BCYF is seeking community grant reviewers for the Spring 2024 Grant Cycle! 

Apply to become a grant reviewer for the Grassroots Fund!

Application opens January 5 – February 2, 2024

Applicants* must:

  • Reside in the Baltimore Region;
  • Have some experience working in, designing and/or operating youth programs; and
  • Be familiar with Baltimore’s youth service landscape.
  • Youth ages 16 and up are encouraged to apply!

* Applicants are ineligible to apply for BCYF grant funding in the same year.


The grant review panel aims to ensure that community members can recommend organizations that should receive grants from the $8 million fund. Reviewers will serve on a grant review panel, reviewing applicant responses to the grant application and scoring responses using a rubric. Feedback from this review process will inform funding decisions. BCYF will assess the panel’s recommendations and determine award decisions in August.


Guiding Principles for the Grant Review Process:

The following BCYF values will inform how the Grant Reviewers will be selected and how they will do their work.


Racial Equity: The entire grant review process must be built on racial equity. We should clearly identify and directly address how society’s power structures show up in the operation of the Grant Review Panel, including how assumptions about race may figure into the decision-making process. Specifically, white people should not dominate or drive the conversation. Additionally, the evaluation of different programs should include a basic understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources and assets within each community.


Intergenerational Leadership: In the West, we often greet each other by saying, “How are you doing?” The Maasai people of East Africa greet each other by asking, “How are the children?” This greeting represents the idea that the well-being of the children defines the well-being of the community. The purpose of the Fund is to help the whole city of Baltimore to embrace and live out the worldview embodied in this Maasai greeting. Specifically, the well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility. The Grant Review Panel must include youth leaders along with adults. Having different generations work together will reflect how our entire community must work together to improve the quality of life for our young people.


Community Ownership: The purpose of the Fund is to provide the communities typically seen as mere recipients of services with equal, authentic decision-making power to disperse the Fund’s resources. This means that the members of the Grant Review Panel should reflect the totality of our community. Specifically, the Grant Review Panel must include a variety of people who are highly committed to the communities they serve.


Collective Decision-Making: “Gatekeeping” is when one person has too much power in a decision-making process and marginalizes the people and communities who are most hurt by structural racism. Gatekeepers can use their power to circumvent community accountability and limit access to power and resources. Therefore, the Grant Review Panel must structure its decision-making process to be collective, not individual. Specifically, the Grant Review Panel will work together to make decisions. 


Selected applicants will be notified via email by February 14, 2024. Grant reviewers will be paid a $1500 stipend for serving as a Grant Review Panel member, which includes:

  • Attending two virtual onboarding trainings (1.5 hours each):
    • Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 6-7:30 pm
    • Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 6-7:30 pm
  • Reading and scoring assigned applications (20 hours)
    • April 3-22, 2024
  • Attending a mid-review meeting (1.5 hours)
    •  April 23, 2024, 6-7:30 pm
  • Attending office hours, as needed (3 hours)
  • Attending a final in-person review meeting (5 hours):
    • Saturday, April 27, 2024, 10:00 am-2:00 pm


Click HERE to apply to be a Grant Reviewer. The deadline to apply is February 2, 2024, at 5pm. Grant reviewer applicants are ineligible to apply for BCYF grant funding in the same year.


For questions, please email