Jaryd

Letter to Bank of America Corporation

In Philanthropy on March 3, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I am going to try something new. I am drafting a letter the Bank of America officials – such as Kenneth D. Lewis (the Chairman, CEO and President) – and would love some helping ironing out clarity issues and any errors via Teach a Man to Fish rather than by individual emails. If you’d like to offer some changes, you can leave them in the comments or send me an email.

Thanks for the help!

Sunday, March 2, 2008
Kenneth D. Lewis
Chairman, CEO, and President
Bank of America Corporation
100 N. Tryon St., Bank of America Corporate Center
Charlotte, NC 28255

“We believe, very simply, that it is the actions of individuals working together that build strong communities … and that business has an obligation to support those actions in the communities it serves.”
– Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman and CEO

Mr. Lewis,

My name is Jaryd Madlena, I am a student at Whitworth University, and I am writing to you to propose a new customer service based entirely on your company’s wonderful philosophy. We all know that change can be a long and difficult process, and sometimes it can be as simple as enabling others to do work together. This is why I would like to propose a new customer service called Change for Change. It is based on your innovative Keep the Change program, and requires little alteration to achieve a greater end. Let me explain how this program will work:

1. Bank of America customer buys something.
2. The charge to their checking account is rounded up to to the nearest dollar.
3. The percentage of the difference – chosen upon enrollment in the Change for Change program – is donated to a philanthropic organization of their choice, and the rest is put in their savings account.

For example: A customer buys a cup of coffee for $3.25. The charge to their checking is rounded up to $4.00. 25% of that $.75 (the percent they chose when enrolling) is donated to World Vision, Inc. (the organization chosen). So, $.19 is donated to World Vision, Inc and $.81 is moved into their savings account.

Change for Change is a pertinent example of Bank of America’s philosophy of giving. It would perfectly demonstrate Bank of America’s ideology that it is up to individuals to build a strong community, and it is your job to support them in that endeavor. I think Change for Change would be the most ideal way in which you could bring about real change in local and global communities.

Sincerely yours,

Jaryd Madlena

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  1. Jaryd,

    This is an absolutely amazing idea. Your letter sounds great; and you’ve done a hell of a job cornering a CEO of a company with his own quote.

    I think you need to call up Bank of America though, and find out if there is a program like this in place. I know when I signed up for my account here in Maryland, they gave me a list of organizations that money would be donated to, I believe in a similar fashion to how you’re system works. The difference may be that right now BoA is matching my funds and sending only the matched part to the organization. Regardless, for some reason I they asked me this, and I put down Habitat for Humanity or World Vision (I forget which were my options).

    Once you resolve that issue – whether or not such program or a program similar to it – exists, I believe you’re good to go.

    You’re doing a wonderful thing, Jaryd. Keep it up.

  2. Hi, your idea sounds great!!!

    Just to understand, in the example given, how did you arrive at $0.81?

  3. Sachin – You are right, I goofed up on the math on that part. It should be $.56 ($.75 – .19 = $.56). Thanks for catching that! I will change that accordingly. And I think that whole paragraph needs clarification already.

    Paul – I could do that. I was going to call anyways, to see I could get an address specifically for Mr. Lewis. And I agree, using the quote ‘against’ him is a good way to kind of put a little pressure on him. Even though minimal pressure it may be.

  4. Minimal pressure is good. He needs to realize what he said, but shouldn’t feel forced to do something because of it.

  5. Jaryd, when you first ran this idea past me several weeks ago you know how much I loved it. I’m very glad that you are going ahead with it and I think it is a great way to get many people giving to a good cause. Have you heard back from Ken Casey about this? Keep up the good work.

    Dad.

  6. Jaryd,
    You’re letter sounds great. I’m so proud of you. You have such great ideas and better yet, you act on them. Can’t wait to see you this weekend. Love you,
    Mom

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