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United Way of America Names Bank of America as 13th Annual Spirit of America Award Winner

Published 04-12-00

Submitted by Bank of America Corporation

United Way of America has awarded its 13th annual Spirit of America Award - its highest national honor for corporate community involvement - to Bank of America.

Bank of America excelled in all four categories in which competing companies are judged - Corporate Contributions, Employee Campaign, Major Gifts, and Volunteer Programs.

"Bank of America has shown what a company can do with a top to bottom commitment to community involvement," said UWA President and CEO Betty S. Beene. "Bank of America has applied solid business practices to raising resources and motivating volunteers to help thousands of nonprofit organizations which build stronger communities for all of us."

"This is an honor for Bank of America and we are very proud to receive such a high commendation from the United Way," said Kenneth D. Lewis, president and chief operating officer of Bank of America. "Each year, we look to our United Way campaign to help bring our associates together with a common goal of making a real difference in the communities we serve. This award is a testament to our associates' hard work and dedication to helping others," he said.

The Bank of America Foundation contributed $13.6 million to local United Way organizations. In its largest commitment ever, the Foundation announced a $50 million contribution, payable over five years to Success By 6®, a United Way early childhood initiative that helps prepare children for school by advocating literacy, early immunization, health care, and parental skills training.

Overall in 1999, the Bank of America Foundation contributed $94.7 million to more than 6,000 nonprofit groups across the country in the fields of education, health and human services, community development, and arts and culture. The 1999 total marked a $3.2 million increase over the combined $91.5 million contributions by the Bank of America and NationsBank in 1998, the last year before their merger.

Bank of America associates contributed $23 million to United Way in 1999 - 10% over goal, including an increase in per capita donations. Bank of America used a sophisticated marketing plan involving executive management, training of 12,000 team leaders, direct mail, weekly progress reports, and a unique Giving Guide which established targeted contributions for each salary level.

The Team Bank of America Volunteer Network serves associates in 26 states and 24 countries. The company promotes volunteer opportunities widely to employees and retirees. In 1999, Bank of America associates dedicated more than 600,000 hours to more than 2,000 volunteer projects. More than 1,900 senior executives served on the boards of directors of non-profit and for-profit organizations.

During United Ways' 1999 Day of Caring events, more than 1,900 Bank of America associates contributed more than 12,500 hours to more than 60 schools and agencies in 25 locations in 15 states. Bank of America actively supports United Way's "Loaned Executive" program; in 1999, it loaned 38 executives to local United Way organizations.

In addition to the Spirit of America Award, United Way presented Summit Awards to companies that have achieved distinction in specific categories by activities above and beyond the ordinary. This year's Summit Awards go to:

Chase Manhattan for Corporate Contributions, Employee Campaign, and Major Gifts.

United Parcel Service for Corporate Contributions and Volunteer Programs.

Holland and Knight, one of the 10 largest U.S. law firms, for Corporate Contributions.
Spirit of America and Summit Award winners are judged on detailed criteria by a panel of past winners and United Way National Corporate Leadership members who have not entered the competition, United Way labor liaisons, and individual United Way organizations.

UWA's National Corporate Leadership program works with over 130 major corporations and 1,400 United Way organizations to strengthen corporate involvement in communities. Typical NCL companies have more than 10,000 employees and annual corporate and employee contributions of more than $1,000,000. A total of 155 NCL companies contribute over $800 million to United Ways.

United Way of America is the national service organization providing training, resources, and technical assistance to 1,400 member United Ways. Together they raised $3.58 billion in their 1998-99 campaigns, supporting over 44,000 agencies delivering programs and services to millions of people during critical times of need.

(This news release was originally issued by United Way of America.)

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