At the Global Hope Forum held last week in Atlanta, GA, SunTrust donated $1,000,000 to Operation Hope. According to Operation Hope, define themselves as "the first-ever, nationwide financial services network for the poor, unbanked and underserved. Through this network, we convert check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, and minimum wage workers into living wage workers." From their Global Hope Forum's Sponsorship Prospectus: "Since 1992, HOPE has served more than 2 million individuals; directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America's low-wealth communities; utilized over 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities. We measure our impact through the Gallup-HOPE Index, a historic 100- year partnership with Gallup. Through our latest initiatives, we have become the first nationwide, nonprofit private banker to the poor and underserved."
The founder of Operation Hope, John Hope Bryant, is an entrepreneur the author of How the Poor Can Save Capitalism.
Through their partnership with SunTrust, Operation Hope will place representatives inside SunTrust bank locations in select cities. These Hope Insiders will counsel community members on financial matters surrounding home ownership, business ownership, credit counseling, and more.
These are real world people, in real communities, doing real work where it needs to be done. From a perspective of scale, this is a big deal and could serve as a model for future success and accessibility to financial products in an underserved market.
This will be a project I will pay attention to in the coming years to track impact.
See John Hope Bryant speaking to why financial literacy and access to opportunity are so crucial for the nation's success and survival:
What do you think about this initiative? Is this what it takes to have an impact in our underserved communities? Is this just a part of a larger puzzle? Sound off. The conversation doesn't start until we speak.