How BCF Works

BCF is uniquely positioned at the intersection of communities, concerned donors, and civic leaders. We build connections to address complicated issues, put our relationships and expertise to use spotlighting the best ways to support our community, and make it easy for people who are passionate about improving Baltimore to make an impact. BCF amplifies donors’ philanthropy with strategic grants, impact investments, special initiatives and advocacy to strengthen schools and neighborhoods. 

Hover over each pie chart section for details.

How We Work
Convening People and Places Mobilizing Resources Stewarding Financial Support Investing Strategically Engaging Communities Distributing Funds Enhancing Impact

Convening People and Places

BCF was created by and for the people of Baltimore.
Community members, public and private sector representatives and concerned donors give us a broad perspective on immediate needs and long-term, systemic challenges in our region.

Mobilizing Resources

There are many ways to give.
BCF marshalls a wide range of resources - from generous donations, to time and talent, to lived experiences and on the ground expertise - in pursuit of a better Baltimore today and for future generations.

Stewarding Financial Support

We have the expertise to maximize impact.
For nearly half-a-century, BCF has carefully stewarded gifts of cash, securities, real assets, retirement funds, bequests and more. We work closely with donors and professional advisors to ensure financial and charitable giving goals are achieved.

Investing Strategically

Steady, sustainable growth is our strategy.
Donor's gifts are pooled with endowed assets and invested with careful oversight by experienced staff and a committee of financial planners and advisors. BCF provides quarterly updates to keep donors informed.

Engaging Communities

Strong relationships gets support where it is needed most.
Deep, ongoing engagement with school and community leaders informs discretionary grants made from BCF's endowed assets. Likewise, it allows us to advise donors on high-impact organizations and giving opportunities.

Distributing Funds

Donor-advised and discretionary grants help near and far.
Donor-recommended grants support a wide range of causes in Baltimore and beyond. Discretionary grants in support of our strategic plan are targeted to schools and neighborhoods, creating more vibrant communities where all children have the opportunity to thrive.

Enhancing Impact

Strategic programmatic support digs deeper.
BCF targets a handful of communities for multi-year investments. Working closely with residents, we make grants and impact investments; advocate for policy changes; and engage other partners to build a stronger school and surrounding neighborhood.

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How Can We Help?

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.

How Can We Help?

Alexis Miller

Donor Services Officer

How Can We Help?

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.

Select all that apply:

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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.

How Can We Help?

Nanyamka Hales

Donor Services Officer

How Can We Help?

Cathy Brill

Executive Director
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation

How Can We Help?

Kate Sam

Communications Officer
410-332-4171 ext. 181

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John A. Gilpin


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

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.

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.

How Can We Help?

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

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.