Why community review?

Why community review? – Shondrea McCargo

The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund (BCYF) utilizes a community grant review process to ensure community voices are heard and included on matters such as how to prioritize funding. A community review involves engaging community members and stakeholders in the Grassroots Fund grant application review and decision making processes.


By involving the community in the grant review application process, BCYF can gather valuable feedback, ensure program responsiveness, and build trust and accountability with the organization and its stakeholders. This process ensures that the program is responsive to the community’s needs and interests. BCYF can tailor programming, assessment, and outcomes to the participants’ and community’s needs by involving the community, particularly grassroots communities, in the application review process. By engaging community members or stakeholders in the application review process, funders can better understand constituents, identify gaps in services or programming, and develop new strategies to address those needs.


Finally, a community application review panel can help build trust and accountability. By involving the community in the review process, the organization is committed to transparency, openness, and collaboration. BCYF is held accountable to the community for its actions and decisions. When the community is involved in the review process, they are more likely to trust BCYF and its leaders. This engagement fosters a sense of partnership between the community and BCYF, leading to increased confidence in BCYF’s services and programs. BCYF enhances its credibility and trustworthiness by acknowledging and responding to community concerns and suggestions.


A community review panel is essential for the success of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund. By involving the community in the grant application  process, BCYF can receive valuable feedback on the type and quality of applications, opportunities for future technical assistance needs, and helps build trust in the application review process and outcomes.