Bank of America Charitable Foundation Philanthropic Strategy

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better. We drive Responsible Growth by focusing on our clients, managing risk well, and making sure our growth is sustainable. To be sustainable, we have to share our success with our communities which includes all we do to drive progress on societal priorities, including those broadly defined in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): poverty, hunger, education, affordable housing, and other key areas.

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. We focus on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in basic needs and workforce development and education and also strengthening broader community vitality by addressing needs related to affordable housing, small business, and neighborhood revitalization. Through our partnerships, we support vulnerable populations, including working families, youth and young adults out of school and work, seniors, individuals living with disabilities, veterans, and those impacted by the criminal justice system – enabling them to move forward toward their goals. We recognize that people and communities of color continue to face significant challenges, and we are working to advance racial equality and economic opportunity throughout many of our partnerships.

Learn more about our charitable funding priorities.

In 2021, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue two requests for proposals (RFPs):

  • Economic Mobility focused on needs of individuals and families
    (workforce development & education and basic needs)
    Applications accepted 1/25/2021 – 2/19/2021

  • Economic Mobility focused on needs of community
    (affordable housing, small business, neighborhood revitalization)
    Applications accepted: 5/31/2021 – 6/25/2021

Apply for a grant

Economic mobility focused on needs of individuals and families

Basic Needs
Coronavirus has had a significant impact on all populations and a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations who have experienced increased unemployment and higher levels of infection. In response, we’re partnering with organizations addressing the economic and social conditions that affect an individual’s health, access to community-based health services, crisis-prevention tied to family stabilization programs, and other poverty related issues.

Examples:

  • Longer term determinants of health – services that improve health outcomes with an emphasis on community-based healthcare, food access, mental health counseling, substance use disorder rehabilitation.

  • Family stabilization – access to crisis prevention programs and wrap services including help with immediate and safe shelter, free or subsidized benefits like internet access, utilities, childcare, transportation, financial assistance and recovery.

  • Services for the homeless – programs that prevent or end homelessness, such as rental assistance, emergency shelter, rapid-rehousing, and permanent supportive housing.

Workforce Development & Education
Employment is a key driver of economic mobility. That’s why we’re focused on building pathways to employment by supporting a range of workforce development and educational opportunities that will help vulnerable individuals and families stabilize and advance.

Examples:

  • Youth employment – high-school completion programs, skills-training (hard and soft skills), first-time employment, internship, apprenticeship, and mentoring, especially for youth and young adults out of school and work.

  • Alternative pathways for adults – job preparedness, training, skill building, college or vocational certification, career counseling, placement, job retention, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

  • Barriers to employment – organizations that focus on comprehensive support services to help people needing additional assistance to overcome extraordinary barriers to employment (i.e. case management for individuals with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, and foster care youth)

  • National service – national service opportunities for people to make a positive impact on their communities while developing professional skills.

Economic mobility focused on the needs of the community

Affordable Housing
The current health and humanitarian crisis has underscored the importance of safe, decent housing for an individual’s overall well-being, including health, educational success and future employment opportunities. That’s why we support the work of organizations working to preserve, and increase access to a mix of affordable housing options.

Examples:

  • Housing development for vulnerable populations through the construction or preservation of affordable single, multi-family, transitional and supportive housing

  • Minority homeownership programs

  • Pathways to stable housing or homeownership through financial stability efforts such as homebuyer education, budgeting, savings, and credit counseling including eviction and foreclosure prevention.

  • Sustainable development efforts creating healthy living environments through energy efficiency upgrades, retrofits, solar and other green building efforts.

Small Business
Small businesses play an important role in the overall health of our nation’s economy. In response to the challenges many small businesses continue to face due to coronavirus, we’re supporting nonprofits that are assisting minority and indigenous entrepreneurs as they focus on short-term needs and build for long-term recovery.

Examples:

  • Technical assistance supporting business planning (short and long term).

  • Operational capacity of CDFIs delivering essential growth capital to entrepreneurs. Supporting organizations assisting minority-owned small businesses.

  • Economic development efforts that promote small business growth and healthy commercial corridors. (e.g. Mainstreet).

Neighborhood Revitalization
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. We support local and regional revitalization efforts, taking a holistic approach to building inclusive communities.

Examples:

  • Revitalization, preservation, and stabilization initiatives that engage community stakeholders in building livable communities for all with focus on environmental health, community safety and economic growth.

  • Transit-oriented development efforts that connect individuals to jobs, services, schools, and economic opportunity.

  • Community arts and cultural institutions that provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities.

  • Resiliency of communities supporting short and long term plans to prepare, withstand and recover from extreme weather events and the long-term impacts of climate change.

  • Environmental efforts through the preservation, creation or restoration of open space, parks and community gardens.