Bank of America Community Economic Development Initiative GrantsOrganizations We Fund Legal Aid Programs Donate Now What We Do
In the Summer of 2014, Bank of America (BOA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) came to a $16.65 billion settlement agreement whereby BOA agreed to resolve federal and state claims against BOA and its former and current subsidiaries, including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch. As part of the settlement, BOA agreed to make donations to state-based Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) organizations that provide funds to legal aid organizations.
Funds were allocated to each state based upon the federal poverty census data and a formula used by the Legal Services Corporation.
- The Foundation distributed $1.395 million in BOA funds in January 2016 that have been utilized to provide foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment assistance. The Foundation distributed an additional $1M in March 2017 that is being utilized to provide community redevelopment assistance.
- The Foundation distributed $6.371 million in BOA funds in 2018 to 26 legal aid organizations for specific projects. Project examples include holistic assistance to immigrants who are victims of domestic violence, facilitating veteran entrepreneurship, and creation of a medical legal partnership in a rural community.
Grant funding is allocated each September. The minimum grant award is $25,000.
Grants are awarded in December. The grant funding period is January 1 – December 31.
Any organization that wishes to apply for grant funding from the Foundation must to register at https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=fbf
The settlement agreement and donation terms restrict the allowable grantees to IOLTA funded legal aid organizations in Florida. All BOA funds are to be used for foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment legal assistance. Qualified grant applicants must:
- Be non-profit entities, tax-exempt and qualified to receive charitable donations within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code;
- Operate within the state of Florida;
- Have an audit mechanism that provides accountability of Foundation funds;
- Agree to satisfy all of the Foundation’s reporting requirements, including the submission of audited financial statements;
- Have a primary purpose of providing legal services to low-income Floridians; or a primary purpose that advances the administration of justice in Florida
Additional eligibility requirements are included in the application.
The Foundation received an initial donation of $1.395 million in 2015. In 2016, the Foundation received an additional $23 million in BOA funds. Funds were utilized over a period of approximately 3-4 years and followed administrative processes developed and determined by Foundation staff consistent with the Foundation’s grantmaking policies.
This grant is funded by the Foundation on an annual basis in accordance with the Foundation’s grant allocation for the corresponding year which may be culled from all available sources including existing reserves, restricted donations, Endowment contributions, unspent or returned funds, past investment earnings and other funds which may become available.