Portland, Ore. April, 19th, 2013 — The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has just selected Dress for Success Oregon as its annual Neighborhood Builder winner in Portland, an honor that entails a $200,000 unrestricted grant as well as leadership development training to help nonprofit leaders gain valuable skills while applying funding where it is most needed.
Each year in the Portland area, Bank of America honors one local nonprofit with the Neighborhood Builder award — as part of its broader philanthropy commitment — and focuses the Builder nominees on high-performing organizations that have a significant impact in the community within the funding areas of jobs, hunger and housing. By design, the Neighborhood Builder program is a strategic investment that pairs leadership training with the grant, in order to maximize impact and reach.
“Nonprofit organizations provide much-needed services to our local communities but too often they lack the resources and opportunity to invest in their own long-term planning, growth and development,” said Monique Barton, Bank of America’s senior vice president of corporate social responsibility. “By recognizing Dress for Success Oregon as our Neighborhood Builder winner this year, we know they will make an even greater impact and help more women get the resources they need to find a job and establish economic stability
The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, a mentor and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The organization helps low-income women in Portland and southwest Washington specifically build their self-esteem, create a network of support, get a job, transition off of public welfare and make choices that lead them out of poverty, according to Barb Attridge, the organization’s executive director and co-founder.
“We’re honored to receive this generous grant and training from Bank of America, which will help us lay the groundwork for a stable and sustainable organization, while increasing the infrastructure so that we can continue our growth to meet demand,” said Attridge. “Our long-term goal is to build multiple service centers within Oregon and Southwest Washington to serve a broader population and help more low-income women get the training and resources they need to gain and keep employment.”
Last year, Dress for Success Oregon helped 1,450 local, low-income women and, with Bank of America’s grant, the organization hopes to increase this number to at least 1,500 women this year and even more next year.
The $200,000 grant from Bank of America will support Dress for Success Oregon’s growth, infrastructure and program expansion by enabling the organization to hire two new employees, implement a course on personal finance education and increase by 10 percent the number of women served by the organization. The grant will also help establish Dress for Success’ Career Center which will be the organization’s first permanent venue to hold regular educational workshops including financial literacy and job preparation courses.
Information provided by Dress for Success and Bank of America.
About the Builder program
According to the Bridgespan Group, Neighborhood Builders is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development: 2.5 times the next largest program (in spending) and the third largest in number of leaders served. Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $165 million through the program, recognized over 730 nonprofits and trained nearly 1,500 nonprofit leaders. The Neighborhood Builders program is a capstone initiative building on the bank’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low and moderate income communities.
About Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community. For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.
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