FAQs for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation Request for Proposal (RFP) grants

How do I apply for a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation?
Organizations can apply online at www.bankofamerica.com/foundation by selecting Apply for a Grant.

Is there a specific time period when Bank of America accepts applications for funding?

At the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, 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. 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

I have submitted an application online – when can I expect to receive an update on its status?
Economic mobility focused on the needs of individuals and families: Mid-late July
Economic mobility by addressing community development needs: Mid-late October

Once I submit a grant application, who can I contact for assistance?
For questions, contact us at 800.218.9946 or foundation@bankofamerica.com

Once I begin an application, can I exit and return to it later?
Save what you have entered. To return, go to www.cybergrants.com/boa/rfp > Organization History.

I am locked out of my CyberGrants account, can you please reset my password?
We do not have access to any account information including passwords and log in credentials. Please contact Cyber Grants directly at cgsupport@cybergrants.com

My organization delivers services that span more than one of your focus areas. Can I apply for more than one RFP? If not, how do I determine which RFP to apply for?
Our guidelines state that we will fund an organization no more than once in a calendar year. Rare exceptions apply. As you decide which RFP you will apply for, consider which program or service is your highest priority to be funded. If you are applying for general operating support, select the RFP that most closely aligns with your organizational mission.

Are the RFP grants funded through a separate national allocation? Can I apply for an RFP grant and also apply for a “local grant”?
The RFP process is simply a refined focus for our local grant making. As in the past, local markets, based on allocated budgets, decision grants through committees made up of local bank officers. The RFP process allows those committees to better evaluate like organizations and better understand the impact organizations, with the help of our funding, are having in local communities. It also allows for a streamlined approach in our giving that focuses our grants on work being done in our key focus areas.

I’m an arts organization. Under which RFP should I apply?

Recognizing that some arts organizations act as economic catalysts in communities, through our RFP focused on economic mobility by addressing community development needs we fund programs that help advance overall community revitalization. An arts organization could also align with our economic mobility for individuals and families (workforce development) strategy if it can show job opportunities for young people such as a docent or internship program for high school/ college youth (target participants should be low and moderate income). In addition, Bank of America supports the arts in some markets through other bank funding outside the Foundation.

How do I know what amount to apply for?
Grant amounts vary by market and organization size. If you have previously received a Bank of America Charitable Foundation grant, an amount in that same range is a good starting point. While there are local variations, as a general guide, grant amounts in larger markets can range from $5,000 to $50,000. Grant amounts in smaller markets can range from $2,500 to $25,000.

Can we apply through the RFP process for a multi-year grant?
As a general guideline, the Foundation does not make multi-year grants through this local grant RFP process.

I see that you are asking for ACH information in the application now – is this required information?

Yes, ACH is our preferred method of payment and that information is required at the time an application is submitted. Leaving that section incomplete will prevent you from submitting an application.

Is my ACH/banking information safe?
Yes, we can assure you that your information is quite safe. Access to that information is extremely limited (for example – grant reviewers cannot see it). In addition we undergo several security checks and tests throughout the year to ensure the safety of that information.

If we’ve been invited to apply for your Neighborhood Builders grant, can we also apply for an RFP grant?
The Neighborhood Builder applications, which are now done on an invitation basis, are a separate process from the RFP process and as such, it is possible an organization could apply for both.

Does the Foundation fund environmental organizations?
In June 2012, Bank of America announced a 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative to address climate change and demands on natural resources, while advancing a low-carbon economy. We have incorporated an environmental lens into both of these RFPs so to the extent an organization’s work connects with employment or community development it can be considered for funding.

I’ve gone to your application page and in addition to your two focus areas, there is an “other funding requests” option. What is that and should I apply using that if I don’t feel my organization fits within your two core focus areas?
As previously noted, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is focused on two core areas addressing economic mobility. These are our primary focus areas and they receive the vast majority of our funding. There are rare instances when an organization’s programs or mission do not align with those priorities and might be considered for funding however, consideration of a request outside those focus areas is very much the exception.

My organization is working outside of the United States, how can I apply for funding for that work?
Philanthropic funding for organizations and programs outside of the United States is limited and are awarded by invitation only. 

In the application, I see a few questions related to volunteer opportunities. Why are those included and what are are you looking for?
Volunteerism is a key component of the bank’s ESG strategy, and we seek to align much of our volunteerism to our philanthropic focus areas of hunger, housing, and jobs. We believe that by focusing our dollars, time and talent, we can help our partners make an even bigger impact in these three areas. We would like to know what volunteer opportunities you have available related to your grant request (including the ability for us to provide financial education/coaching), as our employees are interested in volunteering at their highest levels of contribution. We are very interested in skills-based opportunities, as they allow us to offer you our most competitive asset --our talent.

Updated 11/27/2018


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