Leaving a Legacy with Confidence

Gift planning late in life can be anxiety-inducing for many who worry about sustaining their current quality of life, preparing for the unexpected, and leaving a legacy that reflects their values and betters the world for future generations. Fortunately, as Bertha and Cooper Hoddinott’s story shows, there are ways to provide for the causes you care deeply about while still ensuring dependable income in your retirement years.

One of the most popular options is a charitable gift annuity, through which you agree to make a gift to BCF. In turn, BCF agrees to pay you and/or another beneficiary of your choosing a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life. Upon your death, any remaining balance can be used to support causes you care about in perpetuity. This type of donation offers the security of regular payments for life, as well as a variety of tax benefits, including a federal income tax charitable deduction if you itemize. The minimum charitable gift annuity at BCF is $10,000.

Annual payments depend on your age at the time of the donation.

The following are two examples of how a charitable gift annuity might affect different individuals:

Dennis, 72, and Mary, 70, want to make a contribution to BCF, but they also want to ensure that they have dependable income during their retirement years. They establish a $50,000 charitable gift annuity with cash. Based on their ages, they will receive a payment rate of 4.2%, which means that they will receive $2,100 ($1,698.90 tax-free income and $401.10 ordinary income) each year for the remainder of their lives. After 19.7 years, the entire payment will be ordinary income. They are also eligible for a federal income tax charitable deduction of $16,549 when they itemize. Finally, the couple knows that after their lifetimes, the remaining amount will be used to make grants to nonprofits doing vital work in local communities.

George, 74, has been a faithful donor to BCF. He has owned publicly traded stock for 30 years. He would like to sell some of it, but if he did, the capital gains taxes would lessen the amount he could put toward a higher income-producing investment. George reads about charitable gift annuities in one of BCF’s newsletters and calls to obtain a quote. His cost basis in his stock worth $100,000 is $10,000. George establishes a charitable gift annuity and will receive a payment rate of 5.2%, which means $5,200 annually (much more than his stock dividends). George’s payments will be tax-free income of $424.12, ordinary income of $962.00, and long-term capital gains income of $3,813.88. After 13.1 years, the entire payment will be ordinary income. George is also eligible for a federal income tax charitable deduction of $44,487 because he itemizes on his tax returns.

Deductions and calculations will vary, of course, depending on personal circumstances, so you should always seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor. BCF works with the region’s leading advisors every day, and our staff has more than 50 years of personal experience in estate, tax, and philanthropic planning. Whatever your circumstances, we are ready to help.

Learn More

For more information on how to provide for your family and leave a legacy for the causes you care about, contact our director of gift planning, John A. Gilpin, J.D., CAP®, AEP®, at 410-332-4172, ext. 132, or email him using the button below.

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How Can We Help?

John A. Gilpin


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

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?

Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation