FRESNO & TULARE COUNTIES – Bank of America awarded multiple nonprofits in the Fresno and Visalia areas with various grants throughout 2023, contributing to the company’s goals of creating local impact and promoting economic opportunity.
Nearly $900,000 went to 10 organizations, including five Fresno County-based nonprofits, four Tulare County-based nonprofits and the Central California Food Bank, which serves the broader San Joaquin Valley, according to a Jan. 18 press release from Bank of America. Organizations in Kings, Madera and Merced counties also received grants through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
“The funding came from philanthropic grants, employee matching gifts and sponsorships to help nonprofits remove barriers to economic mobility, specifically through programs addressing housing, food insecurity, health and mental health services and workforce development,” the press release said.
Nonprofits funded in Fresno County included the Marjaree Mason Center, the Poverello House, Habitat for Humanity, Live Again Fresno and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County. In December 2023, Bank of America named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County as its 2023 Neighborhood Champion and provided the clubs with a multi-year grant of $50,000.
Tulare County nonprofits that received grants include the Visalia Emergency Aid Council, Family Services of Tulare County, Self-Help Enterprises and Community Services and Employment Training (CSET). The press release said CSET is using the grant to help fund its youth internship program.
Funding provided to the Central California Food Bank went specifically to the Groceries2Go program, Bank of America said, which is an appointment-based food pickup program that allows families and individuals to access a full box of shelf-stable foods and fresh produce every two weeks.
“Nonprofits understand the needs and obstacles the greater Fresno region faces, uniquely positioning them to develop solutions and services required to promote economic opportunity,” Mark Riley, Bank of America Fresno and Visalia president, said in the release.
“Bank of America will continue to deploy capital and resources to tackle the barriers embedded within our community and create real impact in the lives of the individuals and families we serve.”
Local bank employees also contributed 11,000 hours of volunteer service to area causes in 2023, according to the release. Bank employees assisted with food distributions, provided toys and clothing to children in need and hosted free financial education workshops — in both English and Spanish — as part of the Better Money Habits program.
Bank of America provides grants and volunteer services to organizations that apply to a variety of programs the company organizes. In 2024, local nonprofits can apply for grants through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that looks at two areas of supporting economic mobility.
Organizations that focus on contributing to their community’s economic mobility based on the needs of individuals and families — such as through workforce development and education — can apply between Jan. 22 and Feb. 16.
Organizations that contribute to economic mobility with a focus on the needs of the community — such as through affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization — can apply between May 27 and June 21.
According to the Bank of America website, this RFP process is a refined version of a local grant application, allowing committees composed of local bank officers to award grants based on local needs and allocated budgets. Grant amounts depend on the region’s market and organization size.
Other grant opportunities available to local nonprofits include the Neighborhood Champion and Neighborhood Builder programs, which organizations apply to on an invite-only basis.
Bank of America also has an employee matching program, where the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will match personal donations made by eligible employees to eligible nonprofits.
The guidelines for the program ensure that employees do not receive personal benefits — such as free tickets or promotion — from the donation and that the organization receiving the donation aligns with Bank of America’s philanthropic goals.