The BCYF Grassroots Fund addresses traditional gaps in Baltimore’s funding landscape by providing funding for grassroots, Baltimore-based, youth-serving organizations in support of an organization’s overall mission. The Grassroots Fund will award five-year grants in the amount of $50,000 per year to a select number of eligible organizations. In addition to financial support, organizations awarded a grant from the Grassroots Fund will also receive rigorous capacity-building support to help them sustain and grow.

 

Grassroots organizations are defined as community-accountable organizations with an annual operating budget of under $350,000. The Fund will prioritize organizations led by Black and Brown people.

 

To be eligible to apply, your organization should:

  • Be Baltimore City-based and serve children and youth ages 24 years and under;
  • Be a Maryland 501(c)(3) organization or have a confirmed Fiscal Sponsorship; 
  • Have an organizational budget of $350,000 or less;
  • Have been in existence for at least one year;
  • Have at least one year of experience running youth programs; 
  • And have 51% Baltimore City residents as its employees.

 

To note: We do not provide unrestricted funding. BCYF funds can only be used to support programming that is Baltimore-based and youth-centered. 

 

*****Please note that CURRENT BCYF Grantees are ineligible to apply, unless your grant term ends on 8/31/2024.***** 

* CURRENT Grantees: Grassroots Fund, President’s Fund, Community Accountable Organization Fund, and Aligned Grantmaking Fund Grantees*

2024 Application and Community Technical Assistance Timeline

BCYF is hosting several pre-application technical assistance sessions to support applicants through the application process. Please find the full schedule below:

January 25, 2024: Countdown to Launch: Grassroots Fund Kick-Off Webinar

Date: Thursday, January 25, 2024

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

Location: Virtual 

Facilitator: Hana Machover, Charisse Paige, and Lori James Townes

Description:

This event is open to any Baltimore City-based organizations interested in applying for the Grassroots Fund. We will share the Application Toolkit and important dates for the 2024 grant cycle. We will also welcome current grantees for a Grantee Panel to share their experiences with BCYF and the impact funding has had on their programs. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.

 

Watch the full video

Check out the presentation

Thursday, February 1, 2024: Application Opens!

Application Opens!

February 6, 2024: Mission, Vision, and Values

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Facilitator: Lori James Townes

Description:

During this interactive session, participants will gain valuable insights and skills necessary for effectively developing mission, vision, and value statements for their programs. We will explore the essential components of a compelling vision statement, understand the significance of a well-defined mission statement, and discuss the importance of aligning values with organizational goals. Through engaging discussions and practical exercises, participants will learn techniques to craft impactful statements that inspire and guide their program’s growth. By the end of this session, participants will possess the necessary skills to articulate their program’s mission, vision, and values effectively, setting a strong foundation for future development and growth.

Watch the full video

Check out the presentation

Check out the resources shared during this session (to make any changes to any of the documents, please make a copy or download)

February 8, 2024: Launchpad #1: Preparing Your Application for Flight!

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2024

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:

The Cube Cowork

4709 Harford Rd.

Baltimore, MD 21214

 

Facilitator: Lori James Townes

 

Description: 

This session will provide attendees with computers, internet access and application development support. Attendees may bring their own device or borrow one* and receive application support from one of our team members. 

 

During this session, you may receive support with the following:

  • Application Review
  • Grant Writing
  • Narrative Reporting
  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Metrics/Outcomes
  • …and so much more!

 

*Please be advised that supply may be limited.  

 

Childcare and transportation assistance may be available upon request.

 

Register here

February 12, 2024: Scope of Work and Outcomes

Date: Monday, February 12, 2024

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Facilitator: Dr. Pam Love

Description:

During this session, participants will explore the necessary considerations needed to develop a grant plan.

Session Goals 

  1. Discuss the Proposed Project’s Key Purpose, Duration, Activities, Foreseeable Impact, and Expected Outcomes
  2. Define the Proposed Project’s SMARTIE (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Specific, Inclusive, and Equitable) Goals and Objectives
  3. Consider the Proposed Project’s Strengths, Limitations, and Challenges through two lenses: SWOT Analysis and PESTLE Analysis
  4. Explore expected deliverables, timeline, project management, collaborative capacity, resources, evaluation methodology, evaluation plan, performance reporting, and budget.
  5. Contemplate Project Stewardship, Community-Stakeholders Responsibility and Post-Grant Sustainability

 

Watch the full video

Check out the presentation

Check out the resources shared during this session (to make any changes to any of the documents, please make a copy or download)

February 15, 2024: Launchpad #2: Preparing Your Application for Flight!

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:

Enoch Pratt Central Library in Classroom 1801 

400 Cathedral St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Facilitator: Lori James Townes and Members of our Finance Team

Description:

This session will provide attendees with computers, internet access and application development support. Attendees may bring their own device or borrow one* and receive application support from one of our team members. 

During this session, you may receive support with the following:

  • Application Review
  • Grant Writing
  • Narrative Reporting
  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Metrics/Outcomes
  • …and so much more!

We will also have members of our finance team on-site to answer any budgeting questions as it pertains to the GRF application. These team members will not be at every Launchpad. If you have any budget-related questions, we highly recommend that you attend this session.

*Please be advised that supply may be limited.  

Childcare and transportation assistance may be available upon request.

 

February 22, 2024: Launchpad #3: Preparing Your Application for Flight!

Date: Thursday, February 22, 2024

Time: 6:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:

Enoch Pratt Brooklyn Branch

300 E Patapsco Ave., Baltimore, MD 21225

Facilitator: Dr. Pam Love Manning

Description: 

This session will provide attendees with computers, internet access and application development support. Attendees may bring their own device or borrow one* and receive application support from one of our team members. 

During this session, you may receive support with the following:

  • Application Review
  • Grant Writing
  • Narrative Reporting
  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Metrics/Outcomes
  • …and so much more!

*Please be advised that supply may be limited.  

Childcare and transportation assistance may be available upon request.

 

Friday, March 8, 2024: Application Closes at 5:00 p.m.

Application Closes at 5:00 p.m.

2024 Application Toolkit 

The 2024 Grassroots Fund Application Toolkit is a resource for applicants as they prepare their applications. Within the toolkit, you will find the following: 

1:1 Application Support

We are offering 1:1 Application Support for anyone interested in receiving more tailored support with their application. Please review the areas of expertise for each of our Technical Assistance providers and use the calendar links below to schedule. In-person and virtual options are available.

 

If you have any questions about scheduling, please contact hmachover@bcyfund.org or gmta@bcyfund.org.

Lead Consultant: Lori James Townes

Lori James Townes, President of Expand-NOW, LLC,  is a highly experienced professional with a strong background in program development, teaching, and training. Her expertise lies in crafting innovative programs that inspire and empower individuals to reach their full potential. With a passion for leadership and program development, Lori has successfully designed and implemented numerous successful curriculum and training modules, making a profound impact on the lives of countless learners.

 

Lori James Townes – Virtual Technical Assistance Appointments

Lori James Townes – In-Person Technical Assistance Appointments

 

Dr. Pam Love Manning

Pam Love is an inspirational speaker, executive and life coach, and an expert in the areas of training and development. 

 

Pam was appointed by Maryland’s Governor to the Family Violence Council. She is the Governance Committee Co-Chair of Executive Alliance, an Emeritus Director of the University System of Maryland Foundation Board, and the former Chair of the University’s Development Foundation Board.  She earned an MBA, PhD, MSW and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Applied Psychology. 

 

Dr. Pam Love Manning – Virtual Technical Assistance Appointments

Dr. Pam Love Manning – In-Person Technical Assistance Appointments

 

Amy Kulp

Amy Kulp, MS, has over 26 years of nonprofit management experience, and currently works as an account executive for an association management company, serving as the executive director for multiple clients. Amy’s areas of expertise relevant to the BCYF grant application are developing a budget, completing and filing the IRS 990, aligning applications to BCYF’s values and mission, explaining key components of the grant application, establishing program outcomes, editing and structuring content to meet application requirements, technical writing, and providing feedback on applications prior to final submission.

 

Amy Kulp – Virtual Technical Assistance Appointments

 

Kirsten Gettys Downs

Kirsten Gettys Downs is the Executive Director of the Homeless Persons Representation Project. Previously, Kirsten served as the District Public Defender in Baltimore City. Additionally, she has served as the Deputy District Public Defender in Montgomery County, the Chief Attorney for the Western District Court Division in Baltimore City, and Assistant Public Defender in both the District and Circuit Courts of Prince George’s County. In addition to her legal work at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Ms. Downs has served as a Federal Public Defender in the US Virgin Islands and as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice under Janet Reno.

 

Kirsten Gettys Downs – Virtual Technical Assistance Appointments

 

Additional Resources and Materials

Our team has developed the following resources and materials to guide you in the development of your Grassroots Fund application as well as any future grants you may wish to apply to. 

Questions & Answers

Please send all questions about the application or application process to gmta@bcyfund.org


If you have technical questions about your application submission, you may email them to gmta@bcyfund.org up until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, to ensure that our team has the appropriate time to answer your questions before the application deadline. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible. However, due to the high volume of submissions on the deadline, we cannot guarantee an immediate response. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Fiscal Sponsors

Answer: If your organization is not a 501(c)(3), you will need a fiscal sponsor. “A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that provides fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services to help build the capacity of charitable projects” (National Council of Nonprofits, 2024). Please review the below articles for more information: 

Fiscal Sponsors and Baltimores Grassroots Organizations 

Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits

Question: If I use a Fiscal Sponsor, do they have to be based in Maryland?

Answer: Does not have to be based in Maryland, but does need to have a Certificate of Good Standing in the State of Maryland.