At Bank of America, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is critical to fulfilling our purpose of making people’s financial lives better. 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.
Our goal is to build pathways to economic progress, including addressing social justice issues that are fundamentally connected to income mobility. We’re helping jumpstart local economies through a comprehensive approach, from our philanthropic investments to volunteerism, and work to advance better money habits across our funding. Through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, we direct funding to meet the needs of low-income communities, with a particular focus on revitalizing neighborhoods, educating the workforce for 21st century jobs and addressing basic needs, such as hunger and homelessness. Our employees are passionate about improving communities through volunteerism, and we offer a range of opportunities to connect them to meaningful issues. By connecting nonprofits and communities to much-needed resources, we can help create a better economic future for us all.
Learn more about our charitable funding priorities.
In 2016, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue three requests for proposals (RFPs) on the priority focus areas of:
- Workforce development and education (Application period is open January 19 – February 12, 2016) More details
- Community development (Application period is open April 19 – May 6, 2016) More details
- Basic needs (Application period is open July 18 – August 5, 2016) More details
Workforce development and education
Today's national median income is lower than in 2011, the poverty rate is rising, and youth unemployment is consistently double the national average of unemployment. So we're supporting workforce development and education opportunities that will put individuals, including young people on a path to success. Our investments include philanthropic partnerships with nonprofits, business initiatives to establish employment pathways, and employee volunteerism such as mentoring and teaching better money habits. We've focused our giving to connect individuals and young adults to employment and improve education and training for our workforce.
Connecting youth to employment: Connecting young people/teens to first time work opportunities and recognizing service as a pathway to gaining employment and leadership skills
- High school and college matriculation and graduation: Opportunities that help students move from high school to post-secondary success (including at the community college level)
- Skill development and job training: Programs that provide soft and hard skill training coupled with opportunities for cross-sector career exposure including social enterprise jobs, service and community engagement opportunities, internships and apprenticeships
- First-time work experience: Programs that provide training and placement in first-time work experiences including summer employment and internships
- Better Money Habits: Empowering the next generation with tools and support to learn better money habits and become financially capable resulting in greater chances of success in school and career
- Mentoring: Programs connecting the young people to committed and caring adults for structured, ongoing relationships that support middle, high school and college success as well as soft and hard skill development
- Service as a pathway to employment: National service programs that develop essential career skills in service members
Investing in the workforce: Connecting individuals, through community college, career programming, skills training, and entrepreneurship to the skills needed to succeed in 21st century jobs
- Community and vocational college opportunities: Traditional or accelerated degree, credential or certification programs leading to employment
- Skill development: Job training and retraining programs with comprehensive supportive services for individuals facing challenges entering or reentering the labor force. Support services include personal financial management skills, career counseling, interview skills, resume-building, case management, etc.
- Better Money Habits: Programs providing ongoing financial education and coaching to empower adults to make healthy financial choices that will lead them to economic success
- Supporting social enterprise and small business: Programs to provide help to create, expand, and sustain social enterprises and small businesses, which in turn builds their capacity to create and retain jobs
Affordable housing and community development remain a cornerstone of healthy, vibrant communities. We partner with local, national and global nonprofit organizations addressing pressing community development issues vital to each community’s long-term economic health. We support affordable housing, neighborhood preservation, community revitalization initiatives, as well as the delivery of integrated services connecting individuals and families with financial education tools, resources and benefits to achieve their financial goals.
Affordable housing: Supporting the efforts and programs of nonprofit organizations as they work to preserve, and increase access to affordable housing, connect individuals and families with financial education tools, resources, and benefits to achieve their financial goals and address overall housing sustainability.
- Housing: Programs that construct or preserve single, multi-family affordable & supportive housing
- Homebuyer education: Housing counseling programs focused on pre/post home purchase process
- Homeowner retention: Helping homeowners remain in their homes through foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation programs
- Financial stability: Support of integrated asset building services to include, budgeting, savings, credit, credit repair, debt management, financial education, financial counseling and benefits access.
Neighborhood preservation: Supporting the work of nonprofit organizations that address distressed properties and neighborhood blight in order to preserve property values, spur additional investment and improve overall community health, safety and welfare.
- Support of nonprofit organizations transitioning vacant or dilapidated properties including bank real estate owned into community assets.
- Support of nonprofit organizations resolving neighborhood blight as a means to preserve property values, spur additional investment and improve overall community health, safety and welfare.
Community revitalization: Supporting local and regional revitalization efforts taking a comprehensive approach to create economic opportunity and communities of choice. This may include large infrastructure and cultural institutions that are economic drivers for employment and contribute to overall community vitality.
- Comprehensive placed-based revitalization: Activities leveraging Public/Private Investment and community partnerships (Choice Neighborhoods, Promise Zones, etc.)
- Community anchors: Supporting community anchor and cultural institutions that provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities
- Fostering green communities: Activities that seek the creation, preservation or restoration of open/green/parks space
- Transit oriented development: Activities that support transit oriented development as a means to connect individuals to jobs, services and overall economic opportunity
- Economic development: Efforts that spur small business growth and healthy commercial corridors
- Revitalization initiatives that engage community stakeholders in the economic growth of their communities through support of affordable housing, business growth and access to community services
More than 48 million people are living in poverty in the U.S. Many low-to-moderate (LMI) income individuals continue to struggle to provide basic necessities for their families and face complex financial challenges - such as how to increase their income and reduce expenses or being forced to choose between buying food or paying for housing or medical care. So we’re focused on addressing these basic needs, including hunger, homelessness, and lack of access to benefit resources. We help nonprofit partners that assist individuals and families at their immediate point of need, as well as organizations that deliver longer-term solutions such as access to financial education and coaching. We understand that individuals and families living on the margins have many needs and we support integrated services that help them overcome barriers, develop better money habits and become financially secure.
Hunger Relief: Providing access to food and related services in order to feed individuals, children and families
- Feeding the hungry: Local food banks, soup kitchens, school- and after-school-based child feeding and nutrition programs
- Food access: Hunger relief in food deserts, green and fresh foods, and agricultural sustainability
Services for the Homeless: Providing access to temporary shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for vulnerable individuals and families
- Temporary Shelter: Limited, short-term shelter; emergency shelter
- Transitional Housing: Rapid re-housing, halfway houses, Housing First models
- Permanent Supportive Housing: Long-term affordable housing linked to supportive services (such as medical and mental health care and employment supports)
Benefits Access and Referrals: Transitioning financially-distressed, low-to-moderate income individuals and families towards financial stability through bundled services in two core areas: access to benefits and support resources and financial education/coaching to develop better money habits
- Accessing bundled or integrated services: One-stops, day centers, family resource centers