Clockwise from top-left: Calvin Rodwell Elementary, A mother and daughter in front of Dorothy I. Height Elementary and Liberty Elementary

Schools and Neighborhoods Stronger Together

BCF believes a strong Baltimore region starts with high-quality schools in vibrant, interconnected neighborhoods. To that end, our discretionary grantmaking is focused on enriching effective public schools with principal preparation, student support services, and early childhood education programs, and equipping neighborhoods with the resources they need to steward community assets, attract new investment, and develop social capital.

This grantmaking remains critical in the time of COVID-19. The pandemic has shone a bright light on the need for a better education system for all. School buildings may be closed, but teachers and administrators remain hard at work. Therefore, funding for technology, technical training, and support partner programs are needed more than ever to ensure children remain engaged. Neighborhood grants from Little Italy to Mondawmin, Union Square to Ednor Gardens, are supporting resident-led projects like community composting, neighborhood signs and banners, and socially distant summer concerts to remind isolated residents that they are part of a vibrant, caring community. In the first half of 2020 alone, more than $900,000 in grants from BCF’s program funds were awarded to schools and communities across Baltimore.

BCF complements grants from our discretionary funds for school and neighborhood projects with advocacy for systemic, structural reform and impact investments in projects with significant community benefit, such as affordable housing complexes, new commercial and community spaces, and the transformation of blighted buildings into community assets. This multi-level strategy, in which we strive to align various investments for maximum impact, also supports the success of recent public and private investments in Baltimore, such as 21st Century School Facilities (which BCF advocated for through the Transform Baltimore campaign).

BCF’s current strategic plan amplifies this tiered approach with place-based investments and deep community engagement in communities along and adjacent to the Liberty Heights Avenue corridor in Northwest and Central West Baltimore. Working closely with local and civic leadership to understand residents’ own vision for improving school quality and quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood, we are making grants to Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary/Middle School in Howard Park, Liberty Elementary School in Forest Park, and Dorothy I. Height Elementary School in the Reservoir Hill/Penn North communities. These are paired with capacity-building grants to community development corporations and program grants to local nonprofits offering resident leadership, support services, and resources that families need. Together, these holistic investments are creating stronger communities where every child and family have the opportunity to thrive.  ν

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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:


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

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.

How Can We Help?

John A. Gilpin


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