2023 Grassroots Fund

Dear BCYF Community,
We recognize there was an issue with applications started but not submitted prior to March 22, 2023. We apologize and have corrected the technical issue, however any applications started but not submitted prior to March 22, 2023 have not been saved.
In response to support applicants, BCYF will extend the application submission due date to Monday, April 10, at 12:00 p.m. 
If you started an application prior to March 22, 2023, AND the personal Jotform link to your application does not connect you with your previous submission, please restart your application.

The application form will not save your content, please use the blank application below to develop your responses. When ready, start and complete your application in one sitting. 
Please continue to submit your applications–we look forward to learning more about your important work with young people.

We are excited to announce that a new call for grant applications for the Grassroots Fund is coming soon. We have a new streamlined application and new community-driven grantmaking priorities!


The Grassroots Fund addresses traditional gaps in Baltimore’s funding landscape by providing funding for grassroots, Baltimore-based, youth-serving organizations to support its overall mission. BCYF is awarding $150,000 three-year grants to up to 30 eligible community-accountable organizations. Operating on a multi-year grant cycle allows BCYF to invest in building the capacity of its grantees, which positions organizations for success beyond BCYF funding. In addition to financial support, organizations awarded a Grassroots Fund grant will receive technical assistance and capacity-building support to help them sustain and grow.  


Grassroots organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to this fund:

  • Baltimore City-based and serves children and youth ages 24 years and under;  
  • Maryland 501(c)(3) organization or has a confirmed fiscal sponsor; and
  • An annual operating budget of $350,000 or less.
  • 51% or more employees are Baltimore-City residents.
  • In existence for at least one year.
  • At least one year of experience running youth programs.

Organizations led by Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian people are prioritized in this Fund, and decision-making processes are structured through a community-based grant review panel.

The application will be open from March 7- April 10, 2023. Please mark your calendars and consider applying to the Grassroots Fund!

2023 Application Toolkit

Please download the toolkit to have full access to the links inside.

1:1 Application Support

If you have additional questions and would like further support as you prepare your application for the 2023 Grassroots Fund grant, please review our schedule for 1:1 and small group support with our experienced technical assistance providers.

2023 Application and Community Technical Assistance Timeline

BCYF is hosting several pre-application technical assistance sessions to support applicants through the application process. Please find the full schedule below:

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Regina Salliey Cooper


This event is open to any Baltimore City-based organizations interested in applying for the Grassroots Fund. We will share the Application Toolkit and discuss important dates for the 2023 grant cycle.


Watch video here

Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Time: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Lori James Townes


Program design and development begins with a few questions: 

  • What is a vision statement?
  • What is a mission statement?
  • What is it important to identify your core values?
  • Why should you create vision and mission statements?
  • How do you create vision and mission statements?

Creating the organization’s vision and mission statements are the first two steps in organizational planning and development and are crucial to the success of community initiatives. To craft your statements, you must first identify what is important to you (what are your core values). These statements explain the group’s aspirations in a concise manner, help the organization focus on what is important, and provide a basis for developing other aspects of a strategic plan. During this session, participants will learn how to develop effective vision and mission statements driven by values to effectively communicate the work of the organization and provide a guide for developing and implementing their statements.


Watch Video here

Find the presentation here

Find the values list here

Date: Thursday, March 2, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Dr. Sharon Jones-Eversley


Organizational design is the administration of execution of an organization’s strategic plan and intent. This primer session will lead participants through the strategies of organizational design. The session will review the importance of identifying and defining organizational goals, objectives, and desired outcomes. In addition, this session is designed to assist participants in examining the connection between mission, vision, purpose, and program deliverables. Instructors will review program design principles and sample organizational blueprints.

Watch the video here

Find the presentation here

The BCYF Grassroots Fund addresses traditional gaps in Baltimore’s funding landscape by providing funding for grassroots, Baltimore-based, youth-serving organizations in support of an organization’s overall mission. In addition to financial support, organizations awarded a grant from the Grassroots Fund will also receive rigorous capacity-building support to help them sustain and grow. 


Grassroots organizations are defined as community accountable organizations with an annual operating budget of under $350,000. The Fund will prioritize organizations led by Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian people. 


To be eligible to apply, your organization should:

  • Be Baltimore City-based and serve children and youth ages 24 yeras and under;
  • Be a Maryland 501(c)(3) organization or has a confirmed Fiscal Sponsorship; 
  • Have an organizational budget of $350,000 or less;
  • Have been in existence for at least one year;
  • Have at least one year of experience running youth programs; 
  • And have 51% Baltimore City residents as its employees.

To note: We do not provide unrestricted funding. BCYF funds can only be used to support programming that is Baltimore-based and youth-centered. Current Grassroots Fund grantees are ineligible to apply.

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Dr. Sharon Jones-Eversley & Dr. Pam Love Manning


This session is open to any Baltimore City-based organizations interested in applying for the Grassroots Fund. During this session, we will go through the application step-by-step and allow participants to ask any questions about the application and its requirements.


View the video here

Find the application checklist here

Date: Thursday, March 9, 2023

Date: 2:30p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Dr. Pam Love Manning


During this session, participants will engage in a learning process that examines the pros and cons of collaboration. They will understand the key elements of collaboration and effective capacity-building strategies (i.e., inclusive, effective, productive, etc.). Instructors will share best practice models for incorporating capacity-building goals into their program design.


Watch the video here

View the presentation here

Find the questions for consideration before deciding to partner or collaborate with another organization here

Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Enoch Pratt Central Library

400 Cathedral St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Facilitator: Dr. Pam Love Manning


This first computer lab session will provide attendees with computer and internet access and application development. One-on-one support around application structure, review, and feedback will be available.


Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Center for Urban Families

2201 N Monroe St.

Baltimore, MD 21217

Facilitator: Lori James Townes


This second computer lab session will be Bring Your Own Device. BCYF will also provide a limited number of devices for attendees to use. This session will provide attendees with internet access and application development.  One-on-one support around application structure, review, and feedback will be available.

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Lori James Townes & Dr. Pam Love Manning


During the Grantee Panel Session, previous and current Grassroots Fund grantees will share their experiences with BCYF and the impact that funding has had on their programs. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.


Watch video here

Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Facilitator: Amy Kulp, Dr. Sharon Jones-Eversley


This bifurcated session will cover both completing the IRS-990 Form and provides a primer for designing and completing program evaluations. Basically, organizations need to show “they are doing what they said they would do.”

Part I: Completing Form 990: All 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are required to file an IRS Form 990 annually. This session will equip participants with a basic overview of filing requirements and deadlines, guidance on using the 990-EZ form versus the full 990, a briefing of the major components, and maintaining proper documentation. Resources will be provided including a preparation checklist and tips for getting assistance with filing. Participants will be able to arrange for one-on-one support after this session.

Part II: Developing Program Outcomes: Demonstrating Your Value on Paper and Beyond: There are several questions that should be asked in deciding whether an outcome is vital. During this session, participants will examine the critical importance of effective program evaluations. In addition, we will demonstrate strategies to align outcomes and institutional goals. We will explore any questions posed and share the best practices and models for evaluation and the importance of establishing and publishing program outcomes, as well as program results.


Watch video here

Information on the facilitators for these sessions can be found below.


  Lori James Townes

Lori James-Townes has over 30 years of clinical practice, leadership, and management experience. She is the principal owner of Expand-NOW, a consulting firm on organizational development and support, including leadership development, professional development, strategic planning, and team-building sessions.


She previously served as Director of Social Work, Leadership, and Program Development at the Maryland Office of Public Defender. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to increase capacity in the following areas, teamwork, leadership, and management. She also led the agency’s social work staff, consultants, and interns. She has held teaching positions at Morgan State University, the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW), and most recently Towson University (Clinical Instructor).


Lori has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a speaker, her presence is requested both nationally and internationally.


She currently holds and has held various leadership positions on both local and national organizations and Boards of Directors. She currently serves as President of the Alumni Board of Directors (UMSSW) and was honored to be the commencement speaker in May 2021 (UMSSW Lori earned her master’s degree in clinical social work (from the University of Maryland School of Social Work) and her B.A. in Social Work from Morgan State University.


 Dr. Pam Love Manning

Pam Love Manning (aka Dr. Pam Love) is the founder of DP Love Enterprises LLC and the Finishers Network. She is also a Partner with Expand-Now. Pam is an inspirational speaker, executive and life coach, and an expert in the areas of training and development. Pam earned an MBA, PhD, MSW and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Applied Psychology. She was certified to use a Thinking for a Change curriculum.

Pam serves clients nationally and internationally and has taught for various universities in Maryland and for the University of Southern California. She has facilitated training with mental health workers, attorneys, returning citizens, members of gangs, violence interrupters, and women with a complex trauma history. She is the author of 5 self-help books, one of which was turned into a highly acclaimed stage production.

Pam was appointed by Maryland’s Governor to the Family Violence Council. She is the Governance Committee Co-Chair of Executive Alliance and is a member of Association for Talent Development and the National Network for Social Work Management. Pam is an Emeritus Director of the University System of Maryland Foundation Board and the former Chair of a University’s Development Foundation Board.

 Dr. Sharon Jones-Eversley  

Dr. Sharon D. Jones-Eversley was born, raised, and public school educated in Baltimore, Maryland. She has 38 years of professional experience in human services and health. Dr. Jones-Eversley is a tenured Full Professor and Social Epidemiologist at Towson University in the Family Studies and Community Development Department.


She earned a Doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy. Her interdisciplinary research expertise includes social epidemiology, legal epidemiology, family science, nonprofit management, and community capacity-building. The precedence of her scholarship highlights Black families’ and communities’ lived experiences and exposures to persistent deprivation, injustice, illness, violence, and preventable deaths.


She played a historic role in addressing health disparities in Maryland. In 2005, she researched and recommended strategies for Maryland to eliminate health disparities. I authored several reports for the Maryland Department of Health. The Health Disparities Recommendations & Best Practice Report was a culmination of her research. Her creative-scholastic work on the national documentary, The Skin You’re In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVsEoNMlEPY) reflects her commitment to equity.


She is also a member of several professional organizations: the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research, American Public Health Association, American Evaluation Association, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, and the Maryland Genealogical Society.


 Amy Kulp

Amy Kulp, MS, has over 26 years of nonprofit management experience, including serving as chief operating officer of the American Association of Suicidology. She currently works as an account executive for an association management company, serving as the executive director for multiple clients.


Amy possesses a wide breadth and depth of knowledge relative to fiscal oversight and reporting, governance, policies and procedures, and best practices in nonprofit administration. She is proficient in change management, leadership coaching, as well as board and staff development. Amy works alongside organizations to identify areas for improvement, collaboratively problem-solve, and increase efficiency and performance.


Amy has a BSW in social work from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota and a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

All sessions will be recorded and posted to the BCYF 2023 Grassroots Fund webpage, found under each session above. 


In addition to the technical assistance sessions, the 2023 Grassroots Fund Application Toolkit is a resource for applicants as they prepare their applications. Within the toolkit, you will find the following: 


  • Application Workbook

    • The workbook contains thorough information about completing your application and what to expect if awarded a Grassroots Fund grant.

  • FY23 Scoring Rubric

    • The Community Grant Reviewers will use this rubric to review all applications.

  • Allowable Costs Reference Guide

    • The Grassroots Fund grant is not unrestricted funds. Please review this list of allowable costs if awarded a Grassroots Fund grant.

  • Sample Certificate of Good Standing in the State of Maryland

  • Sample 990

  • Grants Management System Instructions – Coming Soon!


The 2023 Grassroots Fund Application Toolkit can be found at 2023 Grassroots Fund Application Toolkit


Questions & Answers

Please send all questions about the application or application process to grantmaking@bcyfund.org

If you have technical questions about your application submission, you may email them to grantmaking@bcyfund.org up until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, to ensure that our team as the appropriate time to answer your 

questions before the application deadline. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible. However, due to the high volume of submissions on the deadline, we cannot guarantee an immediate response. Late submissions will not be accepted

Technical Assistance Providers Needed

Gearing up for the 2023 grant cycle this spring, BCYF will provide a host of pre-application technical assistance offerings to Baltimore-based youth-serving organizations and seeks experienced consultants to partner with the Grantmaking & Technical Assistance (GMTA) team to deliver technical assistance to prospective applicants.

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