COVID-19 Response

Pratt Library Family Literacy Outreach Specialist Julia White (left) and library associate Tyliah McDonald (right) pause while packing a Books for Me kit at the Walbrook Junction Branch. These take-home kits of 5 new books for children ages 0 – 5 help foster parent-child reading time. BCF awarded a $40,000 grant from our COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund to expand the Pratt’s resources for remote learning through the distribution of hotspots and devices via library branches across the city.

BCF’s response to the COVID-19 crisis began in March 2020 with a series of emergency grants for distribution of food and essential supplies, enabled by the generosity of hundreds of our donors. Our rapid-response philanthropy tapped our relationships and expertise to spotlight the best ways to support our community to help donors multiply their impact. The foundation launched the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, raising $2.3 million for it in 2020 – to address the far-reaching immediate, intermediate and long-term effects of the pandemic. In the first phase of our response, from March – May, BCF awarded more than $912,000 to 88 organizations meeting a wide range of urgent needs – from food assistance and remote learning support to mental health counseling and domestic violence intervention, among many others. In July 2020, we began to home in on educational equity and mitigating the effects of the public health crisis on the region’s most vulnerable students.Throughout the winter of 20-21, we also made a series of grants to respond to the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. Donors have continued to give generously to the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund in 2021. Since inception, as of June 2021, BCF has awarded nearly $2.5 million from the Fund to community-based organizations responding the pandemic.

Follow Our Updates on BCF’s COVID Response Throughout the Pandemic:

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Alexis Miller

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Cathy Brill

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Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation

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John A. Gilpin

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Director of Planned Gifts
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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.

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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. 

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Melissa McC. Warlow
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program
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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.