West x Northwest Baltimore Impact Grants

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On October 22, 2021, the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) announced $1 million in grants to 20 nonprofits providing programs or services that directly support the resiliency of majority-Black communities in targeted neighborhoods of West and Northwest Baltimore. These grants are part of BCF’s West x Northwest Impact Grants program, funded by Facebook. 

 BCF designed its West x Northwest Impact Grants program to build upon the place-based investments the organization has made in the area between North Avenue and Liberty Heights Avenue since 2019 — specifically focusing on the school communities of Dorothy I. Height Elementary in Reservoir Hill/Penn North, Liberty Elementary in Forest Park, and Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle School in Howard Park. Grantees were selected based on their deep connection to and understanding of the unique needs and strengths of these communities. 

The 20 grantees provide programs or services that range from basic human services and education to food security and crisis support. The organizations will receive $50,000 over two years towards operating expenses and will be invited to provide feedback and participate with BCF in developing plans and resources to continue to build the leaders, organizations, and larger ecosystem of Black-led nonprofits working to strengthen Baltimore’s majority-Black neighborhoods. Grantees will also be eligible, but not required, to participate in training provided by Facebook to build digital marketing and fundraising skills. 

Full list of grantees:

Baltimore Clean Streets stipends young people to clean up West Arlington and other Northwest neighboring communities within the Liberty-Wabash corridor while offering youth an opportunity to earn some cash and take pride in their neighborhoods. 

BMore Empowered provides technical assistance, strategic planning, and coaching services, and facilitates coalition-building and networking opportunities for emerging nonprofits, meeting a critical need of family-serving neighborhood institutions in Arlington, Dorchester, Ashburton, Penn North, Reservoir Hill, and Druid Heights, as well as citywide. 

City Weeds seeks to feed and heal the community by growing food on vacant lots in West Baltimore, and runs a youth achievement program called Be More Green to train Baltimore youth and young adults to start, grow, and sustain enterprises that enrich the city’s land, community, and people, through the creation of microbusinesses related to urban farming and the food industry. 

Cloverdale has been engaging young people in the Auchentoroly Terrace and Parkview/Woodbrook communities for over 60 years through basketball programming with free leagues, and youth and summer programming. 

Creative Nomads enhances the professional development of arts entrepreneurs, and provides access to art, music, and cultural education programming for youth and families, including through partnerships with West Baltimore schools and community centers. 

Druid Heights CDC develops residential and commercial properties to encourage community self-empowerment through the development of economic, educational, employment, and affordable housing opportunities, in the Druid Heights community located in central West Baltimore, and in surrounding communities that include the Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts District, Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Penn North, Reservoir Hill, Upton, Madison Park, and Sandtown-Winchester. 

Elev8 Baltimore partners with schools to support extended learning for children and youth, parent and community engagement, and health and wellness. Currently, Elev8 is the community school partner to 10 schools, four of which are located within BCF’s WxNW geographic focus area (Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy, New Song Academy, Edgewood Elementary, and Youth Opportunity Academy). 

Faith and Work Enterprises conducts mobile outreach seven days per week in Sandtown-Winchester and has provided over 3,000 instances of crisis care support, primarily related to referrals concerning housing, medical care, mental health, drug detox and treatment, pregnancy and parenting, legal assistance, social services, internet access, and securing legal identification. 

Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council is comprised of nine affiliate organizations (Fulton Heights Community, Liberty Square Community Organization, Mondawmin Neighborhood Improvement, New Auchentoroly Terrace Association, Panway Neighborhood Association, Robert W. Coleman Organization, Whittier-Monroe Association, Woodbrook Association, and Parkway Association) with a mission to build communities by providing service and advocacy for improved literacy, housing, educational, recreational, workforce, and cultural opportunities. 

Intersection of Change enriches the economic, social, and spiritual lives of those dealing with poverty-related issues in Sandtown-Winchester, Upton, and surrounding communities through renovation of vacant buildings to provide housing, arts, addictions counseling, community green space, and an urban farm. 

LIGHT Health and Wellness Comprehensive Services has been at the forefront of serving women, children, and families whose lives have been impacted by HIV, poverty, substance abuse, mental health, and trauma, and it operates a child care center that has been a safe haven for children of Penn North and Sandtown-Winchester. 

Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood hosts twice-monthly meetings and a full calendar of events at which young men engage in interactive sessions with community, health, educational, business, political, and religious leaders, and provides young men a safe space to belong and thrive. 

Nlife works in the Rosemont, Dorchester, and Central Forest Park neighborhoods, cultivating community through safer, cleaner, and greener neighborhoods, and creating positive social activities that promote community engagement along with social and physical health. 

No Boundaries Coalition addresses the extreme racial segregation of seven neighborhoods and their residents located within the 21217 zip code through programs targeting health and food justice, civic engagement, workforce development, and youth. 

Omega Baltimore has a public-private partnership with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks to manage and operate the Easterwood Recreation Center. The center, located in the Coppin Heights Ash/Co East section of West Baltimore, had been closed for four years when Omega reopened it in November 2012. Over 200 youth use this facility every week. 

Penn North Community Association represents the residents of Penn North by interacting with various Baltimore City agencies—including Public Works, Planning, Recreation and Parks, and Police—as well as the liquor board, to help shape the direction of development and new initiatives in the community. 

Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts District is Maryland’s only arts and entertainment district dedicated to the support, celebration, and promotion of Black creatives across a 149-acre district in Historic West Baltimore covering the Penn North, Upton, Druid Heights, and Sandtown-Winchester communities. 

UPC Westside CDC works in Upton and the communities that border the Pennsylvania Avenue commercial corridor including Penn North and Druid Heights, managing the Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street and overseeing the implementation of the Historic Upton Neighborhood 2026 Master Plan. 

Urban Oasis began as an effort by residents of the Panway community to address issues of blight, drug dealing, and illegal dumping through a partnership with the City of Baltimore to gate the four entrances to an alley, which they have greened and now use to host social capital building programs and events, such as an annual Juneteenth Festival and a teen environmental stewardship program. 

Whitelock Community Farm was founded in 2010, when a group of residents concerned about the lack of affordable, sustainable food sources in their neighborhood cleared and grew produce on a lot at the intersection of Whitelock Street and McCullough Avenue. The farm has grown to a two-lot, active green space with a focus on creating educational, skill-building, and leadership development opportunities; increasing access to healthy, affordable food; fostering positive community activity; and promoting dialogue about food access, neighborhood development, and environmental justice. 

Background

The Baltimore Community Foundation is one of 20 community foundations in the United States selected to receive funding from Facebook to manage grantmaking to support Black communities and Black-led nonprofits. This commitment is part of Facebook’s broader $1.1 billion investment in Black and diverse suppliers, creators, and communities in the US.

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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.

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.

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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:   

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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.

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.

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.