Baltimore Community Foundation Deploys COVID-19 Response Grants

April 23, 2020


 April 22, 2020                                                                                       

Kate Sam, Communications Officer
 443.255.5483 //

Baltimore Community Foundation Deploys COVID-19 Response Grants, Plans for Intermediate and Long-Term Needs Ahead 

Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) today announced the latest in a series of grants to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable individuals and communities in the Baltimore region. The effort began in mid-March when, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, BCF swiftly made emergency grants to 18 frontline organizations to support distribution of essential supplies such as diapers, formula, food, and hygiene products. Simultaneously, the foundation launched the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund to address immediate needs and those yet to come. The fund was seeded with $50,000 of BCF’s unrestricted grantmaking dollars and quickly augmented with generous gifts from Atapco Properties, The Baltimore Ravens, Bank of America, BGE, Brown Advisory, Constellation, the Exelon Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, J.P. Morgan, the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, the Stephen and Renee Biscotti Foundation, Truist, Wells Fargo and many family foundations and individual donors.

While fundraising continues for the effort – which has $1.5 million committed to-date – grants have been flowing to communities in need. In a few short weeks, BCF has awarded nearly $300,000 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from existing and emergency funds to organizations embedded in communities hit hard by the crisis, with a focus on reaching especially vulnerable populations and youth whose educational outcomes could be seriously impacted by the closure of schools and childcare centers. BCF also invested in several nonprofits that have been critical to neighborhoods’ economic development and will be much needed in the recovery process. With these strategic priorities in mind, grant recipients range from frontline responders like Healthcare for the Homeless, to providers of day care services for essential workers such as Little Flowers Early Childhood and Development Center. See below, or visit to see a full list of grantees. 

As noted, BCF moved quickly in March to deploy existing funds in response to immediate community needs, but going forward applications for BCF’s COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund are being accepted through the COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore. The Collaborative has convened ten funders around a central application process to relieve nonprofits from excess work and speed relief. “Foundations are not usually thought of as nimble,” says Shanaysha M. Sauls, President & CEO of BCF, “but this is what we are here for. We are ready to meet the challenge and I’m heartened by how quickly we are seeing both the funding community and the Baltimore region at-large come together around this crisis. Everyone, from neighborhood block captains, to civic leaders are pooling resources and collaborating to ensure the most vulnerable among us are taken care of and that the progress we have made in so many neighborhoods and schools across the city is not stopped in its tracks.”

The COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative is meeting remotely each week to review proposals, with each funder applying their own unique decision-making processes and due diligence, but in consultation with one another to ensure that resources are being deployed strategically and all angles of an ever-evolving challenge are being considered. 

“We know that the effects of COVID-19 will ripple through our community for weeks and months to come, and by all accounts will have a disparate impact on low-income communities and communities of color,“ says Sauls. “BCF is committed to deploying all the tools available to us—from grant making to impact investing to advocacy—to mitigate the impact on neighborhoods that are already at a disadvantage in terms of resources and investment, and to help our region emerge stronger and more equitable from this.”

Beyond grantmaking, BCF, with guidance from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Abell Foundation, the Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation, PNC, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, is redirecting the pre-existing Small Business Technical Assistance Fund at BCF to help women and minority-owned businesses work with the Baltimore Development Corporation and regional CDFIs. The goal is to aid them in accessing much needed relief from federal, state and philanthropic sources. 

To make a donation to BCF’s COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, visit or contact Dara Schnee, Vice President of Philanthropy at Nonprofits interested in applying for funds should visit

BCF COVID-19 Response Grants as of April 22, 2020 

In accordance with BCF’s strategic priorities, the following grantees were selected based on their ability to serve neighborhoods and vulnerable populations hit hard by the crisis and to support youth whose growth is at risk during school and childcare center closures.

Emergency Food & Supplies Distribution

East Baltimore

The Village - $500 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution to seniors in the Collington Square, Clifton and Oliver communities

North Baltimore

St. Mary’s Outreach Center - $500 to support emergency food and essential supplies distribution to seniors in the Hampden, Remington, Medfield, Woodberry, Hoes Heights and Wyman Park communities

Northwest Baltimore

Langston Hughes Community, Business and Resource Center - $2,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution in the Park Heights community

Lazarus Rite - $500 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution to seniors in Northwest Baltimore

South Baltimore

Cherry Hill Tenant Council - $1,000 for emergency food distribution in the Cherry Hill neighborhood

Youth Ambassadors/Angela Y. Davis Academy - $500 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution

Southwest Baltimore

Baltimore Brothers - $1,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution in Southwest Baltimore

New Beginnings Barbershop - $1,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution in Southwest Baltimore

West Baltimore

Druid Heights CDC - $1,500 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution to families in transitional housing

No One Left Unhelped - $500 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution in the Sandtown and Poplar Heights communities

The Broken Wall Community Church - $5,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution in West and Southwest Baltimore

Baltimore County 

Community Assistance Network (CAN) - $5,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution to Baltimore County shelters and pantries 

Student Support Network - $40,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution at 8 schools in Baltimore County

Multiple Locations

CLLCTIVLY - $1,000 for emergency food and essential supplies distribution

Elev8 - $5,000 for emergency grocery deliveries to families in Sandtown, Cherry Hill, Walbrook Junction, Pigtown and Greater East Baltimore as they identify long-term food solutions and meet other social service needs 

The Movement Team - $40,000 to distribute emergency food boxes at 16 sites across Baltimore City

ShareBaby - $3,000 for emergency diaper and wipes distribution

Vulnerable Populations – Seniors

Civic Works - $10,000 for emergency, contact-free food and essential supplies delivery to seniors 

WBC Community Development Corporation - $1,500 for emergency food and essential supplies care packages to seniors at Wayland Village Senior Apartments in Forest Park

Vulnerable Populations – Homeless

Heart’s Place Services - $500 to support distribution of weekend backpacks with food and essential supplies to homeless children and their families

Credible Information Dissemination

Vulnerable Populations – Homeless

Healthcare for the Homeless - $25,000 to establish a phone hotline supporting universal screening procedures at Baltimore’s four homeless shelters and support medical providers and community health workers as they assess suspected positive screens and trigger transport to partner hospitals for testing and isolation

Vulnerable Populations – Spanish-Speaking

Esperanza Center - $33,700 to establish Spanish-language telemedicine hotline for Baltimore City and 

Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties


Cool Kids Campaign - $6,000 to expand online tutoring for special needs clients who would normally receive school-based support, and to provide laptops and hotspots to clients as needed 

Little Flowers Early Childhood & Development Center - $18,000 to sustain daycare services for frontline workers in Druid Heights, Greenmount East, Penn North, Pimlico/Arlington, Sandtown-Winchester, South Baltimore and Upton and to develop distance-learning materials for children of non-essential workers to continue social and developmental growth

Parks & People - $25,000 to provide laptops to Branches afterschool program interns for distance learning, allowing the interns to continue to collect bi-weekly stipends, and assess virtual learning options for summer programs

Nonprofit Sustainability & Support Services 

Baltimore Business Lending - $18,000 to cover lost interest-income as the nonprofit lender waives payments during the COVID-19 crisis

Baltimore Community Tool Bank - $5,000 for continued tool lending to frontline organizations and ones manufacturing personal protective equipment 

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative - $15,000 to sustain case management remotely, provide emergency food, essential supplies and cleaning equipment to GHHI clients and conduct emergency home repairs to ensure residents’ safety

About BCF

BCF is a philanthropic foundation created by and for the people of Greater Baltimore where many donors join together to make the region they love a better place today and for future generations. To achieve maximum impact, the foundation primarily focuses grantmaking on neighborhoods and education with the intention of addressing persistent racial disparities in economic opportunity. The foundation is comprised of 800+ different philanthropic funds with more than $173 million in assets. Over the past 48 years, BCF has granted more than $500 million to hundreds of organizations across the Baltimore region.

BCF staff are currently working remotely to limit person-to-person contact and slow the spread of the coronavirus.  However, all essential functions continue, speeding resources quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most. More information on BCF, our response to the COVID-19 emergency, including how nonprofit organizations can inform BCF’s evolving strategy, can be found at

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P: (410) 332-4171 | Email Us

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