Board Meeting Minutes May 19, 2021

Date: May 19, 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 May 19, 2021 via video conference.

Board Members in Attendance: Dion Cartwright, Chair; Erika Seth Davies, Vice Chair; Kirsten
Allen, Vice Chair; John Morris, Treasurer; Julia Baez, Secretary; Jacqueline Caldwell; Catherine

Board Member Absent: Earl El-Amin

The Meeting was called to order by the Chair, Dion Cartwright, at 6:36 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: BCYF, Inc.’s current operations and work to
continue building a strong organizational foundation, initial aligned grantmaking approach, and
the budget for 2022 fiscal year.

Cartwright outlined the following items of the meeting agenda: a review of the March 17 Board
Meeting minutes, a status report of the organization’s work and development, a financial report,
discussion of the aligned grantmaking strategy, review and discussion of BCYF, Inc.’s budget,
and an update report from each Board committee and a Grantee Spotlight on Cultured Pearls of
Service, Inc


Meeting Minutes from March 17h Board Meeting – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the
March 17th Board meeting. She asked if there were any amendments or comments, and there
were none.


Seth Davies moved for approval of the minutes. Caldwell seconded the motion. The March 17th BCYF, Inc. Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with no abstentions. 

Transition Status Update – Kera Ritter, Transition Manager

Ritter provided an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s 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.

  1. Programming

    • Portfolio Management

      Ritter updated the Board on the status of the no cost extension to grantees. About thirty
      grantees had applied for a no cost extension on their grant cycle. Grantees were offered
      flexibility in selecting an extension end date, with all grants completed by December 31,
      2021. Most grantees requested about three extra months.

      Ritter stated that this first BCYF, Inc. closeout process, which will further refine standard
      operating procedures and policies for future closeout. Grantees received written
      instructions via email, a webinar, and office hours with the technical assistance (TA)
      consultants for individualized support.

    • Grantmaking

      BCYF, Inc. identified fiscal sponsorship as a critical need to supporting grassroots
      organizations’ ability to access and manage public funds, which carries significantly more
      requirements than private funds. The consultant team recommends investing $4M-$5M in
      these priority areas during this fiscal year.

    • Technical Assistance

      BCYF, Inc. has offered several direct TA opportunities to the public during this time period
      and partnered with other organizations to promote their TA offerings to grassroots
      organizations. All programming was provided free of charge to participants. Topics for these webinars and trainings included fiscal sponsorship, sustainability, and program development.

  2. Communications

    BCYF appeared before the Baltimore City Council Education, Workforce and Youth
    Committee on April 29, 20201. A copy of the written presentation submitted to the
    committee is on the home page.

    Ritter also stated the following for the record:

    On February 22, 2021, the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim
    Services announced a $3.5 million award to the Family League of Baltimore to support
    Baltimore City’s Children and Youth Fund. The $3.5 million was earmarked for BCYF, Inc.
    each year, for four years, according to Community Safety and Strengthening Act. BCYF, Inc.
    did not receive these funds. They were designated for specific programs administered by the
    Family League, and the Family League released a statement on February 23, 2021
    acknowledging receipt and designation of funds to their partners. There was no provision
    made in the notice of funds availability for Family League to pass the award through to
    BCYF, Inc.

  3. General Operations

    • Finance: BCYF, Inc. submitted the July 1 – December 31, 2020 financials and
      budget narrative report to the City Department of Finance, along with a drawdown
      request for Q1 CY2021. These documents are available on the BCYF, Inc. website.
    • Grants and Contract Management: BCYF, Inc. built out a no-cost extension process,
      ensuring that only grantees in good standing would be eligible, and developed a
      workflow and process for managing the extension process. BCYF, Inc. also designed
      a close out process for the portfolio.
    • Data and IT Systems: BCYF, Inc. completed the migration of the G Suite and file
      management process with security protocols.
    • Strategy, Management, and Operations: BCYF, Inc. will complete its first year as the
      permanent intermediary on June 30, 2021, and have six months remaining to focus
      extensively on institution building. (The transition period ends December 31, 2021.)
      The organization has defined many of the questions to be answered during this time
      and created a roadmap for the institution-building work.
Aligned Grantmaking Strategy – Kera Ritter, Transition Manager and Dayvon Love, Lead Community Engagement Consultant

Ritter introduced the Aligned Grantmaking Strategy proposals. She stated that the Board would
review the proposed initial aligned grantmaking approaches for 2021 and discuss the role of
aligned grantmaking in advancing BCYF, Inc.’s goals of collaboration and strengthening the
ecosystem for grassroots organizations. 


Ritter and Love raised the following four proposals for discussion and Board approval.


  1. Strengthening the Supports for Grassroots Organizations: Fusion Partnerships

    This $1.5 million investment in Fusion Partnerships would occur over a 3 year period.

    Morris moved for approval of the Fusion Partnerships proposal. Seth-Davies seconded the
    motion. The Fusion Partnerships proposal was approved unanimously with no abstentions.

  2. Responding to the Emergent Mental Health Needs of Youth: Baltimore City
    Intergenerational Initiatives for Trauma and Youth – BCIITY


    Benton-Jones asked about how would the BCIITY activities and work would be different
    than the existing funding offered by Councilman Zeke Cohen. Ritter indicated that the focus
    of the funds and the work would be different, targeting a geographic area, and strengthening
    the capacity of another community-led effort.

    Morris moved for approval of the BCIITY proposal. Baez seconded the motion. The
    BCIITY proposal was approved unanimously with no abstentions.

  3. Addressing the Longstanding Gap in Youth Employment Opportunities: Year-long Youth
    Works at $1 million

    Morris moved for approval of the Youth Works proposal. Seth Davies seconded the motion.
    The Youth Works proposal was approved unanimously with no abstentions.

  4. Providing Greater Opportunities for Youth Summer Learning: Summer Funding Collaborative at $2 million
    Allen moved for approval of the Summer Funding Collaborative proposal. Morris seconded the motion. The Summer Funding Collaborative proposal was approved with no opposition. Julia Baez abstained from discussion and voting on this proposal because of Baltimore’s Promise’s role as coordinator of the Summer Funding Collaborative
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.

Morris reminded the attendees that the grant cycle ended on April 30, 2021, and due to several
grantees indicating a need for additional time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCYF, Inc.
offered a no cost extension to grantees based on grantees’ determination of their needs for
additional time in the calendar year.

Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. is continuing to be a good steward of public resources through its
internal controls and collaboration with the Fund for Educational Excellence. He introduced
Chuck Adkins, Chief Financial Officer for the Fund for Educational Excellence.
Adkins presented BCYF, Inc.’s profit and loss statement.

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget – John Morris, Board Treasurer

Morris presented the proposed budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which will begin July 1, 2021 and
end June 30, 2022.


Morris stated that the budget represents BCYF, Inc.’s initial investments in strengthening the infrastructure that supports grassroots organizations and establishing BCYF, Inc. as a community resource. 


BCYF, Inc. is proposing a $17M+ budget for FY22, which includes almost $14M in grants and technical assistance. The proposed budget will be a part of the public comment on the Annual Financial Plan. A final version of the budget will be filed with the Board of Estimates. 


Morris introduced, Kera Ritter, Transition Manager, to review the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget in detail. Ritter reviewed the budget and reminded the Board of the Annual Financial Plan meeting on June 23, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments on the budget and plan for the fiscal year. 


Seth Davies moved to approve the BCYF, Inc. Fiscal Year 2022 budget. Caldwell seconded the motion. The BCYF, Inc. FY22 Budget was unanimously approved with no abstentions. 

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.

A. Audit Committee – Erika Seth Davies, Vice Chair
Seth Davies provided the following update on the Audit Committee.

The Audit Committee has continued to meet regularly and has drafted a request for
proposals (RFP) for an independent auditor. The RFP includes two audit periods for the
organization’s first audit, annual audits following the first audit period, annual filing of the
990 federal tax return, and annual filing of the Form 1 Maryland state tax return. The
Committee began the process of soliciting proposals in April 2021. The Audit Committee
hopes to engage its first auditor within the next two months.

B. Executive Committee – Dion Cartwright, Chair
Cartwright provided the following update on the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee met to consider aligned grantmaking approaches for calendar year
2021. The Committee will be meeting to make recommendations for the Board’s
consideration regarding discretionary grantmaking policies.


C. Community Engagement and Communications Committee – Jacqueline Caldwell and
Catherine Benton-Jones

Caldwell updated the attendees on the work of the Community Engagement and
Communications Committee.

The Committee meets monthly, and has been focused on supporting and advising on the
2021 community engagement strategy, which focuses on community-based technical

BCYF, Inc. hosted its first two community-based technical assistance programs in January
and March on fiscal sponsorship. The first quarter focused on the landscape of fiscal
sponsorship as a vital tool for grassroots organizations.

Second quarter kicked off a focus on youth development and leadership. In April, BCYF,
Inc. held two events focused on building alternative revenue streams and developing
organizational infrastructure. BCYF, Inc. is sponsoring, in collaboration with Maryland
Mentors and Strategic Resource Group, a 13-session series of free technical assistance
events, which feature a general session and smaller, in-depth follow-up sessions. The first
session and small group centered on building an effective community-based youth
mentoring program.

The next virtual session will be on Tuesday, May 25th at 5:30 p.m. This session will focus on
tips, tricks, and strategies for engaging youth virtually.

Caldwell encouraged attendees to join the session and provided the registration information:, under the Events section of the website. 


D. Race Equity and Inclusion Committee – Julia Baez, Secretary
Baez updated the Board on the work of the Race Equity and Inclusion Committee.

The Race Equity and Inclusion Committee meets monthly, and has refined its role as the
values alignment and accountability body within BCYF, Inc.’s governance structure.

The Committee is currently in the process of creating a race equity framework that centers
youth. The race equity framework will identify BCYF, Inc.’s role in the philanthropic
landscape, and reflect its commitment to be a community resource, and goals of building a
values-aligned organizational foundation. 


E. Hiring Committee – Kirsten Allen, Vice Chair 

Allen provided the following update on the Hiring Committee. 


The Hiring Committee meets monthly. The Committee has selected a search firm to support the application and hiring process for BCYF, Inc’s first President. The Committee will be working with the search firm to finalize, post, and advertise the position. The Committee will also advise on the process of hiring BCYF, Inc’s initial staff team. 

Grantee Spotlight: Cultured Pearls of Service, Inc. – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair, and Autumn Anderson-Carr

Cartwright introduced the Grantee Spotlight, which provides an opportunity for the public to learn about the work of a BCY, Inc. grantee and hear directly from the organization. 


Cartwright introduced the grantee organization, Cultured Pearls of Service, Inc. and their representative, Director Autumn Anderson-Carr. 


Anderson-Carr provided an overview of Cultured Pearls of Service’s work and presented a video highlighting the program’s youth and their experiences of mentorship and personal development

Adjournment – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright adjourned the Board meeting at 8:26 p.m. The next Board meeting will be on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.