Investing for Impact

BCF launched the Invest for More impact investing program in 2018, committing 4% of the BCF long-term pool to community development programs and projects that yield a financial return alongside social and economic benefits for communities. Since then, we have deployed $4.5 million in loans for affordable housing projects, grocery stores, small-business loans, and more. These offer an expected overall return of 3% alongside substantial, measurable progress in underserved communities. Each year brings exciting new projects and new donors and co-investors who want to be part of building a better Baltimore. Read on to learn about the investing partners that made a difference in 2020.

RBC ACCESS CAPITAL COMMUNITY INVESTMENT FUND

RBC Access Capital Fund has invested in 6 single family residences and 3 affordable rental complexes in Baltimore. Among these is Astor Court, which offers a built-in community for new teachers in the Baltimore City Public School System to ensure success and retention.

BALTIMORE COMMUNITY LENDING (BCL)

BCL provides loans to small developers, nonprofits and businesses who are unable to access traditional bank loans and are committed to working in underserved neighborhoods. In 2020, BCL loans totaled $750,000; 85% of borrowers were people of color and 45% were women.

REINVESTMENT FUND

In 2020, Reinvestment Fund invested $15.6 million in high-impact projects that preserved, renovated and/or created new residential, commercial, community and school spaces in Baltimore. The Fund also lent $2.2 million to small businesses and supported their efforts to access loans via the Paycheck Protection Program.

ARCTARIS IMPACT FUND

In 2020, Arctaris committed $25 million to extend capital to growing companies in underserved communities. Investments will be geographically aligned with the City of Baltimore’s strategic priorities to accelerate community revitalization efforts in Central West Baltimore, Central East Baltimore, Northwest Baltimore and Southwest Baltimore.

IRC-CEO

The IRC-CEO (International Rescue Committee — Center for Economic Opportunity) specializes in making micro-loans to immigrants, refugees and other low-credit/credit-thin borrowers. Loans are made via trusted community organizations and offered in tandem with trainings that teach borrowers how to build assets, capitalize on opportunities and transition into the financial mainstream.

HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOODS (HNI)

HNI deploys Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative (BRNI) and Project CORE grants from the state to complete community enhancement projects in middle-market neighborhoods where investments are needed to attract new residents and businesses confidently. In 2020, BCF’s investment supported planning for the revitalization of German Park in Reservoir Hill.

AHC OF GREATER BALTIMORE

AHC of Greater Baltimore has developed or preserved 9 low-income apartment communities, including senior properties and the multi-phase revitalization of a massive 62-acre public housing community in Baltimore’s southeast side. In 2020, they finalized plans for the renovation of Poe Homes, the city’s oldest public housing complex.

REBUILD METRO

Rebuild Metro works with residents and community-led organizations in East Baltimore to revitalize homes, commercial spaces and community spaces without displacing people. To date, the group has renovated more than 200 vacant homes and raised $7.5 million to further fulfill residents’ vision for the neighborhood’s future without displacement and gentrification.

New Donor-Advised Funds for Impact Investments Launch

Prior to 2020, donors had two options for involvement in the Invest for More program: donate to the Invest for More Fund, or invest in the BCF Impact Pool via a donor-advised fund. Now, we’re proud to offer another option—a donor-advised fund specifically designed for co-investing with BCF. With our experienced Investment Committee, we have developed a fund and program that allow donors to make charitable contributions to a donor advised fund and select the investments that are most meaningful to them. 

Learn More!

To learn more about this option, contact Dara Schnee, Vice President of Philanthropy, at 410.332.4172 ext. 130 or email her using the button below.

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How Can We Help?

Dara Schnee

VP of Philanthropy

Contact Dara Schnee, VP of Philanthropy, for a confidential, in-depth consultation about these and other giving options, tax benefits of each and how they can help to achieve your financial and charitable giving goals.

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