Baltimore Children & Youth Fund Celebrates Progress and Looks to a Bright Future Serving the City’s Young People

The Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (BCYF) is an innovative approach to community-driven grantmaking that has touched the lives of young people across the city. We are establishing an institution that strengthens organizations serving young people, addresses racial disparities in how public resources are spent and invests in areas that have long been neglected.

BCYF Highlights

· The City established the Fund following unrest in Baltimore in 2015; voters approved it overwhelmingly in 2016.

· A community task force developed the concept for the fund and established investment priorities and principles. Read about BCYF’s principles here.

· The task force recommended Associated Black Charities, the city’s most prominent intermediary focused on addressing racial inequities, to administer the fund and lay the groundwork for an independent entity.

· BCYF trained a panel of community members, who made grant decisions in the first round of grantmaking.

· Grants totaling $9.6 million were made to 84 organizations, for the first grant cycle from 2018 to 2019, many working in communities that have historically gone without good programming for young people.

· Two-thirds of first round grantees are led by African Americans, fulfilling BCYF’s goal to expand the capacity of organizations led by people of color.

· In September 2019, BCYF began working with the grantees from the first cycle to think through program improvements for Continuation grants to cover 2020-2021. In February 2020, Continuation grant applications began to go to grantees who had completed their compliance reviews for the prior grant year.

Strengthening Baltimore Nonprofits


· BCYF works to strengthen community nonprofits.

· BCYF’s team provided thousands of hours of technical assistance to help organizations meet grant requirements – such as obtaining insurance and background checks, submitting grant reports and documenting expenses – which will help these groups be able to attract additional funds from other grant makers.

· BCYF is helping develop an ecosystem that strengthens nonprofits, allowing them to attract additional funding and better serve young people.

· BCYF is committed to addressing longstanding race-based inequities in grantmaking.

· BYCF’s community-driven process has allowed many Baltimoreans to have meaningful input into how public funds are spent – a significant change for any city.

· BCYF developed both traditional and nontraditional compliance tools to ensure compliance within an innovative grantmaking design. In BCYF’s first year, when new decisions were made for grantees, new compliance tools had to be designed and implemented

The Future

ABC and the BCYF team have worked diligently to lay the groundwork for BCYF to become an independent entity, Baltimore Children & Youth Fund Inc., which will fulfill the original vision for the Fund. · An interim board has been named. That board will develop bylaws and the board will eventually be expanded to include broad representation, including young people, community leaders and government officials.

· Legislation will be introduced in the Baltimore City Council to formally establish BCYF as its own entity.

· The BCYF board will establish policies, create an operational infrastructure and hire permanent staff.

· The Fund for Educational Excellence will provide administrative support to BCYF during the transition period.

· ABC’s role with BCYF will end June 30, 2020.

· BCYF will decide on new funding opportunities for other organizations.