Non-profit

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Location:

Charlotte, NC

Type:

Corporate foundation

President:

Kerry Sullivan

Financials (2018):

Revenue: $123,353,540

Expenses: $169,831,929

Net Assets: $10,495,307

Formation:

1958

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that is funded and operated by Bank of America, Inc. The Foundation is funded by Bank of America annually, receiving over $120 million from the bank in 2018. The foundation engages in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related investing and funding. The ESG approach of Bank of America and Its foundation mean that it allows left-leaning policies to inform its financing and funding decisions.

The foundation lists economic policy and poverty related issues as its main funding areas and administers a large matching gift fund that allows Bank of America employees to make personal donations to charities matched by the company.

Background

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation was Founded in 1958. It is the corporate foundation for Bank of America and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bank of America was originally founded in San Francisco in 1904 as “Bank of Italy” to serve working class individuals, particularly Italian immigrants. The bank has gone through many mergers and acquisitions, and today is the world’s largest wealth management firm after merging with Merrill Lynch in 2009. [1]

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation exists as the philanthropic arm on the global banking giant. The foundation is not to be confused with the donor-advised funds offered by many financial institutions, such as the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, through which individuals can channel personal charitable contributions through one account. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation funded by Bank of America. [2]

Rather than maintaining a large endowment and granting a small percentage of the funds annual like other private foundations, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation receives a large transfer of funds (in recent years around $120 million annually) from Bank of America. [3]

The foundation has several different means through which it funds organizations, the first of which is employee matching gifts, through which the thousands of Bank of America Employees in the US can choose to have the foundation match their gifts to charities. The employee matching fund program allows for each employee to designate up to $5,000 in matching gifts annually.

Additionally, the foundation offers a volunteer donation program that grants $500 annually to charities where Bank of America employees and retirees volunteer. The foundation also makes large five- and six- figure grants annually to non-profit organizations that request funding. [4]

Activity

Grantmaking to non-profit foundations is the most visible and main activity of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The foundation lists economic mobility and poverty issues as its main areas of funding focus for nonprofits. [5]

The foundation accepts grant proposals from 501(c)(3) charities throughout the year. The foundation states it considers all charitable grant proposals but focuses on economic mobility and impoverished communities. The foundation focuses on three main grantmaking areas around economic mobility: Basic needs like hunger and homelessness; wrap-around services like employment, financial coaching, and asset building; and workforce development such as youth employment, alternative job training, job retraining, career transitions, and reentry. [6]

Twice per year, the foundation issues requests for proposals around economic mobility grants. [7]

The foundation states its adherence to an “Environmental, Social, and Governance” investment philosophies. the center-right National Center for Public Policy Research defined ESG-related activity as “a blanket term for left-wing investing/advocating designed to move corporate America further to the Left.” These areas are defined and dominated by special-interest left-wing “stakeholders.” The most notable activities of ESG proponents is in the form of promoting left-leaning shareholder activism and proxy votes designed to push corporate boards further to the left. [8]

Bank of America touts the need for ESG investing across the globe and highlights many of it’s ESG related projects conducted by both it’s foundation and the corporation itself. In 2019, Bank of America committed $100 million to the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, a loan program for female entrepreneurs; in its press release on the partnership, Bank of America stated “ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business.” [9]

Bank of America corporation also issues an annual report on ESG goals, progress, and priorities with affirmative action data from across the company and its board of directors. [10]

References

  1. Frankel, Matthew. “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bank of America”. The Motley Fool. April 26, 2017. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/26/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-bank-of-america.aspx ^
  2. “Find grants & sponsorships”. Bank of America. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/find-grants-sponsorships.html#fbid=BO5LMVm_tn8 ^
  3. “IRS Form 990”. Bank of America Charitable Foundation. 2018. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/200721133/11_2019_prefixes_20-22%2F200721133_201812_990PF_2019112116876006 ^
  4. “Find grants & sponsorships”. Bank of America. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/find-grants-sponsorships.html#fbid=BO5LMVm_tn8 ^
  5. “Bank of America Charitable Foundation: Focus on economic mobility”. Bank of America. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/philanthropy-at-bank-of-america.pdf ^
  6. “Bank of America Charitable Foundation: Economic Mobility Focused on the Needs of Individuals and Families”. The Grant Plant. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://www.thegrantplantnm.com/grant-detail/bank-of-america-charitable-foundation-economic-mobility-focused-on-the-needs-of-individuals-and-families-3/ ^
  7. “FAQs for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation Request for Proposal (RFP) grants”. Bank of America. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/charitable-foundation-grant-faq.html#fbid=BO5LMVm_tn8 ^
  8. Hogberg, David. “The Left’s Next Culture War: Remaking the American Corporation One Board Room at a Time”. Capital Research Center. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-lefts-next-culture-war-part-1/ ^
  9. “Bank of America Makes $100 Million Capital Commitment to Support Women Entrepreneurs With Affordable Loans Through Partnership With Tory Burch Foundation”. Business Wire. March 8, 2019. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190308005096/en/Bank-America-100-Million-Capital-Commitment-Support ^
  10. “2018 Environmental, Social & Governance Performance Data Summary”. Bank of America Corporation. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/Bank-of-America-2018-ESG-Performance-Data-Summary.pdf ^
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Bank of America Charitable Foundation


Charlotte, NC