We know that our long-term success is directly linked to the success of our customers and the communities we serve. Through a combination of strategic relationships with local and national nonprofits, grants, volunteer activities, and other community investments, we’re creating solutions that help strengthen the communities in which we operate and grow local economies around the world.
We support thousands of national and community-based nonprofits annually to help revitalize and strengthen communities. We are among the top corporate cash donors among U.S. companies, donating $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits in 2016 to support financial education, community development, affordable housing, education, disaster relief, clean technology, job training, environmental education, and other critical social, economic, and environmental challenges around the world.
Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation provide monetary support, expertise, and volunteers to national and local nonprofit organizations and causes that align with our business priorities, values, business expertise, and geographies. We focus our philanthropic activities on creating long-term, strategic relationships with nonprofits and other organizations to create innovative, sustainable solutions to meet local needs. Our team members help us make an even bigger impact through their passion, time, and expertise.
Community outreach and grant programs
We work with a wide range of nonprofits and community organizations to stabilize and strengthen low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, as well as address global social, economic, and environmental challenges. These are just a few of the areas we support through our community outreach and grant programs:
Sustainable homeownership and affordable housing
We work with nonprofits and housing agencies to provide credit counseling, education, and other programs to prevent foreclosures, provide access to safe and affordable housing, and stimulate growth and stability in distressed areas. Through our LIFT programs, we’ve provided more than $327 million in down payment assistance and homebuyer education during the past 5 years (2012 to 2016) to help more than 12,900 people and families in 48 communities buy homes.
In addition, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation creates affordable and sustainable housing for low-to-moderate income people through grants to nonprofit housing organizations and our volunteers who help build, renovate or repair homes for seniors, veterans, and underserved families.
Disaster relief and rebuilding
When catastrophic events affect our customers and communities, we are ready to mobilize and provide resources and hands-on assistance to help them recover and rebuild. Our goal is to help communities regain their footing immediately after disasters and to support long-term rebuilding efforts. In 2016, we donated a total of $1.9 million to the American Red Cross and other community-based nonprofits to aid communities affected by wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and other natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad.
Military and veterans
The transition from military to civilian life can be incredibly difficult for veterans, their families, and those who support them. Since 2012, we’ve contributed $75 million to support members of the military, veterans, and their families who may be facing financial hardships through sustainable housing, career transition programs, financial education, and home donations to wounded veterans. Our contributions include more than 300 home donations, valued at over $50 million, to wounded veterans in all 50 states.
In 2016, we committed $2 million over the next four years to Scholarship America to create the Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship and Wells Fargo Veterans Emergency Grant programs to help veterans and spouses of disabled veterans complete post-secondary education or vocational training and succeed in civilian life.
Financial education and capability
Financial education is key to economic self-sufficiency and financial success. We’re engaged in a wide-range of initiatives with national and local nonprofits focused on bringing tools and resources to individuals and small businesses to help them develop financial capabilities and better manage their finances. During 2016, more than 4,000 team members delivered Hands on Banking® financial education workshops to 206,300 individuals and families during the American Bankers Association’s (ABA's) “Teach Children to Save” and “Get Smart About Credit” campaigns.
During 2016, we donated $80.1 million to educational programs and schools around the U.S.
Higher education is one of the most powerful tools for achieving income mobility. Through long-term, strategic partnerships with diverse national scholarship programs, we seek to empower low-income, first-generation students with undergraduate and graduate degrees and increased financial capabilities.
In 2016, we contributed more than $8 million across 7 organizations that provide access to higher education:
- American Indian Graduate Center
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Point Foundation
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- United Negro College Fund
- Scholarship America funds for Veterans and People with Disabilities
We donated $15.6 million in environmental grants in 2016 to nonprofits, universities, and other organizations that support clean technology, environmental education, and strengthening community resiliency.
Our Clean Technology and Innovation grant program contributed $2 million in 2016 to 40 clean-tech channel partners – universities, business plan competitions, clean-tech accelerators, and other organizations. These nonprofits are developing or nurturing clean, efficient, and innovative solutions to sustainability challenges associated with water and energy use, “green” building, transportation, and agriculture.
Team member volunteering and giving
Our success as a company results from the care and compassion of our team members who bring our culture to life each day. Our team members generously give hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours each year, making their communities stronger for everyone and improving lives. In 2016, more than 82,000 team members volunteered 1.73 million hours in their communities, including 165,400 hours of service on nonprofit boards.
We encourage our team members to get actively involved in the causes they care about, and provide a variety of opportunities to support community engagement and volunteerism.
- Volunteer Chapters. In 2016, Wells Fargo increased participation in volunteer groups by 13 percent from 2015, with 79,800 team members actively participating in Volunteer Chapters, Green Teams, and Team Member Networks (resource groups). These grassroots community involvement networks organize volunteer activities such as building houses and conserving nature to teaching financial education and reading to elementary school children.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Wells Fargo team members volunteered over 1,200 hours in 2016 with over 68 VITA programs in 43 markets, providing free tax assistance and helping low-income families claim tax-credit refunds.
- Reading First®. Since 1999, thousands of team members have participated in Reading First, our interactive read-aloud program designed to support early childhood literacy and increase company volunteerism.
- Volunteer Service Awards. To recognize team members for their service, we award more than $500,000 in grants annually to nonprofits and schools where our team members volunteer.
- Volunteer Leave Program. We provide selected team members with full pay and benefits from 3 days to 4 months, while they volunteer on projects of significant impact at a nonprofit or school of their choice.
- Global Fellows Volunteer program. Each year, 12 team members are selected to participate in Wells Fargo’s Global Fellows Volunteer program. The program, which is part of Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders® initiative, provides volunteer consultants to microfinance- or social-enterprise organizations focused on alleviating poverty in communities outside of the U.S.
- Housing Foundation Team Member Volunteer Program. Since its inception in 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has invested more than $190 million, along with mobilizing 4.7 million team member volunteer hours, to help build or rehabilitate nearly 7,100 homes and counting. Wells Fargo is among the largest provider of volunteers to local and national housing nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and the National Center for Healthy Housing.
Our workplace giving campaign
We also encourage and empower our team members to donate to the organizations and causes that mean the most to them. In 2016, team members pledged $60.7 million to 30,000 nonprofits during the month-long Community Support Campaign. When campaign dollars are combined with contributions made throughout the year, team members donated a total of $98.87 million to their communities in 2016. For the eighth consecutive year, United Way Worldwide named Wells Fargo’s workplace giving campaign No. 1 in the U.S.
Apply for grants
The Wells Fargo Foundation welcomes applications year-round from qualified nonprofits and educational programs. To apply, review our grant guidelines for the areas we serve.
Our custom-designed historical artwork offers lessons in local history and celebrates the diversity of our communities.