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, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. As part of this work, we develop strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility, bringing our collective networks and expertise as part of our commitment to help fuel economic and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities.

Our philanthropic investments help move individuals and communities forward through workforce development and education, community development and basic needs. We partner with nonprofits that are removing barriers to economic success for vulnerable populations, including youth, working families, and those with barriers to employment, including the formerly incarcerated. We’re committed to advancing a more diverse and inclusive society by expanding opportunities and supporting equitable solutions that gives communities the power to grow and prosper. Through our philanthropic efforts and our employee volunteers, we’re helping create thriving economies and a better future for us all.

Learn more about our charitable funding priorities.

In 2019, 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 the on the needs of individuals and families by investing in workforce development & education and basic needs (Applications accepted 1/28/2019 – 2/22/2019) More details
  • The second will focus on the needs of the community by addressing economic development and social progress by investing affordable housing, revitalization, arts, and the environment (Applications accepted: 6/3/2019 – 6/28/2019) More details

Economic mobility focused on the needs of individuals and families

Today, more than 40 million people are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. Many working families are still forced to make tough spending decisions. Access to basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, affordable childcare, transportation) and the ability to find meaningful employment are challenges faced by many. That’s why we partner with nonprofits that are working to alleviate poverty and create pathways to economic success.

Funding priorities and examples:
Basic Needs
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.

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 stability - programs that provide support and access to critical needs for the most vulnerable, such as clothing, affordable childcare, community health counseling and prevention services, and subsidized transportation.

Wrap Around Services
We recognize that individuals and families face a variety of challenges, have diverse needs and may qualify for multiple services. That’s why we support nonprofit organizations, networks and collaboratives that provide services and programs that break the cycle of poverty and enable individuals and families to move forward.

Examples:

  • Broad array of services addressing employment, asset building, financial coaching and education
    (directly delivered or in collaboration with other providers)
  • Benefits access and referral programs
  • Financial education and coaching programs that advance better money habits

Workforce development
Employment is one of the most powerful levers to connect individuals to economic success. We’re connecting the most vulnerable individuals to the training and support they need to obtain a meaningful job and set them on a path to improve their financial lives and create a better future. We focus on three strategies to connect people to the workforce: youth employment, alternative employment pathways, and helping individuals with barriers to employment rebuild their lives and careers.

Examples:

  • Youth employment - high-school completion programs, skills-training (hard and soft skills), first-time employment, internship, apprenticeship, and mentoring
  • Alternative employment pathways - job preparedness, training, skill building, college or vocational certification, career counseling, placement, job retention, and entrepreneurship leading to livable wage jobs
  • Helping people rebuild their lives and careers – workforce social enterprises and other transitional workforce reentry and second chance employment programs

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

We’re committed to supporting equitable solutions that will help vulnerable communities grow and prosper. The vibrancy and health of each community has a direct impact on the long-term success of its residents. That’s why we are addressing critical issues to ensure communities are resilient and poised for growth. This includes support for affordable housing, sustainable development, strong business corridors, the arts and environmental investments.

Expanding Access to Housing Opportunities
Access to affordable housing remains a significant challenge for many communities. That’s why we support the work of organizations as they work to preserve, and increase access to a mix of affordable housing options and connect individuals and families with the tools and resources to achieve their financial goals.

Examples:

  • 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
  • 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 sustainable development efforts create healthy living environments through the pursuit of energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits, solar and other green building efforts

Building Vibrant Communities
Vibrant communities are essential to an individual’s overall economic mobility. For this reason, we support 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.

Examples:

  • Economic development efforts that promote small business growth and healthy commercial corridors
  • Revitalization initiatives that engage community stakeholders in the environmental health and economic growth of their communities (e.g. transit-oriented development as a means of connecting individuals to jobs, services, schools, and economic opportunity; neighborhood preservation to strengthen overall community health, safety and welfare)
  • Assisting the efforts of organizations working in Qualified Opportunity Zones creating job opportunities and other essential services to the community and its 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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