Board Meeting Minutes July 21, 2021

Date: July 21, 2021

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Via Zoom:

The meeting of the Transition Board of Directors of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. was held on July 21, 2021, via video conference.


Board Members in Attendance: Dion Cartwright, Chair; John Morris, Treasurer; Julia Baez, Secretary; Jacqueline Caldwell; Catherine Benton-Jones Board Member Absent: Erika Seth Davies, Vice Chair; Kirsten Allen, Vice Chair; Earl El-Amin


The Meeting was called to order by the Chair, Dion Cartwright, at 6:48 p.m.

Welcome & Review of the Agenda – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright welcomed the Transition Board of Directors and public to this meeting of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, Inc. (BCYF, Inc.).


Cartwright reminded the attendees of BCYF, Inc.’s purpose: to create new opportunities for the city’s young people to learn, thrive and succeed. Cartwright also stated BCYF, Inc.’s status and responsibility as a nonprofit organization stewarding public funds.


Cartwright then shared the meeting’s focus: a review of BCYF, Inc.’s 2020 operations, BCYF, Inc.’s Year 2 continuation grantmaking approach, and the employee hiring process and development of a staffing structure.


Cartwright outlined the following items of the meeting agenda: a review of the previous meeting’s minutes, a status report of the organization’s work and development, discussion of BCYF Inc.’s aligned grantmaking strategy, a financial report, an update report from each Board committee, and an update and discussion on the hiring of BCYF Inc.’s first staff members.

Meeting Minutes from June 29th Board Meeting – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the June 29th Board meeting. She asked if there were any amendments or comments, and there were none. Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc.


Baez moved for approval of the minutes. Morris seconded the motion. The June 29th BCYF, Inc. Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with no abstentions. 

Transition Report and Review of 2020 – Kera Ritter, Transition Manager

Ritter provided an overview of the current functions and the work to date, as well as the transition structure moving forward by functional area including the strategy, management, and implementation for each function. This overview included:

  • Programming
    • Investments and Grantmaking: The BCYF, Inc. team developed a proposed draft grant making strategy to guide investments over the next two years, elements of which were approved at the May and June Board meetings, and is working on additional recommendations. The full strategy and supporting draft policies will be shared at future Board meetings. BCYF, Inc. also began working through the details of grant agreements for FY21 investments.
    • Technical Assistance: BCYF, Inc. held 4 community-based technical assistance offerings between May 25-June 26 on elements of Youth Development.
  • Communications
    • BCYF, Inc. is undergoing a website redesign and is currently in the second round of edits with feedback from the team. The new website will feature improved accessibility, more content and easier navigation and should launch by the end of August.
    • BCYF, Inc. consultants and Board members appeared on WYPR and sat for an interview with the Baltimore Brew.
    • Per the requirement in the ordinance, BCYF, Inc. submitted its 2020 report to the City. BCYF, Inc. also responded to several requests made through the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) and notified grantees about the MPIA request for grantee reports.
  • General Operations
    • Finance: BCYF, Inc. held a public hearing on June 23 about the FY22 financial plan and budget. The team incorporated feedback received during the session and submitted a final budget to the Board, which was approved at the June 29 meeting. Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. 3
    • Talent and Culture: The team recommended a change to the proposed leadership structure, from a two-person to four-person executive team based on lessons learned over the past year. Draft job descriptions for the four leadership roles were shared with the Hiring Committee, along with a recommendation to engage a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) for the first year. A PEO will allow BCYF, Inc. to share employeerelated responsibilities and liabilities as the institution develops its own human resources policies and procedures.
    • Grants and Contracts Management: Grantees approved for a no-cost extension received an addendum to their grant agreement to sign and return. Grantees closing out their grant will receive a letter indicating whether they have successfully completed the requirements. Consultants leaving the project have a final meeting to review deliverables and ensure transfer of materials and property to BCYF, Inc.
    • Evaluation: BCYF, Inc. began developing a draft evaluation framework during this period to support the development of a logic model and theory of change. The framework will help BCYF, Inc. determine what data to collect, including but not limited to grantee outcomes, methods of collection, and ways to disseminate and share with various stakeholders.
    • Real Estate: BCYF, Inc. is currently leasing a small office at the Impact Hub. The transition manager viewed a potential site for the permanent office which would require significant rehabilitation to meet the organization’s long-term usage. The owner has expressed a willingness to negotiate a short-term lease, as is, while BCYF, Inc. determines whether to engage in a long-term lease at the site. The recommendation is that the Board conduct a site visit before deciding.

Ritter also summarized the 2020 BCYF, Inc. report to the City Council.

Year 2 Continuation Grant Consideration – Kera Ritter, Transition Manager

Ritter provided an overview of the Year 2 continuation grant request from 29th Street Center, and shared the recommendation made by the consultant team regarding this request, to move forward with the continuation grant.


Ritter then opened the request and recommendation up for discussion.


Caldwell moved for approval of the recommendation to proceed with the grant. Baez seconded the motion. The recommendation to move forward with the 29th Street Center’s continuation grant was unanimously approved with no abstentions.

Treasurer’s Report – John Morris, Board Treasurer

Morris began his report on BCYF, Inc.’s financial management status by stating that BCYF, Inc. is committed to transparency and public accountability in the use of public dollars.


Morris stated that since July 1, 2020, BCYF, Inc. has disbursed over $5 million in direct grants to organizations, in addition to program and financial technical assistance. These continuation grant funds of more than $9.2 million have supported 78 organizations with programmatic support and one-on-one financial and programmatic technical assistance.


As a part of the aligned grantmaking strategy, Morris stated, BCYF, Inc. will be deploying another $5 million to support the infrastructure for grassroots organizations through investment in Fusion Partnerships and provide grant making to grassroots organizations through the Summer Funding Collaborative and BCIITY partnerships.


Financial Overview – Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. is continuing to be a good steward of public resources through its internal controls. He introduced Chuck Adkins of the FFEE to provide an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s current finances.


Adkins presented BCYF, Inc.’s profit and loss statement and overview of the FY2022 budget.

Committee Reports – Erika Seth Davies, Dion Cartwright, Jacqueline Caldwell, Catherine Benton-Jones, Julia Baez, Kirsten Allen

Committee members shared status updates regarding each committee’s current work.

  • Audit Committee – Catherine Benton-Jones
    Benton-Jones stated that the Audit Committee did not have an update report since the June 29th BCYF, Inc. Board meeting.
  • Executive Committee – Dion Cartwright, Chair
    Cartwright stated that the Executive Committee did not have an update report since the June 29th BCYF, Inc. Board meeting.
  • Community Engagement and Communications Committee – Jacqueline Caldwell
    Caldwell updated the attendees on the work of the Community Engagement and Communications Committee focusing on the ongoing series of community-based capacity building sessions. Caldwell asked attendees to please watch out for upcoming events via the email distribution list and website calendar.
  • Race Equity and Inclusion Committee – Julia Baez, Secretary
    Baez stated that the Race Equity and Inclusion Committee does not have an update report since the June 29th BCYF, Inc. Board meeting.
  • Hiring Committee – Dion Cartwright, Chair
    Cartwright shared with the Board that the Hiring Committee is beginning the process of working with the search firm, Invested Advisors of Nonprofit HR, to hire BCYF, Inc.’s first President. The Hiring Committee has requested proposals from professional employer organizations (PEOs) as a vehicle for staffing support over the next year.

    The Hiring Committee recommended four job descriptions for the executive team: President, Vice President of Investment, Vice President of Operations, and Vice President of Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships.
Hiring & New Employee Systems – Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations

Cole Moulden reviewed the status of the conversation with the search firm and led a review of the three PEO proposals BCYF, Inc. has received. Cole Moulden provided the Board with her analysis of the three proposals based on criteria of outside insurance brokerage management services, supplemental benefit offerings, training and development offerings, and performance management support.

PEO Proposals:


Cole Moulden then opened discussion of the proposals.

The Board asked questions about the three PEO proposals and discussed the merits of each proposal regarding alignment with BCYF, Inc.’s current organizational status, size, and values, operational needs, and price of the services. Cartwright then asked for Cole Moulden’s recommendation given where BCYF, Inc. is in its organizational development, based on her HR expertise.

Cole Moulden recommended Vested HR based on the current stage of BCYF, Inc. and the cost of Vested HR’s services. Baez asked that BCYF, Inc. ensure that this is a one-year contract to allow the organization flexibility to determine its next steps from an HR perspective. Cole Moulden indicated that this will be an important part of the contract.

Baez moved to approve Vested HR as the PEO that BCYF, Inc. will contract with for the next year. Caldwell seconded the motion. Vested HR was approved as the PEO that BCYF, Inc. will work with by all Board members who voted. Benton-Jones abstained from the vote.

Adjournment – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright adjourned the Board meeting at 7:58 p.m. The next Board meeting will be on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.