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Charitable Investments FAQs
Select from the category tabs below to find the information you're looking for. If you don't find the answer you're looking for please use the search feature or contact us.
The following are not eligible for a Charitable Investment from Bank of the West:
- Organizations without 501(c)(3) status
- Fraternal or alumni organizations
- Political Action Committees, political candidates, causes or organizations attempting to influence legislation
- Capital campaigns
- Trips or tours for individuals and groups
- Talent and beauty contests
Bank of the West places high priority on grants that benefit low- to moderate-income individuals and communities.
A low-income individual is defined as earning less than 50 percent of the area median income while a low-income geography is one where the median family income is less than 50 percent of the area median income. Similarly, a moderate-income individual is defined as earning less than 80 percent of the area median income while a moderate-income geography is one where the median family income is less than 80 percent of the area median income.
Low- to moderate-income geographies may also include enterprise or community reinvestment zones, designated disaster areas or underserved non-metropolitan middle-income geographies.
For census and income information of a specific address visit the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC) Web Site at: http://www.ffiec.gov/geocode/default.aspx.
Bank of the West encourages nonprofit applicants to submit for a letter of inquiry only once per year.
Bank of the West’s charitable investments are generally limited to public, nonprofit charitable organizations and agencies that are exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations serving low- to moderate-income individuals and communities with a prior funding history from Bank of the West may apply for a grant by invitation only.
Recipient nonprofit organizations must demonstrate fiscal and administrative stability. Bank of the West prefers this be demonstrated with the previous year’s audited financial statements. The most recent Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990) may also be submitted.
In an effort to support as many nonprofits throughout the communities we serve, Bank of the West grants modest-sized Charitable Investments to qualifying organizations.
Bank of the West's Charitable Investments are limited to public, nonprofit charitable organizations and agencies that are exempt from federal taxes under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. High priority is placed on grants that benefit low- to moderate-income individuals and communities.
Recipient nonprofit organizations must:
- Serve our geographic areas
- Fit within our charitable giving categories
- Operate as an equal opportunity employer
- Be governed by a board of directors
- Demonstrate fiscal and administrative stability
Bank of the West accepts letters of inquiry for charitable investments from nonprofit organizations that qualify under the following charitable giving categories:
Education and Job Training
- Financial education and management training programs
- Job training and vocational programs, including literacy and basic-skills education, for low- to moderate-income adults
Community and Economic Development
- Creation, preservation or rehabilitation of affordable housing
- Homeownership and credit counseling programs for low- to moderate-income individuals
- Financing services and technical assistance programs for small businesses and farms
- Asset creation and preservation programs for low- to moderate-income individuals
If your program is selected for future consideration, you will be contacted to complete a full on-line grant application.
Bank of the West actively grants Charitable Investments in communities throughout the 19 states we serve. For a complete list of states and counties, click here.
Bank of the West understands that some nonprofit applicants may not have electronic copies of their W-9, board of directors or recent financial statements.
As a one-time courtesy, we will email you electronic versions of these documents. Simply fax the hard copy of the documents you require electronic versions of to 866-352-5521 along with a cover sheet stating:
- Nonprofit organization
- Your name
- Phone number
- Email address
- List of faxed documents
Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification is the IRS form used to request your taxpayer identification number. By submitting a W-9, you are certifying that the tax id number you are providing is correct and accurate.
You can obtain a blank W-9 form at http://www.irs.gov/
Bank of the West accepts Charitable Investment letters of inquiry for program support and event sponsorships year-round.
For contact information, please visit our Commitment to Community page: