New Year’s Giving Resolutions

Fitness is first on many lists of New Year’s resolutions, but there are other ways to foster a measurably happier, healthier 2022 – starting with philanthropy! It turns out that the act giving not only benefits the people and community around you; it’s been proven to boost happiness, reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure in the same way that a new exercise routine can. Read on for some things to consider if you are ready for a philanthropic refresh.

Find your passion.

Philanthropy at its best is meaningful for all parties. If your giving has become routine, take time to think about what sparks joy. Do you love going to performances and art exhibitions? Cultural organizations like Single Carrot Theatre, Jubilee Arts and The Creative Alliance have lost event and class revenue during the pandemic and need support now more than ever. Are you thrilled when neighborhoods are full of life with festivals, community gardens and greenspaces? BCF’s Fund for Neighborhoods supports community-based programs and projects across the city. Is your kitchen filled with the scent of new foods and flavors because you love to cook? Consider giving to The Franciscan Center, which served more than 200,000 meals to low-to-moderate income families last year. Or Black Girls Cook, which addresses food access and health equity by engaging girls of color in urban farming and cooking classes. 

Diversify your giving.

The pandemic underscored the need to support diverse-sized organizations in order to make a tangible impact. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, large institutions struggled to address issues ranging from food insecurity to insufficient broadband on their own. Many turned to community-based organizations like The Movement Team and Elev8 Baltimore for their on-the-ground expertise and ability to identify and support children and families most at risk. However, without directing funds to the large established organizations, like the Maryland Food Bank, who already had the infrastructure in place, it is unlikely we would have been able to address food insecurity on such a large scale. It takes partners at all levels to weave together a comprehensive web of support for Baltimore’s communities.     

See the impact.

Volunteering is a great way to see the breadth of an organization’s work, who they serve and how your gifts are making an impact. Organizations like ShareBaby, which gathers baby supplies and gear for families in need, and Civic Works, which undertakes a variety of environmental and community development projects across the city, are still welcoming volunteers in person under added safety protocols. Another organization, Baltimore Hunger Project, offers volunteer activities that can be completed at a distance, such as making snack bags for kids. No time to volunteer? Many organizations are active on social media and regularly share updates on their work. Follow their accounts and be sure to share posts when you can to spread the word!

Cultivate a community.

Sharing your philanthropic passions with others is a win-win. First, there’s always the chance that you might inspire more support for a cause you care about. Second, and just as importantly, you might hear thoughts and ideas that could benefit the organizations you support. For example, you might learn about other nonprofits that could multiply impact if they were working together.

The best resolution by far, of course, is simply to make a gift and keep giving. As always, BCF staff is available to offer insights if you’re not sure where to start. Contact us at giving@bcf.org or 410.332.4171 to make a plan.

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

Baltimore Community Foundation will be closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Staff will be working remotely during the month of January, as well. Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you in 2022.

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