Bank of America has announced Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine as a Neighborhood Champion, a recognition that includes both grant funding and leadership training. The Neighborhood Champions program supports the role strong nonprofit leaders play in advancing economic mobility and is an extension of the company’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Alongside Maine, Bank of America will bring the program to over 40 additional communities across the U.S. this fall as part of its commitment to investing in the long-term health of communities.

As part of the program, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector. Bank of America has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine for many years, including through its charitable foundation, employee volunteerism and the Bank of America Student Leaders Program.

The selection of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine as a 2020 Neighborhood Champion can be traced to the motto of the Student Leaders program: Serve, Inspire, Change. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has exemplified this motto, ensuring its services remain uninterrupted by adjusting programming to a virtual platform and expanding its child and adult food care program.

“As we consider many of the challenges that our communities are 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 Champions program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” said Bill Williamson, Maine market president for Bank of America. “This program enables partners like Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helps Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine make even greater strides in developing healthy and civically engaged youth.”

The Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits who are poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee. Examples of the topics for the virtual leadership training awarded include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

“Having the flexibility in funding to train staff, enhance technology, and grow our virtual platform will allow us to continue to offer high quality programming both inside and outside of Club walls. This award will help ensure Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine’s sustainability as a steadfast resource for the members and families in our communities who need us most during an unpredictable and uncertain time,” said Brian Elowe, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.

Since the program’s inception last year, Bank of America has invested $4.2 million in 84 organizations within 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program. The Neighborhood Champions program in Maine will strengthen the bank’s commitment to advancing economic mobility and nonprofit leadership.