Bank of America Charitable Foundation strategy and funding opportunities

We’re advancing pathways to economic mobility in order to build thriving communities.

At Bank of America, we live our purpose to make financial lives better by fulfilling our environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities. As part of this work, we develop strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations serving community needs, bringing our collective networks and expertise to help communities grow and thrive.

We recognize that while conditions have improved over the past several years, there are many individuals facing barriers to economic success, including youth, working families, and the formerly incarcerated. Too many individuals living on the margins are limited by their zip code and unable to create a better life for themselves and their families through good jobs or affordable housing. That’s why we’re focused on building pathways to economic mobility by addressing the issues of workforce development & education, basic needs and community development. We’re committed to advancing a more diverse and inclusive society by expanding opportunities and supporting equitable solutions that will enable low-income communities to grow and prosper. Through our philanthropic efforts and the power of our employee volunteers, we’re working to create thriving economies and a better future for us all.

In 2017, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue two requests for proposals (RFPs) on the priority focus areas of:

  • Economic mobility focused on the needs of individuals and families by investing in workforce development & education and basic needs (Applications accepted 1/30/2017 – 2/24/2017) More details
  • Economic mobility by addressing community development needs by investing in affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment (Applications accepted: 5/8/2017 – 6/2/2017) More details

Economic mobility focused on the needs of individuals and families

We focus on the economic mobility of individuals and families by investing in workforce development & education and addressing basic needs.

Today, more than 48 million people are living in poverty and struggling to meet their needs while facing tough choices on where to place limited resources. We recognize that basic needs must be met in order for families to advance along the economic continuum. In addition, access to education and job training are critical to lift people out of poverty, connecting them to tools that will help them build better lives. That’s why we’re partnering with nonprofits who are supporting a diverse talent pipeline that will better serve community needs, providing skilled workers to organizations while creating economic opportunity. We partner with nonprofits who are addressing the economic continuum, including critical needs (food and shelter) to job skills training, all of which contributes to alleviating poverty and building thriving communities.

Funding priorities and examples:

Critical needs, such as hunger relief and services for the homeless – we support nonprofit organizations that meet individuals and families at their point of need so that they can overcome fundamental challenges, achieve stability, and improve their financial lives.

  • Local food banks, soup kitchens, school- and after-school-based child feeding and nutrition programs that provide free or subsidized food, clothing, and other critical necessities
  • Programs and services that prevent or end homelessness, like rental assistance, emergency shelter, rapid-rehousing, and permanent supportive housing, including Housing First

Youth employment – We recognize that first time jobs are critical to helping young people develop essential skills that will assist them throughout their career development. Access to employment can enhance overall educational experiences and keep at-risk youth on track for successful careers by reducing high school dropout rates and increasing transition to college.

  • High school completion programs, skills-training (hard and soft skills), seasonal employment, internship opportunities, mentoring for teens and young adults, social enterprises
  • National service programs that develop essential career skills and establish a pathway to future employment endeavors

Preparing individuals for meaningful employment – We support nonprofit organizations providing access to skills training, credentialing and education - regardless of gender, race, criminal record or disability - that will enable individuals to connect to jobs and develop a stronger financial future.

  • Job preparedness, training, skills building, college or vocational certification, career counseling, placement, job retention, and entrepreneurship leading to livable wage jobs
  • Social enterprises, other transitional employment and workforce re-entry programs tied to job training and placement for the unemployed, under-employed, formerly incarcerated, homeless, and disconnected youth putting people on track for growth and meaningful employment

Wrap Around Services – We recognize that low-income individuals and families face a variety of challenges, have diverse needs and may qualify for multiple services, so we support nonprofit organizations providing supportive services that will enable individuals and families to move forward.

  • Bundled services – Organizations that offer services and benefits, direct or in collaboration with other providers, that addresses employment, asset building, financial coaching and education
  • Benefits access and referral programs
  • Networks, programs, and services that are working to break the cycle of poverty
  • Organizations advancing better money habits through financial education and coaching

Applications accepted 1/30/2017-2/24/2017

Economic mobility by addressing community development needs

We are focused on economic mobility by addressing community developed needs through investments such as affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment.

An individual’s zip code should not define their economic well-being, educational attainment and overall health. However for many across our country this remains a significant challenge as they pursue their financial, educational and employment goals. Economic opportunity begins with the ability to live and work in vibrant communities, with access to safe, decent housing, strong business corridors, and to arts and culture. So our funding efforts focus on the work of local, national and global nonprofit organizations working together addressing these issues essential to an individual’s economic mobility and the community’s vitality.

Building Vibrant Communities
Supporting local and regional revitalization efforts taking a holistic approach to building thriving communities, create economic opportunity and livable neighborhoods. This includes support of economic drivers such as arts and cultural institutions that contribute to the overall vitality of the community.

  • Economic development efforts that promote small business growth and healthy commercial corridors
  • Revitalization initiatives that engage community stakeholders in the economic growth of the communities. (e.g. transit oriented development as means to connect individuals to jobs services and economic opportunity, Neighborhood preservation strengthening overall community health, safety and welfare)
  • Supporting community arts and cultural institutions that provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities
  • Supporting efforts that create healthy neighborhoods through the preservation, creation or restoration of open/green/parks space

Expanding Access to Housing Opportunities
Supporting the efforts and programs of nonprofit organizations creating pathways to economic mobility as they work to preserve, and increase access to a mix of affordable housing options, connect individuals and families with tools, resources, to achieve their financial goals

  • Organizations whose housing efforts address the needs of vulnerable populations (e.g. low and moderate income, homeless, elderly, formerly incarcerated) as they construct or preserve affordable single, multi-family, transitional and supportive housing.
  • Supporting organizations creating pathways to stable housing or homeownership through financial stability efforts such as homebuyer education, budgeting, savings, credit and credit repair including foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation
  • Organizations whose affordable housing programs support healthy environments through the pursuit of energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits, solar and other green building efforts.

Applications accepted: 5/8/2017 – 6/2/2017