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. Today we are one of the top corporate cash donors among U.S. companies, contributing more than $281 million in 2015 to 16,300 nonprofits focused on community development, affordable housing, education, disaster relief, financial education, clean technology, job training, and other critical social, economic, and environmental challenges in our communities and 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:
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 $278 million in down payment assistance and homebuyer education during the past 4 years (2012 to 2015) to help more than 10,725 people and families in 39 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 2015, we donated a total of $1.4 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. We support members of the military, veterans, and their families who may be facing financial hardships through nonprofit grants, jobs assistance, financial education, and home donations to wounded veterans. Over the last 3 years (2012 to 2015) we contributed more than $68.5 million to support military and veterans, including $19.5 million in nonprofit grants, and more than 300 home donations to wounded veterans valued at more than $49 million.
Financial education is key to economic self-sufficiency and financial success. We’re engaged in a wide-range of philanthropic initiatives with national and local nonprofits focused on bringing tools and resources to individuals and small businesses to help them manage their daily financial lives, improve credit, and build assets. During 2015, 3,137 team members delivered Hands on Banking® workshops to 165,700 individuals and families during the American Bankers Association’s (ABA's) “Teach Children to Save” and “Get Smart About Credit” campaigns.
During 2015, we donated $80.1 million to 7,400 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 2015, we contributed more than $7 million across 7 organizations that provide access to higher education:
- American Indian Graduate Center
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Point Foundation
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- United Negro College Fund
- Military Veterans’ program through Scholarship America
We donated $12.3 million in grants in 2015 to more than 472 environmental nonprofits, universities, and other organizations focused on environmental projects and innovative clean technologies. We provide the majority of our environmental grants through our Environmental Solutions for Communities and the Clean Technology and Innovation program.
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 2015, more than 76,500 team members volunteered 1.8 million hours in their communities with more than 40,000 organizations.
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. More than 40,000 team members actively participate in one of Wells Fargo’s 130 volunteer chapters in 43 states and 10 countries. 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.
- 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 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has invested more than $170 million and mobilized more than 4.7 million volunteer hours to help build or rehabilitate nearly 6,600 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. During our 2015 Community Support Campaign, team members pledged $69.7 million to 30,000 nonprofits and volunteered 300,000 hours during the month of September alone. When campaign dollars are combined with contributions made throughout the year, team members donated a company record of more than $98.8 million to their communities in 2015.
Learn more about our community engagement and volunteer programs in our 2015 Impact Report (PDF).
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.