William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund


The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund was established in 1964 by Mary S. Baker in memory of her husband. Awarding grants that range from $1,500 to $45,000 the Baker Fund continues its founders' civic-minded philanthropic tradition benefiting the residents of the greater Baltimore area. The Baltimore Community Foundation has managed the Baker Fund’s grants program since 1985.

Board of Governors

Connie E. Imboden, President
Gwen Davidson
Laura L. Gamble
Steven G. Ziger


Cultural organizations (or their fiscal agents) serving the Baltimore area that qualify as public charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national origin, political persuasion, age, physical handicap, gender or sexual orientation.

Typical Grants



The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund believes that arts and culture play a central role in the development and growth of healthy individuals and thriving communities and commits its resources to promote and sustain a vibrant arts and culture sector in metropolitan Baltimore. Its grants support organizational effectiveness, promote local artists and their work, and provide cultural experiences that welcome people of all backgrounds, enhance residents’ lives, and strengthen the region’s sense of cohesion and identity.


  • Enrich metropolitan Baltimore life
  • Support a lively creative environment
  • Deepen civic connections and engagement through arts and culture
  • Ensure that programs are inclusive and outreach efforts broad
  • Sustain a healthy cultural ecosystem
  • Provide funding opportunities to strengthen the programs and practices of organizations that offer significant cultural experiences, foster sector cooperation and alliances and sponsor an artist portfolio awards initiative that supports and promotes local artists through a nonprofit intermediary

Funding Priorities

1.Strengthening Organizational and Artistic Practices

  • Capacity programs to improve internal organizational and management practices—including board training, strategic planning, fundraising and marketing expertise, budgeting and financial planning, program planning, professional development, technology upgrades and training and operating support for key partners.
  • With submission of a full proposal, qualified applicants may apply for a working capital reserve or fixed asset replacement reserve grant requiring a 1:1 match. See Reserve Funds Grant Application.
  • Occasional capacity requests from arts magnet schools
  • Professional development programs for the benefit of practicing metropolitan Baltimore artists
  • Small grants for facility enhancements (not renovations)

2. Innovative Programs

  • Innovative programming initiatives and projects from organizations with budgets larger than $75,000 to present or exhibit the work of professional artists that will deepen audience engagement or engage new audiences.
  • Small grants (up to $1,500) to present or exhibit the work of professional artists/performers that will deepen audience engagement or engage new audiences.  Eligibility: organizations with budgets under $75,000 which operate as nonprofits or are under the auspices of a fiscal agent and individuals using a fiscal sponsor. Application Process: History of presenting organization, description of project, most recent year-end organizational budget, project budget, Data Arts Profile in Baker format, and IRS Determination Letter. Letter of Inquiry required.  Applications accepted year-round.

3. Cultural Sector Collaboration

  • Strategic alliances that support collaboration and cooperation across the cultural community and strengthen organizational abilities to work at the highest levels.

The Baker Fund does not generally support the following types of requests:

  • Arts programs and projects that use the arts as a mechanism to achieve other ends, such as community development, health, social justice, arts education or youth development objectives
  • Multi-year funding, annual appeals, event sponsorships, capital (except for its Working Capital or Fixed Asset Replacement Reserve Fund Programs) or endowment campaigns
  • Replacement of decreased public sector funds
  • Services outside the greater Baltimore area

No grants will be made for religious purposes or directly to individuals.

How to apply

Please submit a two-page letter of inquiry with basic background on your organization including current operating budget, the identified need(s) your project proposes to address, an overview of the proposed project, and the amount you intend to request. Letters of inquiry must be received one month prior to the proposal deadline(s) listed below and may be sent by email to:

William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund
c/o Melissa Warlow
Director of the Baker Funds Grants Program

If there is a match between your project and the mission of the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, you will be invited to submit a full application.

To begin a NEW application, click here.

To continue working on an EXISTING application, click here.


  • July 10, 2020 - For consideration at the September 17th 2020 board meeting
  • October 2, 2020 - For consideration at the December 10th 2020 board meeting


Melissa McC. Warlow
Director, Baker Fund Grants Program
410-332-4172 x150
Contact Information

11 E. Mount Royal Avenue | Baltimore, MD 21202 | Directions
P: (410) 332-4171 | Email Us

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