- Assets: $4,083,376 (2014)
- Grants Received: $162,324,875 (2014)
- Grants Awarded: $175,729,430 (2014)
The Bank of America Foundation (BAF) was established in 1958 under the name NationsBank Foundation. Its current name was adopted in 1998 following the merger of NationsBank Corporation and BankAmerica Corporation. BAF recently integrated the former FleetBoston Financial Foundation into its fold. The Chairwoman of BAF is Janet Lamkin, the President is Lynn Drury, and the Executive Director is Jefferson Morgan.
BAF targets its philanthropy toward nonprofit institutions and groups that operate in the geographic areas where the Bank of America conducts business; this encompasses 21 states and Washington, DC. BAF identifies its primary areas of focus as “early childhood, professional development for teachers, and consumer education.”
BAF’s signature program is its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, which sponsors internships, workshops, and training programs designed to develop young activists “who are committed to making a difference in their communities.” It also teaches principles of “strategic thinking, business planning, leadership development and succession planning, long-term business growth and building a diverse funding base.” In 2005, the Foundation made grants totaling $15.5 million through this program.
BAF also administers a Matching Gifts Program, which encourages associates to contribute money to qualifying nonprofit organizations of their choice. Dollar for dollar, the Foundation matches up to $5,000 per person each calendar year. This program does not cover donations made to religious, athletic, political, or fraternal organizations.
The Foundation’s Volunteer Grants Program directs money to any eligible nonprofit organization for which an associate has committed substantial volunteer hours within a calendar year. For 50 hours of volunteer time within a calendar year, BAF gives a $250 grant. For 100 hours of volunteer time, the grant is $500.
BAF is rated by the Capital Research Center, which was established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, as a “Radical Left” foundation. It funds a host of leftwing minority, feminist, gay, environmental, animal rights, and illegal-immigrant advocacy groups. Among the recipients of recent BAF grants are: the American Friends Service Committee; Amnesty International; the Brookings Institution; the Carter Center; the Center for Community Change; the Children’s Defense Fund; the Council on Foundations; Defenders of Wildlife; EarthJustice; Earth Share; the Environmental Defense Fund; Friends of the Earth; Global Green; the Humane Society (a radical animal-rights group – not to be confused with the American Humane Association, a bona fide animal welfare group from which the former split off in 1954); the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the National Wildlife Federation; the Nature Conservancy; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; Planned Parenthood; Rainforest Alliance; Trust for Public Land; the University of Southern California – Mexican-American Alumni Association; the Urban League; the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation; the World Resources Institute; and the World Wildlife Fund.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Bank of America Foundation, click here.