Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >

Ascendus and Urban Farming Institute Named Bank of America’s 2023 Neighborhood Builders®

Each Nonprofit Will Receive $200,000 in Flexible Funding and Leadership Training to Advance Economic Mobility in Greater Boston

BOSTON – Bank of America today announced Ascendus and the Urban Farming Institute as the 2023 Neighborhood Builders® awardees for their work advancing economic mobility and building up underserved neighborhoods in Greater Boston. Through this multi-year grant funding and extensive leadership training for the nonprofits’ leadership, programs and services addressing food insecurity and access to capital for businesses in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Builders program is one of the largest philanthropic investments into nonprofit leadership development in the nation, providing comprehensive leadership training for an executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, and the opportunity to join a national network of peer organizations. Each Builder is also awarded a $200,000 grant over two years.

“Nonprofits like the Urban Farming Institute and Ascendus are vital to solving social challenges, improving communities and promoting economic advancement,” said Miceal Chamberlain, president, Bank of America Massachusetts. “Providing these nonprofits with flexible funding and leadership training not only positions them for sustainable, long-term success, but demonstrates our commitment to creating real change in the places where we live and work.”

Ascendus empowers low- to moderate-income business owner through access to capital and financial education. Their clients, predominantly minorities and women, go on to build assets, support their families, revitalize neighborhoods and create jobs. This new grant funding will be used to subsidize interest rates on childcare provider loans, which will allow Ascendus to deploy more capital to Boston’s childcare providers, helping hundreds of children and their families.

“Being a Neighborhood Builder is a badge of honor that we are incredibly proud to receive. Our work in Boston centers on communities who face so many challenges accessing resources that are critical for success. We wouldn’t be able to support these communities without partners like Bank of America. Together we can work to uplift communities and create financial ascension for all.” – Ana Hammock, Chief Lending Officer, Ascendus

The Urban Farming Institute was founded in 2011 by community residents out of a vision for a healthier local food system for Boston’s urban neighborhoods. UFI manages seven farms in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan from its flagship headquarters at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan. Neighborhood Builders funding will help support staffing costs, program expansion and leadership development during a critical period of growth for the organization.

The invitation-only program is highly competitive. Nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees. Nonprofits have been selected as Neighborhood Builders in Greater Boston, with the bank investing into these local nonprofits.

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $300 million in nearly 100 communities across the U.S., partnered with more than 1,600 nonprofits, and helped more than 3,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through the Neighborhood Builders and Champions program.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Reporters May Contact:

Juan Soto, Bank of America

[email protected]


Carla Molina, Bank of America

[email protected]


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