banking to a community development institution. Our allies the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing offer a free downloadable toolkit (scroll down the page to find it).
4. Get your alma mater involved -- The Responsible Endowment Coalition's "Move Your Money" Campaign provides resources and a handbook for shifting your college or university toward community development banking and investing.
5. Find a new financial planner -- If you use a financial planner that does not offer socially responsible options, investigate your options from more responsible financial networks like First Affirmative Financial Network or Progressive Asset Management. Or search for a financial planner near you at our GreenPages.org.
6. Invest in responsible mutual funds and loan funds -- Find options with a special emphasis on strengthening local communities beginning on page 21 of our clickable online Community Investing Guide, or search for other responsible mutual funds at our GreenPages.org.