Staff Report

To support communities amid the pandemic, Bank of America awarded a total of $842,000 to 25 local nonprofits across Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in 2020, with a focus on alleviating the unprecedented impacts to basic needs, affordable and accessible housing and jobs.

Bank of America also donated 420,000 personal protective equipment masks to the region’s essential agricultural workers, including 400,000 to Santa Barbara and Ventura county farmworkers as part of a collaboration with California’s Department of Emergency Services to distribute 1 million masks throughout the state.

These philanthropic investments include work with United Way of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Food Share of Ventura County, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, and Women’s Economic Ventures.

“While all of us have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, the nonprofit sector continues to experience unprecedented demand for critical services to support vulnerable populations such as seniors and communities of color who are disproportionately impacted,” said Midge Campbell-Thomas, Ventura and Santa Barbara market president, Bank of America.

“As a major company and employer, Bank of America recognizes the responsibility we have to support our local communities however we can,” she said. “By directing philanthropic capital locally, we can address the most immediate needs while helping our most vulnerable communities become more resilient and positioned for success moving forward.”

Beyond grants and donations, local bank employees also found ways to give back through virtual volunteerism, dedicating 20,000 hours to local causes and projects of their choice with the support of the company’s longstanding policy to grant each employee two hours of paid time off per week.

As an essential business, Bank of America also invested in the health and economic stability of its own employees in 2020 by raising its minimum hourly pay to $20 and expanding family benefits, including increasing childcare reimbursement to $100 per day, providing meal subsidies, and giving supplemental bonus pay to essential workers serving the daily banking needs of clients.