The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund was established in 1964 by Mary S. Baker in memory of her husband. Awarding grants that range from $1,500 to $45,000 the Baker Fund continues its founders’ civic-minded philanthropic tradition benefiting the residents of the greater Baltimore area. The Baltimore Community Foundation has managed the Baker Fund’s grants program since 1985.
Board of Governors
Connie E. Imboden, President
Laura L. Gamble
Steven G. Ziger
Cultural organizations (or their fiscal agents) serving the Baltimore area that qualify as public charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national origin, political persuasion, age, physical handicap, gender or sexual orientation.
The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund believes that arts and culture play a central role in the development and growth of healthy individuals and thriving communities and commits its resources to promote and sustain a vibrant arts and culture sector in metropolitan Baltimore. Its grants support organizational effectiveness, promote local artists and their work, and provide cultural experiences that welcome people of all backgrounds, enhance residents’ lives, and strengthen the region’s sense of cohesion and identity.
- Enrich metropolitan Baltimore life
- Support a lively creative environment
- Deepen civic connections and engagement through arts and culture
- Ensure that programs are inclusive and outreach efforts broad
- Sustain a healthy cultural ecosystem
- Provide funding opportunities to strengthen the programs and practices of organizations that offer significant cultural experiences, foster sector cooperation and alliances and sponsor an artist awards initiative that supports and promotes local artists through a nonprofit intermediary
1.Strengthening Organizational and Artistic Practices
- Capacity programs to improve internal organizational and management practices—including board training, strategic planning, fundraising and marketing expertise, budgeting and financial planning, program planning, professional development, technology upgrades and training and operating support for key partners.
- With submission of a full proposal, qualified applicants may apply for a working capital reserve or fixed asset replacement reserve grant requiring a 1:1 match. See Reserve Funds Grant Application.
- Occasional capacity requests from arts magnet schools
- Professional development programs for the benefit of practicing metropolitan Baltimore artists
- Small grants for facility enhancements (not renovations)
2. Innovative Programs
- Innovative programming initiatives and projects from organizations with budgets larger than $75,000 to present or exhibit the work of professional artists that will deepen audience engagement or engage new audiences.
- Small grants (up to $1,500) to present or exhibit the work of professional artists/performers that will deepen audience engagement or engage new audiences. Eligibility: organizations with budgets under $75,000 which operate as nonprofits or are under the auspices of a fiscal agent and individuals using a fiscal sponsor. Application Process: History of presenting organization, description of project, most recent year-end organizational budget, project budget, Data Arts Profile in Baker format, and IRS Determination Letter. Letter of Inquiry required. Applications accepted year-round.
3. Cultural Sector Collaboration
- Strategic alliances that support collaboration and cooperation across the cultural community and strengthen organizational abilities to work at the highest levels.
The Baker Fund does not generally support the following types of requests:
- Arts programs and projects that use the arts as a mechanism to achieve other ends, such as community development, health, social justice, arts education or youth development objectives
- Multi-year funding, annual appeals, event sponsorships, capital (except for its Working Capital or Fixed Asset Replacement Reserve Fund Programs) or endowment campaigns
- Replacement of decreased public sector funds
- Services outside the greater Baltimore area
No grants will be made for religious purposes or directly to individuals.
How to apply
Please submit a two-page letter of inquiry with basic background on your organization including current operating budget, the identified need(s) your project proposes to address, an overview of the proposed project, and the amount you intend to request. Letters of inquiry must be received one month prior to the proposal deadline(s) listed below and may be mailed or sent by email to:
William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund
c/o Melissa Warlow
Director of the Baker Funds Grants Program
Baltimore Community Foundation
2 East Read Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
If there is a match between your project and the mission of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, you will be invited to submit a full application.
- December 20, 2019 for consideration at the March 5, 2020 board meeting
- March 13, 2020 for consideration at the May 14, 2020 board meeting
- July 10, 2020 for consideration at the September 17, 2020 board meeting
- October 2, 2020 for consideration at the December 10, 2020 board meeting
If you are invited to submit a proposal, please complete the following:
- Grant applicants must complete a Data Arts Profile and receive a “review complete” status. To allow maximum time for your profile review, enter data from your most recently completed fiscal year as soon as your board-approved audit or financial statement is available.
- Download the Baker Fund Application Form and fill out as indicated.
- Download a Grant Evaluation Chart and fill out as indicated.
- Email your application to Melissa Warlow. Send each document as a separate attachment.
- If submitting a full proposal, you may also apply for the Reserve Fund Grant Program. Download the Reserve Fund Grant Application and if qualified, fill out as indicated.
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program