Creating opportunities for Baltimore's youth and young adults

Community MVP: Creative Nomads

Torrey Smith introduces us to a group that serves the community by providing access to cultural programs. Source: CBS Baltimore

Refocusing the gaze – African Youth Alchemy

“Our greatest stories come from our history.” Ras Tre Subira Founder – African Youth Alchemy African Youth Alchemy  uses media and the arts to create cultural ambassadors of African Descent...

We partner to create new opportunities for the city’s young people to learn, thrive and succeed.

BCYF does more than grantmaking. We collaborate with Baltimore’s grassroots organizations and community leaders to empower youth and young adults.


Unlike traditional foundations, BCYF is committed to authentic community engagement and our strategy has been shaped by a range of Baltimoreans. BCYF partners with Baltimore residents themselves to direct our decision making and partners with other organizations that share our values.


There are dozens of programs that BCYF supports – which allows thousands of our young people to experience a range of programs, from academic support and science exploration to dance and photography. These are the kinds of experiences that all young people need to feed their curiosity, learn about their world, build confidence and stay on track in school.

Who we are

Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. (BCYF) is a nonprofit organization stewarding public funds to ensure our children and youth are healthy, ready to succeed in school and live in stable, safe and supportive families and communities.

Our Values

  • Racial equity
  • A commitment to young people
  • Community ownership

For too long, the public, private and philanthropic sectors have failed to adequately invest in Baltimore’s people and communities of color, leading to sharp disparities in vital outcomes.

In response, BCYF is committed to racial equity in everything we do. That includes funding and providing hands-on support to nurture Black-led community organizations and supporting high-quality programming for children and youth of color who have been left out in the past. 

In the West we often greet each other by saying, “How are you doing?” The Maasai people of East Africa greet each other by asking, “How are the children?” This greeting embodies the idea that the well-being of the children defines the well-being of the community.

BCYF is committed to making Baltimore a place that embraces and lives out this worldview that our children’s well-being is everyone’s responsibility. And we consistently include young people in decision making about the Fund’s work.

community members gathered at event

BCYF works to provide communities typically seen as merely recipients of services with equal decision-making power to spend Fund resources. Our initial grant review team was made up of a diverse group of community members from across the city who were given the responsibility of assessing applications and approving grants.

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