Bank of America Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation seeks to “address critical issues facing our neighborhoods and communities,” including support of community-based K-12 education programs in specific cities and regions throughout the United States where the bank does business. 

IP TAKE: Bank of America aims to fund "high impact" and "visionary" work. Grantseeking college readiness projects should make sure they can demonstrate a dedication to preparing young people for the 21st-century workforce. 

PROFILE:  The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the international bank, works with “clients and communities to further economic and social progress around the world.” It broadly funds projects and organizations with an interest in Environmental Sustainability, Economic and Social Progress, and Financial Health.

For education grantmaking, Bank of America prioritizes initiatives that ultimately increase high school graduation and college matriculation rates with the goal being a finance-savvy generation ready to enter the workforce. It supports "opportunities that help students move from high school to post-secondary success (including at the community college level)." Formally, this objective falls under the foundation's giving in the area of Workforce Development and Education, which looks to "put individuals, including young people on a path to success" in the face of rising poverty and "youth unemployment." More specifically, the foundation is especially concerned with “[c]onnecting young people to skills and educational opportunities with an emphasis on those who are facing unprecedented challenges obtaining to employment and work experience.” The foundation's website states that it does not give money to individual schools, but some of its recent granting runs contrary to that claim; more likely, the foundation prefers community organizations to individual schools, but not exclusively.

More information on Bank of America's giving can be found by reading its annual Corporate Social Responsibility reports. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s RFPs are announced on its website, including submission deadlines and a link to an online application portal.

The foundation generally limits its grantmaking to certain U.S. cities and regions—found on this list—but recent grants have also funded organizations outside these regions, so be sure to check the foundation’s website for updates.

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