Board Meeting Minutes September 15, 2021

Date: September 15, 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 September 15, 2021, via video conference. 


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


Board Member Absent: Catherine Benton-Jones, Earl El-Amin 


The Meeting was called to order by the Chair, Dion Cartwright, at 6:38 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 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, a financial report
and status of BCYF, Inc.’s finances, discussion of the review of Financial and Internal Controls
Policies, BCYF, Inc.’s race equity framework, and an update report from each Board committee.

Meeting Minutes from July 21st Board Meeting – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the
July 21st Board meeting. She asked if there were any amendments or comments, and there were

Caldwell moved for approval of the minutes. Seth Davies seconded the motion. The July 21st
BCYF, Inc. Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with no abstentions.

Transition Report– Kera Ritter, Transition Manager

Ritter provided an overview of the current functions and the work to date, giving updates since
the previous Board meeting through August 31, 2021. This overview included:

A. Programming
BCYF, Inc. is developing a grantmaking strategy that will guide its work for the next two
years. The proposed grantmaking strategy will be shared with the Board before the end of
the calendar year. BCYF, Inc.’s Youth Development technical assistance (TA) series
continued in July and August with sessions on Incorporating Authentic Youth Voice and
creating Youth-Friendly Programming. These sessions will culminate in a conference this
Fall, which will likely be virtual due to the pandemic. The next series of TA sessions will
focus on youth safety.

B. Community Engagement
BCYF, Inc. has developed a framework and plan for a youth leadership institute, Avis
Ransom Institute, which will develop youth to sit on the BCYF, Inc. Board, the boards of
other youth-serving organizations, and generally engage in supporting work across the
sector. The institute will be a continuous program of BCYF, Inc. and run throughout the
school year. Applications and interest meetings will be released in late September or early
October, with an anticipated start date of mid-to late-October.

C. General Operations and Administration

  • Hiring: Impact Search Advisors by Nonprofit HR is the executive search firm to conduct the search for the President. The job description was finalized, and the search to identify and screen candidates began in early September. The position will be posted with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and then widely disseminated through various channels. BCYF, Inc. anticipates selecting a new President prior to the end of the year. Position descriptions for the vice president roles will also be released shortly and will be posted first with MOED and then distributed widely.
  • Grants and Contracts Management Systems: BCYF, Inc. is wrapping up the close-out process for grantees that requested a no-cost extension. BCYF, Inc. has executed the grant agreement with Fusion Partnerships and disbursed its first payment. The Summer Funding Collaborative and BCIITY are in the contracting stage. Both agreements are expected to close in September. BCYF, Inc. is developing grantee portfolio management systems and will provide updates to the Board on this process.
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. has deployed another $5
million to support the infrastructure for grassroots organizations through investment in Fusion
Partnerships and grantmaking 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. Morris introduced Dana Cole Moulden, lead for Operations and Finance, who supports BCYF, Inc.’s internal controls and financial management. 


Moulden then provided an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s current finances and profit and loss statement. 

Fiscal and Internal Controls Policies – John Morris, Board Treasurer

Morris reminded the Board that BCYF, Inc. is committed to implementing and maintaining
strong fiscal controls that are reflective of both BCYF Inc.’s internal organizational needs as
community-driven grantmaking institution and good fiscal stewardship.

BCYF, Inc.’s fiscal controls policies provide the organization-wide framework to establish the
organizational standard for fiscal responsibility, consistency of operations, and alignment with
BCYF Inc.’s commitment to good stewardship of public funds.

BCYF, Inc. adopted its Fiscal and Internal Controls Policies in July 2020 as a first act of the
Transition Board of Directors.

Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. has since revisited these policies as part of an annual review of its
processes and is making several recommendations of revisions to the Policies. Morris gave a
brief outline of the revisions, which included language revisions, amendments to reflect current accounting practices and procedures, updates to legally required retention periods, and a recommended new article on Accounting Procedures.


Morris asked if there were any questions or comments regarding the recommendations, and there were none. 


Baez moved for approval of the recommendations. Seth Davies seconded the motion. The recommended revisions to the BCYF, Inc. Fiscal and Internal Controls Policy were unanimously approved with no abstentions.

Committee Reports – Erika Seth Davies, Dion Cartwright, Jacqueline Caldwell, 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 stated that the Audit Committee is moving forward with securing BCYF, Inc.’s
initial audit engagement and will have an auditor under contract this month.

B. Executive Committee – Dion Cartwright, Chair
Cartwright stated that the Executive Committee did not have an update report since the July
21st BCYF, Inc. Board meeting.

C. Community Engagement and Communications Committee – Jacqueline Caldwell
Caldwell updated the attendees on the work of the Community Engagement and
Communications Committee. She recalled that community safety was one of the priorities
that emerged from the data analysis collected through community design sessions held by
BCYF, Inc. in 2018.

Caldwell stated that based on this priority area, BCYF, Inc. is looking into a community-based TA partnership with Baltimore Brothers, an organization specializing in violence
prevention. This partnership would allow Baltimore Brothers to provide community-based
TA, free to the public, on youth violence prevention techniques and strategies. Caldwell
shared that the partnership was likely to be executed by the end of September 2021, with
programming extending into 2022.

Caldwell mentioned that the Community Engagement team is also working to develop the
youth leadership institute.


D. Race Equity and Inclusion Committee – Julia Baez, Secretary and Erika Seth Davies, Vice Chair

Baez stated that the Race Equity and Inclusion (REI) Committee has developed a race equity framework that will guide the development of organizational action plans and priorities. 


She introduced Committee Co-Chair Erika Seth Davies, whose work has guided the development of BCYF, Inc.’s race equity framework, to review the proposed framework. Baez reminded the attendees of BCYF, Inc.’s commitment to being an equity-focused organization. 


Seth Davies gave a presentation of the framework proposal. She stated that the REI Committee is recommending that the Board adopt this framework and the consultant team bring forward at the November 17th Board meeting BCYF, Inc.’s approach in the 10 areas of race equity across the organization. This organizational approach will be the foundation for the first and future annual race equity audits. 


Seth Davies opened the floor for questions or comments about these recommendations. The Board discussed the need to for BCYF, Inc. to have an ongoing focus on explaining why race equity is a value, and how it applies to the organization’s work. This focus aligns with and is part of implementing the goal of narrative shift that the Race Equity Framework puts forth. Morris then moved for approval of the REI committee’s recommendations. Allen seconded the motion. The Race Equity and Inclusion Committee’s race equity framework and implementation recommendation were unanimously approved with no abstentions. 


E. Hiring Committee – Dion Cartwright, Chair 

Cartwright shared that the President job posting is active at Maryland Workforce Exchange and Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED). MOED has posted the position to its “Now Hiring” job board and has shared it with the Professional Outplacement Assistance Center.


Cartwright summarized the next steps in the hiring process as follows: the business recruiter at MOED will forward all candidates to BCYF, Inc. and Nonprofit HR. Nonprofit HR is drafting a list of criteria to present to the Selection Committee with which to screen candidates. The Hiring Committee will provide feedback on the selection criteria. 


Nonprofit HR will create a public posting of the job and provide the Hiring Committee with a Blind Search Report. Following this, the Committee will discuss the candidate pool, and BCYF, Inc. will begin the process of interviewing and selecting candidates.

Adjournment – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair

Cartwright adjourned the Board meeting at 7:33 p.m. The next Board meeting will be on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.