ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 6, 2011) — Today, United Way honored Bank of America with two Summit awards to recognize the company and its employees’ exceptional commitment to improving the financial stability of working individuals, families and communities.
“Bank of America has demonstrated true leadership in improving financial stability,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Whether by stepping up as the first financial institution to nationally support United Way’s financial stability work, providing millions in grants to assist lower-income working families, or volunteering more than one million hours last year, the bank and its employees’ commitment to individuals, families and communities is clear.”
Bank of America has invested more than $450 million with United Way since 1999, taking a leadership role as the largest financial institution supporter for more than 10 years. The bank was the first financial institution to nationally support United Way’s Financial Stability Partnership through $4.5 million in grants in addition to hundreds of employee volunteers, providing free tax preparation and filing assistance as well as helping lower-income working families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other credits, resulting in 1.5 million free tax returns prepared and $2 billion in total tax refunds. Research conducted by the Brookings Institution shows that EITC dollars stimulate state and local economies through a “multiplier” effect. Every $1 in returned taxes to taxpayers generates $1.50 locally, plus more than half of the refunds received last year were used to pay bills and cover other basic or emergency needs.
The bank is also the national founding partner of United Way’s one-stop centers which bring a range of social services under one roof to increase people’s economic self-sufficiency. Services include workforce development/career training and financial and savings coaching. This is a portion of the $200 million that the Bank of America Charitable Foundation invests annually to strengthen the economic and social health of the communities it serves.
In 2010, bank employees donated more than $25 million to basic human services supported by United Way, plus more than half of the bank’s more than one million volunteer hours addressed critical issues of community development, health and human services and financial education. By combining the power of employees’ volunteer time and expertise with their strategic philanthropic investments, Bank of America is extending the impact of its contributions to communities and the country.
The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, now in its 24th year, is United Way’s highest national honor for a corporation, recognizing the United Way Global Corporate Leadership company with the most comprehensive commitment to improving lives and strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers, labor representatives and local United Ways.