By supporting BCF’s COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, BCF fundholders supported the Pratt Library’s distribution of hotspots and devices to ensure students could learn at a distance.

Donor-Advised Funds Make a Difference

By supporting BCF’s COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, BCF fundholders supported the Pratt Library’s distribution of hotspots and devices to ensure students could learn at a distance.

In 2020, just as the pandemic itself was like nothing we had experienced before, so too was the giving it inspired. From March – June alone, donor-advised fundholders granted $4.6 million – nearly four times more than the same period the previous year. We were humbled, but not surprised, by the outpouring of support. BCF fundholders have consistently shown that they are generous and in touch with the challenges facing our region.

Many donors gave immediately to BCF’s COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, which provided critical support to organizations on the front lines of the crisis. COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund grants addressed basic needs, helped disseminate credible information, provided remote learning support, and more. Aside from BCF’s COVID-19 Fund, emergency food assistance and shelter were among the top concerns for fundholders, with The Maryland Food Bank, House of Ruth, and The United Way of Central Maryland receiving significant numbers of grants from donor-advised funds. Donor-advised fundholders also answered the call from arts organizations that lost event revenue, including the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Center Stage, and Walters Art Gallery. As students struggled to learn at a distance, our fundholders supported the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s distributions of hotspots and digital devices, and the Fund for Educational Excellence as they pressed for passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to address systemic educational inequities. Finally, as COVID-19 showed us how interconnected our world is, many fundholders gave to international organizations, including the International Rescue Committee and Doctors Without Borders. By the end of the year, BCF fundholders had sped more than $16.4 million to more than 1,500 organizations and 30 new funds had been opened. As of December 31, 2020, BCF is home to 868 funds and is honored to work with a wide range of donors building a better Baltimore – and beyond.

BCF's COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund was the first stop for many donors and ultimately distributed $2.3+ million to 100+ organizations.
As unemployment and food insecurity became widespread, fundholders made grants to the Maryland Food Bank and other basic needs providers.
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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:

OPTION 1

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.

OPTION 2

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

J.D., CAP®,AEP®

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