Bank of America offers $155,000 in grants to Marin’s nonprofits

Bank of America has awarded a total of $155,000 to nine Marin County nonprofits through its Charitable Foundation grant program.

The bank said the charitable donations were part of $700,000 in grants awarded to 25 North Bay nonprofits. The grants will support programs ranging from workforce development and basic needs to neighborhood revitalization and small businesses.

“We’ve been doing business for over 100 years in North Bay,” said Jason Foster, president of Bank of America in North Bay. “We have a long history of partnering with local nonprofits and community leaders to invest in economic opportunity and social progress.”

All nine Marin nonprofits have received grants: 10,000 Degrees, Marin Agricultural Institute (AIM), Canal Alliance, Marin College Foundation, Marin Community Action, Downtown Streets Inc., ExtraFood.org, Homeward Bound of Marin and YWCA Golden Gate.

Foster declined to disclose how much each Marin organization was awarded.

“Generally, we leave it up to nonprofits to disclose their grants at their discretion,” he said.

Andy Naja-Riese, CEO of the Marin Agricultural Institute, said his organization received $30,000. Naja-Riese said this is the first grant AIM has received from Bank of America.

Naja-Riese said AIM will use the money to provide “Bounty Boxes” to families and children in the Canal de San Rafael neighborhood. The bounty boxes are filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses sourced locally from small-scale farmers.

Naja-Riese said the money will allow AIM to provide approximately 840 boxes to children who participate in San Rafael’s Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) program, which provides music education and performance opportunities for most children. and Latino families who live and attend school in the Canal District.

Naja-Riese said AIM began working with ELM in 2020 during the pandemic to provide nutritious food to canal families. Naja-Riese said the Bank of America grant will also help provide “critical economic stimulus to our small family farms in the region.”

Sara Matson, director of development for Canal Alliance, said her organization received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America. The Canal Alliance offers a variety of services to residents living in San Rafael’s predominantly Latino canal neighborhood.

“We’ve had funding from Bank of America pretty consistently for about 25 years,” Matson said. “The amount has increased over the years.”

Matson said Canal Alliance will use the money to support its workforce development program, which includes a construction training program delivered in partnership with the College of Marin and the Marin Builders Association.

“We also offer a 10-week Small Business Development Course in partnership with the Marin Small Business Development Center,” Matson said.

Grants are awarded competitively and any nonprofit organization can apply. There are several Requests for Proposals each year. In 2021, Bank of America awarded $225,000 to nonprofits in Marin through its Charitable Foundation grant program.

Foster said decisions about which organizations receive grants are made by a group of senior leaders within the bank who understand the bank’s giving priorities. He said those priorities typically revolve around food insecurity, homelessness, job fluctuation, language challenges, and anything related to economic mobility or employment.

Foster said Bank of America is also looking to make its charitable donations fair.

“We are acutely aware that there are social justice issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “We are making differentiated investments in communities of color to drive economic mobility.”

System-wide, Bank America made $370 million in philanthropic investments in 2021. Bank Of America’s pretax income for the 12 months ending June 30 was $31.5 billion, a 13% increase year over year.

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