Range of public, corporate and nonprofit funders work collaboratively to provide great summer opportunities for Baltimore’s young people
BALTIMORE – Working together to pay for summer opportunities for young people, the Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative (the Collaborative) announced today it has awarded just over $5 million in grants to support 90 high-quality summer programs for children and youth living in families with low incomes in Baltimore.
The grants will help fund summer programs that provide academic support to reduce summer learning loss, connect youth to valuable work experiences, and engage young people in enrichment activities that allow them to pursue interests, discover talents, and develop skills.
The Collaborative is a partnership between public, private and nonprofit institutions that aims to create summer program opportunities for families. The Collaborative’s members include some of Baltimore’s largest public, private and nonprofit institutions: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, BGE, Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Blanket Fort Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Constellation, Family League of Baltimore, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Hinkey-Benson Family Fund, The Richman Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and the West Baltimore Renaissance Foundation. Baltimore’s Promise serves as the backbone administrator for the Collaborative.
Funders who are members of the Collaborative have varying priorities for grantmaking, ranging from literacy and STEM to youth employment and social-emotional wellness, but work collaboratively to make complementary funding decisions to support a diverse set of high-quality summer programs to help Baltimore youth have the chance to reach their full potential.
This year several new funders joined the Collaborative, including BGE, the Blanket Fort Foundation, and West Baltimore Renaissance Foundation, all attracted to working in partnership on summer grant decisions. “Blanket Fort Foundation was excited to be a part of the 2023 Summer Funding Collaborative. The SFC is an excellent opportunity to work alongside community members and peer funders to help provide high quality summer experiences for children and youth in Baltimore,” said Sara Lerner, Executive Director of the Blanket Fort Foundation.
“We are pleased to join the Summer Funding Collaborative and work in partnership with so many other funders committed to supporting Baltimore’s young people,” said Kristen Bucher, BGE Workforce Development Manager. “This collaborative approach helps us all make better funding decisions that ensure we support strong programs that will give Baltimore children and youth the kinds of summer experiences they need and deserve.”
The Collaborative’s funding decisions were informed by an in-depth community review process through which more than 150 Baltimore residents, both adults and youth, reviewed all 178 funding applications. Review sessions took place both online and in-person, and all participants were paid for their time. For the in-person review meetings, reviewers were also provided with meals, transportation assistance and child care.
Assessments of grant applications by members of the community provided SFC funders with valuable perspective from young people and families. Many SFC funders either directly relied on community review results for decision-making or incorporated the scores and feedback into an existing decision-making process. In addition, all SFC applicants received feedback from the review process to support planning for their summer programs and future grant applications.
“The community review process was extremely valuable in helping The Annie E. Casey Foundation make informed decisions for this upcoming summer funding cycle,” said Adrian McLemore, Program Officer with the Baltimore Civic Site of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “The community provided thoughtful insights and analysis on the critical summer needs for Baltimore’s youth. The SFC is grateful for the time, attention and care each member provided to this process.”
The following organizations will receive funding from the Summer Funding Collaborative:
This is the ninth year of summer youth funding provided by the Collaborative. Last summer, the Collaborative provided over $5.3 million in funding throughout Baltimore City and funded more than 9,500 summer youth opportunities.
This year, the SFC received 178 applications and over $12 Million in requests with just over $5 Million in funding available to support summer programs.
The Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative is a partnership between public, private and nonprofit organizations that supports high-quality summer programs that serve youth from low-income families in Baltimore City.