Bank of America providing $400K in grants to two Baltimore nonprofits

Baltimore, MD. December 11, 2020

(From the Baltimore Business Journal)

Two Baltimore nonprofit organizations will receive a combined $400,000 in grants from Bank of America at a time when organizations need every dollar they can get.

The Charlotte-based financial giant selected NPower and Baltimore Community Lending as recipients of $200,000 grants through its Neighborhood Builders program. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) selected the organizations for their work in the Baltimore community addressing issues related to economic mobility.

NPower is a New York-based nonprofit that helps military veterans and young adults in underserved communities launch digital careers. The organization has been working in Baltimore’s east and west sides. Baltimore Community Lending, a community development financial institution, provides loans to small real estate developers and small business owners to support revitalization of underserved Baltimore neighborhoods.

Both organizations have continued to operate during the pandemic.

“NPower and Baltimore Community Lending are critical pillars of our community, helping to advance economic mobility and community sustainability for those in Baltimore that need it most,” Sabina Kelly, Greater Maryland market president for Bank of America, said in a statement.

In addition to the grants, each organization will also receive a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, access to a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.

Bank of America is the largest bank in Greater Baltimore with more than $28.6 billion in local deposits as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The company has invested more than $260 million in 50 communities through its Neighborhood Builders program since 2004, and partnered with more than 1,300 nonprofits.

In Baltimore, Bank of America has partnered with 27 nonprofits through its invitation-only program, providing $5.4 million in funding.

“As we consider the many challenges our community is facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Builders program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” Kelly said.

Executives from NPower and Baltimore Community Lending expressed gratitude for the grants. Kendra Parlack, executive director for NPower Maryland, said in a statement the award will catalyze the organization’s efforts to train and launch careers in technology for more underserved youths and expand programs for military veterans.

“We are grateful for this generous gift, enabling leadership training for our staff — and most importantly, the connection to other organizations in the Neighborhood Builder family across the nation,” Parlock said.

Watchen Bruce, president and CEO of Baltimore Community Lending, said the grant will help the organization scale up its small business lending program.

“This grant means a lot for Baltimore Community Lending because we provide small-to-midsize capital solutions leading to a more diverse and economically balanced Baltimore,” Bruce said. “Through our small business loan fund, our innovative loan program is designed around the primary barriers to credit for small businesses in Baltimore City — especially those that are minority and women owned.”

The latest grants from Bank of America come as the company makes a push to address systemic racism issues in the light of a larger movement sparked by George Floyd’s death earlier this year at the hands of Minneapolis police. Bank of America made a four-year, $1 billion commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.

Last month Bank of America announced it will provide Morgan State University with $1 million as part of a joint effort to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to enter the workforce.