Driving economic & social progress

Economic mobility

We recognize that many individuals—including youth, working families, military and the formerly incarcerated—are facing barriers to economic success. That’s why we’re focused on building pathways to economic mobility by addressing issues of workforce development and 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. Through our philanthropic efforts and the power of our employee volunteers, we’re working to create thriving economies and a better future for us all.

Learn more about the Bank of America Charitable Foundation strategy and funding opportunities.

Learn more about volunteerism.

Neighborhood Builders®

As part of our approach to advancing economic mobility, we invest in leadership in the communities we serve in order to give nonprofit leaders the tools and resources to do more. Through our Neighborhood Builders (U.S.) program, we’re developing a pipeline of talented community leaders and equipping them to take on tough issues of poverty and inclusion while advancing cross-sector leadership. In 45 markets across the U.S., we provide $200,000 in flexible funding, leadership development for nonprofit executive directors and emerging leaders, a peer network of leaders and the opportunity to access capital. Since 2004, we’ve invested $200 million, recognizing more than 900 nonprofits and provided nearly 2,000 nonprofit executives with strategic resources to advance their organizations.

Learn more about Neighborhood Builders.

Workforce development

Youth employment
Technology and innovation are accelerating rapid growth and shifting job opportunities and the skills that are needed to support them. We recognize the need to support individuals that are being left behind due to a lack of proper education, workforce training, and opportunities to succeed as well as the need to invest in our future workforce.

In 2016, we announced a $40 million, three-year, commitment to connect 100,000 young people to the skills and employment experiences they need to achieve long-term success. Through our Student Leaders® program, partnerships with mayors around the U.S. and other partners around the world, we are supporting internships, education and workforce training and making investments to advance diverse talent. Examples include:

  • Our Student Leaders program (U.S.) is building youth pathways to success and giving voice to the next generation, who will help develop a more just and inclusive society. We recognize community-minded students from 45 markets across the U.S. by providing them with a paid summer nonprofit internship and the opportunity to participate in a leadership summit in Washington, D.C. Since 2004, we’ve connected more than 2,200 students to employment and service opportunities.
  • Since 2001, we’ve invested $4 million in Year Up, an organization in the U.S. that is closing the Opportunity Divide for young people by connecting them to education and hands-on skills through apprenticeships. We’ve hosted more than 400 Year Up interns within our lines of business and hired 145 Year Up graduates into full-time jobs.
  • In the UK, we are a founding industry partner to Ada, The National College for Digital Skills. Working closely with staff and students, our employees share their knowledge, skills and advice to help with the critical transition from education into sustained employment.
  • We support STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise, in its efforts to educate, inspire and motivate young women in the UK to consider a career in technology. We partnered with ‘Code First: Girls’ in the UK and Ireland. Working with more than 300 students across London, Chester and Dublin, we supported numerous events ranging from coding classes to showcasing the exciting ways STEM is used in the workplace.
  • As founding corporate partner of Sutton Trust’s U.S. Program, since 2014, we’ve helped 186 low-and middle-income students in the UK study at top U.S. colleges and to leverage over $46 million in financial aid. Employees in the UK assist with the U.S. application process and U.S.-based employees support the young people to assimilate into U.S. campus life.
  • In 2016, our Technology & Operations employees in Asia Pacific volunteered to create apps for our partner charities. Thanks to our teammates, Teach for India fellows in remote communities will be able to take and keep electronic student records on their phones, enhancing the way they track students’ progress and performance. The app will be piloted in June in Mumbai and Pune by 100 TFI fellows reaching about 4,000 students, with the aim of expanding the app to seven cities in phases.

Helping connect individuals to meaningful employment, including supporting second chances
We partner with organizations preparing individuals for meaningful employment through access to skills training, credentialing and education—regardless of gender, race, criminal record or disability. We believe in offering people the chance to rebuild their careers and their lives and support social enterprises, other transitional employment and workforce re-entry programs tied to job training and placement for the unemployed, under-employed, formerly incarcerated, and homeless.

  • We partner with REDF to advance employment opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment, including the formerly incarcerated, with funding support of numerous reintegration programs across the U.S., including ROCA, the CARA Program and FareStart.
  • We partner with nonprofits across the U.S. including Homeboy Industries, DC Central Kitchen and Chrysalis that provide education and job training to men, women, and young people who are unemployed, homeless or formerly in gangs. This work helps reduce prisoner recidivism and contributes to the well-being of local communities.

Basic needs

Today, hunger remains a pressing issue facing many individuals and families around the world, with approximately 800 million people struggling to find their next meal. For many, hunger is a symptom of poverty and broader issues that have affected their ability to access and pay for this most basic necessity. We recognize that when needs such as hunger are not met, individuals and families can’t move forward toward longer-term economic success through education, jobs and better money habits. That’s why we’ve formed partnerships with nonprofits around the world leading the fight against hunger, engaged our customers and clients to raise awareness and funds, and connected employee volunteers to meaningful hunger relief opportunities. Examples include:

  • Since 2010, we’ve partnered with World Food Program USA which supports World Food Programme’s humanitarian work around the world. Most recently, we’ve committed $1 million to support the World Food Programme's efforts to address the long-term issues created by the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. This builds upon the bank’s leadership support for the World Food Programme’s humanitarian relief fund. Our funding will support asset building programs which will help refugees become more self-sufficient and contribute to the health of local economies.
  • In 2016, we wrapped up our fifth year partnering with Feeding America on Give a Meal, through which we matched donations to Feeding America, the largest U.S. hunger relief provider, on a 2:1 basis up to $1.5 million. It was our most successful program to date – the first year that we raised over $1M in donations from individuals which resulted in more than 56 million meals for families and individuals in need. Give A Meal offered individuals the opportunity to support local food banks according to zip code, with the bulk of donations directed at the local level.
  • In 2016, Asia Pacific employees launched a two-week regional food drive, collecting 110 tons of food for distribution by our partner food banks. The donations collected provided over 260,000 meals to children and families in need in our communities. Our employees also volunteered to sort, pack and deliver the donations to the beneficiaries.
  • We’ve partnered with the Global Foodbanking Network (GFN) since 2012 to support its work to alleviate hunger in more than 30 countries. Since World Food Day last October, employees in Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, France, South Africa, and London have donated their time and talent to local food banks to help rescue and redistribute food supplies to individuals and families in need.
    • Asia Pacific: In Singapore, volunteers helped distribute food bundles to the community and in Hong Kong our technology employees are providing pro-bono assistance to the local food bank.
    • Europe and Middle East: To mark World Food Day in EMEA, more than 100 employees in Chester, London, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Paris and Dublin gave their time to organise food collections for people in need. This included France’s national food collect day led by “Banque Alimentaire de Paris et d’Ile de France”, a mobilization which is part of the country’s new law to prevent food waste.
    • Latin America: Employees in Mexico have played a critical role in the cross-sector collaboration with the local government, Mexican Hotel Association and Mexico Food Bank Association to scale the fight against hunger.

Community development

We’re focused on economic mobility by addressing community development needs through investments such as affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment. An individual’s zip code should not define their economic well-being, educational attainment and overall health. However, for many individuals, this factor remains a significant challenge as they pursue their financial, educational and employment goals. Economic opportunity begins with the ability to live and work in vibrant communities, with access to safe, decent housing, strong business corridors, and to arts and culture. So, our funding efforts focus on the work of local, national and global nonprofit organizations working together addressing these issues essential to an individual’s economic mobility and the community’s vitality. Examples include:

  • 2016 marked the 30th year of our long-standing partnership with Habitat for Humanity in our shared goal to connect working families to affordable housing in order to build thriving communities. The partnership is multi-faceted, including more than $75 million in philanthropic funding for Habitat for Humanity’s work around the world, with more than $55 million in cash and property donations to Habitat for Humanity International, as well as robust volunteer efforts in local markets and regions. Employees give approximately 35,000 hours of volunteer time annually, supporting Habitat affiliates through board service, home build initiatives and financial literacy training for future homeowners. In our third Global Build held in partnership with Habitat last year, nearly 2,000 employees volunteered their time to build homes and participate in community revitalization projects in 85 communities across eight countries (China/Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Canada, Ireland and the U.S.).
  • For more than 10 years, we’ve partnered with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to support the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, which identifies small businesses in economically distressed communities and helps them build capacity and gain access to the capital they need to thrive in today’s competitive economy. The program has successfully raised more than $1 billion in capital and created nearly 11,000 jobs. With our support, ICCC has identified more than 800 investment-ready companies in 189 inner-city communities and 39 states around the U.S. Our employees make this work possible by volunteering their expertise to coach inner-city business leaders in financial management and leadership, helping them to achieve long-term sustainable growth.

We also help build thriving economies by supporting the growth of diverse businesses through our Supplier Diversity program, which develops relationships with vendors owned by minority, women, veteran and other diverse-owned suppliers. Learn more about how our work with suppliers helps communities in Vendor management.

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