Bank of America Charitable Foundation funding opportunities

As part of our efforts to improve the financial lives of individuals and families across the country, Bank of America is lending, investing and giving. We address immediate needs vital to the health of the communities we serve through a focus on preserving neighborhoods, educating the workforce for 21st century jobs and addressing basic human services, such as hunger. In order to create longer term solutions, we support services and programs that enhance financial stability and create better money habits.  In order to create greater impact, our local and national funding is enhanced through volunteerism, helping to address community challenges while supporting the passion of our employees. By connecting nonprofits and communities to much-needed resources, we can help create a better economic future for us all.

We bring a wide array of assets, from our business to our philanthropy, to help individuals, families and communities build better money habits. In addition to addressing immediate needs related to jobs, housing and hunger, we’re connecting individuals to longer-term solutions that will help them improve their financial lives, from financial education and coaching to access to benefits. This focus is woven across our philanthropic funding.

In 2015, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue three requests for proposals (RFPs) on the priority focus areas of:

  • Jobs: Workforce development and education (Application period is open January 20 – February 13, 2015) More details
  • Housing: Community development (Application period is open April 20 – May 8, 2015) More details
  • Hunger: Basic human services (Application period is open July 20 – August 7, 2015) More details

    Jobs: Workforce development and education

    Preparing for the modern workforce

    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 including financial support to 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. To address these issues of unemployment and economic progress across the country, we focus our philanthropic giving in the following areas:

    Investing in the Workforce

    Connecting individuals, through community college, career programming and entrepreneurship to the skills needed to succeed in 21st century jobs, emphasizing those with skills mismatch

    Examples:

    • 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: providing technical assistance to create, expand, and sustain social enterprises and small businesses, which in turn builds their capacity to create and retain jobs

    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

    Examples:

    • High school and college matriculation and graduation: opportunities that help students move from middle to high school and 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
    • 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 next generation to committed and caring adults for structured, ongoing relationships that support high school and college success as well as soft and hard skill development

      Housing: Community development

      There is nothing more foundational to a family’s financial well-being than access to affordable, stable housing – which results in better family health, educational progress, economic advancement and financial stability for families. The lack of decent affordable housing has remained a pervasive national challenge for more than 25 years, and this struggle continues today.

      In response, we are combining our philanthropy and the expertise of our employee volunteers, in support of 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. Funding examples:

      Preserving neighborhoods:

      Increasing access to affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, preparing future homeowners, helping individuals and families move toward financial stability and helping distressed individuals and families stay in their homes.

      Examples:

      • Creating Better Money Habits and financial stability: credit repair counseling, debt management programs, asset building services
      • Accessing affordable housing: programs that construct or rehab single- or multi-family affordable housing units
      • Preparing future homeowners: housing counseling focused on pre/post home purchase
      • Homeowner retention: foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation programs
      • Transitioning REO properties: programs that acquire and rehab abandoned or dilapidated residential units
      • Creating Better Money Habits and financial stability: credit repair counseling, debt management programs, asset building services

      Revitalizing communities:

      Driving economic development through support of large institutions such as arts and culture venues and hospitals as well as initiatives that contribute to the vitality and livability of communities.

      Examples:

      • Supporting the work of an arts center that serves as economic driver in the community
      • Comprehensive placed based revitalization: activities leveraging public/private investment and community partnerships
      • Programs identified as part of a defined community revitalization plan
      • Activities that seek the creation, preservation or restoration of open/green/parks space

      Hunger: Basic human services

      More than 45 million people are living in poverty in the U.S. Low-to-moderate (LMI) income individuals continue to struggle to provide basic necessities for their families and face complex financial challenges (trying to increase income and reduce expenses or choosing between providing food on the table and paying for healthcare).

      We’re applying our philanthropic resources, employees and expertise to address the issues of hunger and lack of access to benefit resources, supportive housing and shelter. This comprehensive response helps bring significant resources to nonprofit partners serving the community – as they continue to help struggling individuals and families at their point of need – delivering integrated services and offering access to financial education and coaching.

      In 2015, we are continuing to support our nonprofit partners as they examine how to connect their clients to more social benefits, through integrated services. We define integrated service delivery as the promotion and expansion of bundled services that include three key components: workforce development, financial education and coaching, and benefits access. LMI individuals and families have multiple needs and financial goals. Through our support of integrated services, we leverage philanthropic support to help overcome barriers to access.

      Funding Priorities:

      Hunger Relief/Food Access

      Providing access to vital food supplies and services to feed individuals, children and families, with a particular focus on nonprofits that address the immediate challenges of food access and also connect the families they serve to supportive services and economic livelihood programs that help towards financial stability.

      Examples:

      • Local food banks, soup kitchens, school- and after-school-based feeding and nutrition programs that may also assist with SNAP (food stamps), child backpack programs and nutritious meals.
      • Intermediaries and CDFIs that provide capital and technical assistance to make green/fresh and nutritious food available in food desserts, create jobs and spur the local economy.

      Supportive Housing/Shelter

      Addressing immediate shelter needs and long-term supportive housing for vulnerable individuals and families with a focus on housing-first or place-based approaches that make supportive wraparound services available to those seeking financial security and independence.

      Examples:

      • Homeless shelters and transitional supportive housing that provide individuals and families a safe haven and access to comprehensive support services that help them back on their feet, such as benefits enrollment, healthcare, workforce training and job placement.     

      Benefits Access/Referrals

      Transitioning financially-distressed, low-to-moderate income individuals and families towards financial stability through bundled services in three core areas: employment and education, access to benefits and support resources, financial coaching and better money habits education.

      Examples:

      • Place-based Benefits Access Points and one-stop hubs where multiple critical services are offered and customized to individuals and families who want to build stronger financial lives through improved job skills, credit scores, financial habits, net income and net worth.