Donor-Advised Funds Make a Difference
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.