Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

Charitable Gift Planning Amid New Policy Proposals 

The Joint Committee on Taxation’s recent report is generating buzz among BCF donors and the professional advisors we partner with – just as year-end giving plans are being formulated. As you prepare for the possibility that some version of this legislation may become law, here are a few considerations:

Take advantage of the AGI limitations suspended by the CARES Act.

The CARES Act may seem like a very long time ago, but it contained helpful incentives for charitable giving. Instead of the usual caps, eligible taxpayers may deduct up to 100% of AGI for cash gifts made directly to qualifying charities in 2021.

Consider planning for more aggressive annual giving.

Households earning $1 million or more in annual income would see their tax rate go from 30.2% to 37.3% on average according to the most recent assessment from the Joint Committee on Taxation. Other tax increases in the proposed legislation include a 3% surtax on income over $5 million and additional tax hits on business owners and business income. High income households may want to consider increasing annual charitable giving, effectively redirecting funds to charity that might otherwise go to taxes.

Dust off that estate plan.

Under current proposals, estate and gift transfers after December 31, 2021 would return to their pre-2017 exemption levels of $5 million (adjusted for inflation), instead of the current inflation-adjusted level of $11.7 million. The increase in taxes may prompt considerations of increasing charitable gifts and bequests to reduce taxable estates. Some good news? As currently proposed, the legislation does not impact the step up in basis for capital gains tax purposes. Bad news? The legislation effectively ends the use of the grantor trust as an estate planning technique because trust assets would be pulled back into the estate at the taxpayer’s death.

The team at BCF is ready to consult on all of these concerns, serving as a resource and sounding board for our donors and all of the professional advisors and attorneys we partner with. For more information contact John Gilpin, Director of Gift Planning at or 410.746.7470.

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Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

We have a nearly 30-year history of offering grants to resident-led groups and community projects in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. These grants give residents the resources they need to accomplish a small project, get more people involved, and encourage the next generation of neighborhood leaders. We also fund programs that support the development of leaders of all ages who are working to improve their neighborhoods and schools. Our support is intended to help identify, activate, inform and network leaders. And finally, we believe when schools and neighborhoods team up to improve their school and community, meaningful and lasting change can be made. We are interested in funding proposals in which the students and adults in schools collaborate intentionally with community residents, neighborhood associations, and other individuals, groups, and institutions in the area surrounding a school.

School Leadership

We believe that attracting and retaining effective and diverse school leaders is a key lever for change in Baltimore's educational landscape, and so we fund school leadership development efforts at the district and individual school level. We are interested in funding proposals that focus on principal coaching, mentoring, peer networking, wellness/self-care, as well as pipelines that identify and develop new leaders. We will also continue to support efforts that build a culture of appreciation and encouragement for school leaders.

How Can We Help?

Melissa McC. Warlow
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program
410-332-4172 x150

Apply for a Grant

Our on-line application system provides applicants with a portal to start a new grant application or to continue updating an application already in process. Please be sure to select the “Save and Finish Later” button when you are finished working on your application in order to save your current session’s work. At any time during the application process you can select the “Contact Us” button in the top right corner of the screen and you will be able to send an email to the Baltimore Community Foundation staff with specific questions. 

To be considered for funding, proposals must be submitted through the online application portal, however, we provide a PDF version of the application along with other useful forms here for your reference:   

When you are ready please select one of the following options:


I have not applied for BCF funding online in the past.
Select this option if you have never used our website to apply for a grant from BCF.


I previously applied for BCF funding online in the past.
Select this option if you have applied for any of BCF’s grants using our website. Your profile may still be in our system and you may login using your account.

Place-based Grantmaking in Selected School Communities

We have allocated funds for two geographical areas that bookend a crucial corridor on the Westside of Baltimore City: Howard Park /Forest Park area (served by Calvin Rodwell Elementary Middle School and Liberty Elementary), and Reservoir Hill/Penn North area (served by Dorothy I Height Elementary). In these three schools and their surrounding neighborhoods, we will support projects and activities designed to make the communities safe, clean, green and vibrant; and improve the quality of the schools. Some projects may be neighborhood-focused, some school-focused and others collaborative projects between the schools and their respective communities.

Early Learning & Judy Centers

High quality early childhood education has a lifelong effect on students. Through our Early Learning grant program, we are interested in system-wide early childhood education proposals that will help Baltimore City and County's youngest learners, and their families, get the start they need. Nonprofit organizations that offer programs and/or services to Judy Centers are encouraged to contact the centers directly to explore partnership opportunities.

How Can We Help?

John A. Gilpin


Director of Planned Gifts
410-332-4171 ext. 132

How Can We Help?

Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation