Bank of America Charitable Foundation strategy and funding opportunities

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

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better. We’re delivering on this through our responsible growth strategy with a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. As part of this work, we develop strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities. In response to poverty and issues affecting social justice and racial and gender inequality, we focus on stabilizing individuals and families by ensuring their basic needs are met; addressing challenges, such as food and housing insecurity; and connecting individuals to pathways to succeed by building skills for 21st century jobs through education and workforce training. Central to this effort, we partner with nonprofits that are removing barriers for economic opportunity for vulnerable populations, including families struggling to make ends meet, opportunity youth, individuals living with disabilities, veterans, and those with significant barriers to employment, including those impacted by the criminal justice system. Our goal is to help transform communities in crisis into thriving neighborhoods that fuel economic growth and prosperity for all.

In 2020, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue two requests for proposals (RFPs) on the priority focus area of ECONOMIC MOBILITY:

  • The first will focus on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in workforce development & education and basic needs, including family stabilization and crisis prevention. (Applications accepted 1/27/2020 – 2/21/2020.) More details
  • The second will focus on strengthening communities by investing in affordable housing, revitalization, the arts, and the environment (Applications accepted: 6/1/2020 – 6/26/2020.) More details


(FIRST RFP: applications accepted 1/27/2020 – 2/21/2020)

Economic mobility focused on the needs of individuals and families

Close to 40 million Americans live in poverty, and many more working families struggling to make ends meet are forced to make tough decisions in order to prioritize everyday necessities. Compounding the challenges of living paycheck to paycheck is the reality that the majority of Americans do not have enough saved for unexpected, emergency expenses. That’s why we partner with nonprofits focused on alleviating poverty and creating on ramps to economic success via access to basic needs, family stabilization, and meaningful employment.

Funding priorities and examples:

Meeting basic needs
We support nonprofit organizations that meet low-to-moderate income individuals and families at their point of need and help them remove barriers to economic opportunities. We recognize that vulnerable communities face a variety of challenges– from putting food on the table to trauma caused by domestic violence and living with drug addiction– resulting in diverse needs that can be addressed only by a variety of critical programs and services.

Examples:

  • Hunger relief - local food banks, soup kitchens, school- and after-school-based child feeding and nutrition programs that provide free or subsidized food
  • Services for the homeless - programs and services that prevent or end homelessness, such as rental assistance, emergency shelter, rapid-rehousing, and permanent supportive housing, including Housing First
  • Family Stabilization and Crisis Prevention - affordable or subsidized care, transportation, mental health counseling, drug addiction rehabilitation, financial health education and coaching.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce
Employment and education are powerful levers that connect individuals to economic success. We’re connecting the most vulnerable individuals to the training, education and support they need to obtain a meaningful job and build their careers. We focus on three strategies to connect people to the workforce: youth employment, alternative employment pathways, supportive services and life-skills programs that help individuals overcome and remove barriers to employment and set them on a path to improve their financial lives and create a better future.

Examples:

  • Youth employment - high-school completion programs, skills-training (hard and soft skills), first-time employment, internship, apprenticeship, and mentoring, especially for opportunity youth (those out of school and work).
  • Alternative pathways for meaningful employment for adults - job preparedness, training, skill building, college or vocational certification, career counseling, placement, job retention, and entrepreneurship opportunities for low- and moderate- income adults, especially those that need to up-skill or reskill toward livable wage careers.
  • Removing extraordinary barriers to employment - comprehensive support services and life skills programs that help individuals overcome extraordinary barriers to employment. This includes workforce social enterprise and other transitional or sheltered workplace environments for individuals such as persons with disabilities, formerly incarcerated or court involved.

(SECOND RFP - applications accepted: 6/1/2020 – 6/26/2020)

Economic mobility focused on the needs of the community by addressing economic development and social progress

Expanding Access to Housing Opportunities
Access to affordable housing remains a significant challenge in all our communities. For many, it is becoming further out of reach with more than 18 million households paying more than 50% of their income for housing. That’s why we support nonprofit organizations as they work to preserve, and increase access to a mix of affordable housing options and connect low- and moderate- income individuals and families with the tools and resources to achieve their financial goals.

Examples:

  • Housing efforts addressing 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
  • 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
  • Sustainable development efforts creating healthy living environments through the pursuit of energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits, solar and other green building efforts


Building Vibrant Communities
Vibrant communities are places where individuals can thrive and succeed and have the opportunity to live and work with safe, decent housing, transportation to jobs, strong business corridors and thriving arts and culture districts. All of these are essential to an individual’s overall economic mobility. For this reason, we support local and regional revitalization efforts that take a holistic approach to building thriving communities and creating 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.

Examples:

  • Economic development efforts that promote small business growth and healthy commercial corridors
  • Revitalization and place based initiatives that engage community stakeholders in the environmental health and economic growth of their communities (e.g. Choice Neighborhoods; Opportunity Zones; transit-oriented development; and connecting individuals to jobs, services, schools, and economic opportunity.)
  • Funding to support neighborhood preservation efforts which strengthen overall community health, safety and welfare.
  • Supporting the construction of vital community facilities (e.g., affordable health and treatment centers) delivering critical services to the community’s most vulnerable residents
  • Strengthening the resiliency of communities through the initiatives that support local plans to prepare, withstand and recover from extreme weather events and the long-term impacts of climate change
  • Supporting community arts and cultural institutions that provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities
  • Supporting community greening efforts that create healthy neighborhoods and environmental sustainability through the preservation, creation or restoration of open space, parks and community gardens

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