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BofA Announces $10 Million Partnership with Charity Co-Founded by Former Santa Monica Mayor

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

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Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

January 24, 2014 -- Bank of America announced a $10 million partnership with (RED), the organization founded by U2 frontman Bono and former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver to raise money to fight AIDS worldwide.

Bank of America will donate a dollar every time someone downloads the U2’s new song “Invisible” for free from iTunes 24 hours after the video for the song -- filmed in Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar -- debuts on Super Bowl Sunday.

And, Bank of America will match all individual donations -- up to $2 million -- made through (RED) to the Global Fund before December 31, 2015.

“Thousands and thousands of people including many children will remain alive because of this,” Shriver said Thursday. “It’s a great, great day.”

Bank of America is one of two dozen corporate partners -- including Apple, Starbucks and Coca-Cola -- who offer (RED) products. And, when those products are sold, as much as half the proceeds from the sales goes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Working out of his Santa Monica home, Shriver -- who is currently running for a seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisor -- and Bono started (RED) in 2004.

Since then, the “cause-related marketing” organization has generated $250 million -- including Bank of America’s donation -- for the Global Fund, making it “the largest business initiative supporting the” organization, according to the Global Fund’s website.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is another major donor to the Global Fund, having contributed or pledged a total of $1.4 billion over the years.

The money generated by private foundations and initiatives like (RED) dwarfs contributions by some governments around the world, including China, whose average annual pledge to the Global Fund is about $5 million.

Shriver said that the idea for (RED) came out of how the Global Fund was founded.

(RED) was a “response to the Global Fund being sold as a public-private partnership to Congress” when it was founded in 2002, he said.

“You boys need to get some private sector money in here because we thought there was going to be private sector money in here,” Shriver recalled then-President George W. Bush’s senior advisor Karl Rove saying.

While governments were donating, Shriver said, private money wasn’t as forthcoming.

Shriver remembered the success he had raising money for the Special Olympics, founded by his mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

In 1987, Shriver worked with Jimmy and Vicki Iovine to produce the first A Very Special Christmas album to raise funds for his mother’s organization.

The record had made “$100 million in 13 years,” Shriver said, which led him to think that something similar could be done for the Global Fund.

For more information about the Global Fund or (RED) and its partnership with Bank of America, visit

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