Tom Wilcox Letter to Future Baltimore

December 13, 2017

To: The Future Baltimore

c/o Baltimore Community Foundation


Dear BCF,

Thank you for establishing the tradition of having donors write letters to the future, sharing their philanthropic dreams for funds they established with family members and future BCF professionals. I, like others, have found this a rewarding experience, and I am moved by the notion that future generations will reflect on the best way to implement my values, responding boldly to the needs of the day.  

BCF is nothing more than its donors, living and gone. Those donors need professional and fully-informed representatives—the professional staff of the community foundation. My wife Whitty and I established the Wilcox-Ransome Endowment for Civic Leadership to support those representatives in perpetuity. In doing so, we join the ranks of all those who give to BCF’s Civic Leadership Fund annually, and who have like us created permanent funds to endow their gifts.  

Over my 17-year tenure at BCF, I came to realize that my dreams for Baltimore depend upon  the ability of the BCF professional staff to bring together a uniquely diverse set of stakeholders - donors, nonprofits, public officials, community organizers and advocates, business leaders, neighborhood leaders, school principals and young and older people to develop coordinated efforts to strengthen Baltimore and its people. 

BCF is a powerful force for Baltimore—and for Baltimore’s future. I am deeply gratified to think that our Wilcox-Ransome Endowment for Civic Leadership will forever play a role in ensuring that with the board the future staff of BCF can coordinate strategic grantmaking, focused initiatives, visionary public advocacy and impact investing to give our children and our children’s children the future they and Baltimore deserve.


Thomas E Wilcox
President and CEO 2000 – 2017

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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.

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Melissa McC. Warlow
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program
410-332-4172 x150

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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


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

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Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation