About BCYF

Our Mission

Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (BCYF) builds partnerships that support the ecosystem focused on opportunities for Baltimore youth by providing support to leaders and organizations.


What is the Ecosystem?

Using the term ecosystem reminds us that we find truth and knowledge in the patterns in the natural world that we can apply in social justice movements and liberatory practices. 


The ecosystem we envision is an extraordinary interconnected web of physical, psychological, and energetic networks that envelop the vibrant lives of Baltimore’s youth, positively shaping  their very existence –producing compassionate, resourceful, innovative, and productive humans.


Who is in the Ecosystem?

  • Children & Youth
  • Families & Caregivers
  • Youth-serving organizations and programs
  • Schools
  • Government Agencies
  • Funders
  • Teaching Artists
  • Staff of Youth Programs
  • Youth and Adult Leaders 
  • Community Spaces (Libraries, Houses of Worship, Community Centers); 
  • Arts and Cultural Institutions; 
  • Advocacy Organizations



Our Vision

  • We envision a more just, creative, and abundant Baltimore where all of our young people live, thrive, and lead. 


  • We envision an ecosystem of sustainable youth programs with full agency, liberated from the harm of structural racism and inequity and able to thrive in abundance. 
young boys learning how to tie ties
two children participating in an educational activity

BCYF's History

group of protestors demanding fair development

Following unrest in Baltimore City, the youth fund is conceived as a way to direct more public resources to programs serving young people.


The voters of Baltimore City overwhelmingly approve the youth fund in a referendum.


community members gathering to learn

A community task force develops the blueprint for BCYF.

Baltimore City Council named Associated Black Charities (ABC) as BCYF’s interim operator.

Read the taskforce recommendations2017

Community sessions identify priority investment areas and a RFP process, and grants team-approved first round of grants.


children dressed up in costumes

Second round grants process and the transition of BCYF to independent status begin.


BCYF is formally established, creating an independent entity to oversee the fund.


bcyf staff working at a community event

BCYF team establishes organizational infrastructure; begins process of hiring staff, focusing on community capacity building, technical assistance and aligned grantmaking.


Request for Proposals for new grants anticipated for second quarter.

Permanent staff to be hired to lead BCYF.