The Ongoing Fight for Race Equity

BCF operates from the knowledge that profound disparities in opportunity exist between people of color and their white counterparts; and we acknowledge the historic and ongoing role that structural racism plays in creating and perpetuating those disparities.

Dear Friend,

We have spent the past week, as many of you have, transfixed by the Black lives matter protests that have spread from Minneapolis and Louisville, to Baltimore, to cities around the world. As our staff has watched, marched, donated, and spoken out personally, we have purposely stayed quiet as an organization – making space for the voices of community partners and residents who are deeply, directly impacted by police brutality and inequality to rise up.

We have also spent this time reflecting on our long-standing commitment to race, equity and inclusion, and how we can further contribute to our vision to make the Baltimore region safer and more equitable for all.

First, we must say, that the murder of George Floyd by police two weeks ago was horrific, unjust, and inexcusable. Sadly, we know too well that it was not unprecedented. The list of Black people killed in the custody of law enforcement since the founding of our country – much less since the advent of cell phone video technology – is long. In the past few years alone, the wrongful deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Atatiana Jefferson, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Baltimore’s own Freddie Gray and so many others have rightfully led to public outcries and widespread protests.

These unjust deaths weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of BCF staff and trustees. As an organization, we operate from the knowledge that profound disparities in opportunity exist between people of color and their white counterparts; and we acknowledge the historic and ongoing role that structural racism plays in creating and perpetuating those disparities.

The Baltimore Community Foundation sees the effects of racist systems every single day, as we work with struggling families, underserved communities and disinvested schools across the Baltimore region. From our unique vantage point at the intersection of communities, public and private entities and concerned donors, we are committed to eliminating racial disparities, identifying and combatting structural racism and fostering more equity and inclusion internally as well as through our advocacy, grantmaking, impact investing and special initiatives.

There is a natural inclination, as we see images of people across the world coming together, to think that we must put forth a new strategy and do more, better, faster. But this work is not easy. Our staff wrestles with race equity issues deeply, daily. We are constantly seeking opportunities to further advance and accelerate this work with substantive, strategic, and impactful investments. We will continue to do so – with fierce urgency.

Beyond that, we make the following pledges:

  • We pledge to listen to communities about what is needed.
  • We pledge to seize every opportunity to make grants and impact investments that advance racial equity.
  • We pledge to keep our donors, community partners and other stakeholders informed about the wide range of strategies we are exploring and putting into action, and how you can be involved with your own giving.
  • We pledge to continue fighting for public investments that address inequality, including most notably the Blueprint for Maryland’s future, which would address disparities in school funding, educational outcomes and opportunities for low-income students and students of color. Data about those disparities can be found in the Inequities in Inequities in Opportunity and Achievement in Maryland Report commissioned by BCF from The Education Trust. The Blueprint has been vetoed by Governor Hogan and we invite you to urge legislators to override that veto.
  • Finally, we pledge to stand with individuals and communities who are subject to unequal treatment by police; to say the names of victims and to proclaim forcefully that Black lives and futures matter.

We look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks. As always, our staff is available to answer questions and provide guidance on your own giving.

Until then, we hope that you and your loved ones will stay healthy and safe.

The Staff of the Baltimore Community Foundation

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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.


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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