Grants for successful schools and successful students are made possible by endowments and contributions entrusted by donors to BCF for education or unrestricted purposes. BCF is currently focusing these resources in three areas: school readiness, school leadership, and school effectiveness as well as advocacy and public policy efforts that support these three areas. Specifics of these funding priorities are provided in the Guidelines section below.
BCF is interested in partnering with organizations that have the capacity to effect systemic change, accelerate existing work, and drive outcomes in our areas of interest. We believe that early childhood interventions, great school leadership, and effective teachers, instruction and vibrant school culture provide the opportunity for all students to be successful academically and socially.
BCF funds projects or programs that serve populations from across the city, impact large numbers of people in multiple sites, and demonstrate the ability to influence practices, policies, or structures in the broader school system. We are not interested in single-site, staff professional development; however, single site programs will be eligible for consideration if the organization can demonstrate that best practices are replicable or unique programming that has the potential to serve students city-wide.
Target Neighborhoods – Although not required, we encourage grant submissions that address the BCF education strategies and are focused in one of the two BCF target neighborhoods - Reservoir Hill or Greater Highlandtown.
Commitment to Racial Equity
BCF is committed to examining and addressing issues of racial equity and inclusion in all of its work. We operate from the knowledge that profound disparities in opportunity exist between people of color and their white counterparts, and we acknowledge the historic and present role that structural racism plays in perpetuating those disparities. That is why we are committed to reducing racial disparities, identifying and combating structural racism, and fostering equity and inclusion through our grantmaking, initiatives, and advocacy. We will measure the success of our community investments by their ability to close racial gaps as they improve overall program success.
BCF welcomes grant applications from organizations serving Baltimore City and Baltimore County that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Typical grant size is $15,000 - $20,000. BCF may consider requests for multi-year funding.
BCF will support general operations and project specific requests in the following areas:
School Readiness: We understand the importance of quality classroom experiences for the youngest of our children. The skills and cultural competence of the teachers, the richness of the curriculum, and the overall environment in an early learning classroom are essential to success. Grants are available for organizations providing professional development, training, and exposure to model programs for childcare providers, particularly those targeting:
providers in low-income communities,
informal and family childcare providers, and
programs that serve English language learners
School Leadership: Grants are available for organizations working to recruit, train, support, and retain public school principals and teacher-leaders. With 25-30 new principals hired each year and key district leadership positions vacant, we must overcome the leadership void and turnover at all levels in the school system. Many feel that the talent pool of future principals exists among current teachers and assistant principals. BCF will support:
Efforts to build this pipeline of future principals.
Local non-profits that focus their efforts on teacher and principal effectiveness through intensive recruitment strategies and providing quality training and supports.
Ideas and collaboratives that contribute to the retention of effective teachers and principals (eg. explore systemic fixes to the leadership support void).
Advocacy: Grants are available for advocacy organizations that are engaged in efforts to support one or more of our priorities:
Ensuring public funding and support for public education, including financing for construction or rehabilitation of public schools and innovative options such as charter schools,
Public funding and policy issues specifically relating to early childhood education and/or school leadership, and,
Grassroots community organizing efforts that support stakeholder engagement on key public education issues.
How to apply
Carefully read the sections above to make sure that your organization and proposed program meet our eligibility criteria and our current funding priorities.
Submit a letter of inquiry with basic background on your organization, the identified need(s) your project proposes to address, an overview of the proposed project, and the amount you intend to request. Your letter of inquiry must be:
- No more than two pages,
- Received one month prior to the proposal deadline (specific due dates are noted below) and
- Sent electronically to Kendra Shaw. (Faxed or mailed copies will not be accepted.)
Upon our review of your letter of inquiry, if you are invited to apply you will be sent a link to our online grant application, which includes complete instructions for submission and a checklist of all required materials.
BCF is currently going through strategic planning. As a result, our 2017 education grantmaking is temporarily on hold in the areas of advocacy, school leadership, school effectiveness and school readiness.
Once established, we will announce our complete grantmaking cycle on this page and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Meanwhile, if you would like to share an idea related to these priority areas, please submit a letter of inquiry. (See instructions above.)