Our Impact:

Equipping Neighborhoods With the Resources They Need 

BCF’s place-based investing in Northwest Baltimore is rooted in an understanding and respect for the area’s history and culture. Liberty Heights Avenue played a significant role in the journey of many upwardly mobile Baltimore families throughout the 20th Century. But direct investment in this part of the city began to dry up once the racial demographics of the communities changed, and these neighborhoods—while becoming and remaining the bedrock of the Black middle class in Baltimore—became a less certain avenue for upward economic mobility. Housing values stagnated. Amenities began to disappear. The Black middle class that has formed the foundation of these communities for decades also makes up the largest group of people abandoning the city, contributing to our population loss.

Fortunately, the Liberty Heights Avenue corridor has several strong elementary schools on which to capitalize and leverage neighborhood investments. Our grantmaking strategy here is to equip neighborhoods with the resources they need to build on community assets, attract further investment and develop social capital. A great example is the Wayland Baptist Community Development Corporation – now known as WBCDC. Incorporated in 2005, the CDC produced a major redevelopment project (Wayland Village Senior Apartments) with the help of Bon Secours Unity Properties and Enterprise Homes nine years ago. They also launched the Forest Park Alliance, gathering representatives from six nearby neighborhood associations to advocate for improved public services and ensure residents had a voice community development efforts. However, the all-volunteer run CDC had never had paid staff, inhibiting its ability to work at greater scale.

In 2019, BCF made a grant of $150,000 to the group to hire its first full time executive director and staff the Forest Park Alliance. Beyond grantmaking, BCF facilitated a connection between Baltimore Business Lending—a BCF Impact Investment recipient — and the Forest Park Alliance to work to assist local entrepreneurs via their small business loan program. Says WBCDC’s new Executive Director Tracy Evans, “We are being really diligent about the role a CDC can play in restoring this community because focusing on schools without neighborhoods – or vice versa – is a non-starter. You have to do both and leverage all of the opportunities to disrupt the pockets of distress, be better stewards of the assets, keep current residents and attract new ones to create the demand for a dynamic business ecosystem – where businesses are providing the goods and services that residents want and need. ”

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Nanyamka Hales

Donor Services Officer

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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.

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If you need assistance with Donor Central, please fill out the form below or call (410) 332-4171 with any questions you have and we will respond as soon as possible.

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BCF Community Investment Team is here to help. Please fill out the form below with any questions you have and we will respond as soon as possible.

Building Stronger Neighborhoods Regionwide

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

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

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

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.

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John A. Gilpin

J.D., CAP®,AEP®

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

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Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

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Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation