Creating opportunities for Baltimore's youth and young adults
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.
The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund must be built on racial equity. The evaluation of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, Inc.’s work should include a basic understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources and assets within each community. We should clearly identify and directly address how society’s power structures show up in the organization’s operations, including how assumptions about race may figure into the decision-making processes. Specifically, white people should not dominate or drive the conversation.
The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund must include youth leaders along with adults in all aspects of its work. Having different generations work together will reflect how our entire community must work together to improve the quality of life for our young people. 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 represents the idea that the well-being of the children defines the well-being of the community. The purpose of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, Inc. is to help the whole city of Baltimore to embrace and live out the worldview embodied in this Maasai greeting. Specifically, the well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility.
The purpose of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund is to provide the communities typically seen as merely recipients of services with equal, authentic decision-making power to disperse the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund Inc.’s resources. This means that the organization should reflect the totality of our community. Specifically, the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, Inc. must include a variety of people who are highly committed to the communities they serve.
The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund will strive to have collective decision-making processes. “Gatekeeping,” when one person has too much power in a decision-making process, marginalizes the people and communities who are most hurt by structural racism. Gatekeepers can use their power to circumvent community accountability and limit access to power and resources.