Community Development

We encourage initiatives that attract resident investment in neighborhoods, promote sustainability, increase economic development opportunities, and nurture entrepreneurial talent.  We aim to increase the livability of neighborhoods, the number of residents, the number of jobs, and the size of the tax base. We are interested in programs that address concentrated poverty, racial wealth disparities, and tie the economic health of Baltimore City to the region.  

As successful households are key to neighborhood health, we support efforts to: 

  • Connect residents to resources to stabilize household finances and build generational wealth
  • Invest in community-led projects, enhance neighborhood amenities, and create green space
  • Reinvest in the reuse and occupancy of neighborhood vacant buildings and lots
  • Prevent foreclosures and evictions
  • Close the digital divide 
  • Increase local fresh food access 
  • Promote small businesses, entrepreneurs, and Baltimore’s maker economy to create jobs 
Program Officers: Beth Harber and Tracey Barbour-Gillett

Considering Applying?

Learn more about our eligibility and review criteria, and small and regular grants processes.

See Our Grants Process

Featured Work in Community Development

Photo courtesy of Eli Pousson.

Abell-Supported Research: The Costs of Baltimore’s Vacant Housing

Vacant houses, uninhabitable due to abandonment or lack of owner investment, exert a heavy cost on neighborhoods and the City as a whole. This report calculates just how steep the public cost is and provides an economic backdrop for future action.

Abell Report: Baltimore’s Digital Divide

This Abell Report documents the depths of Baltimore’s digital divide, a systemic problem that is now urgent and acute as it creates barriers to remote learning, telehealth appointments, and applying for jobs and benefits.

Photo courtesy of Latino Economic Development Center.

Issue Brief: Supporting Innovation and Growth for Small Businesses

The Abell Foundation has long been supportive of growing the entrepreneurial infrastructure and small-business ecosystem in Baltimore City to promote business expansion, job creation, and wealth formation, especially for Black entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. Recognizing the critical need to rebuild capital resources that have diminished over time, the Foundation has supported a number of community-based efforts to expand access to financing and business support.

Past Grants

Learn more about our grantees and their work to enhance the quality of life in Baltimore.
Filter our past grants by year or program area, or search by keyword.

See Our Past Grants

Contact Us

Have questions or want to discuss your idea for community development in Baltimore? Get in touch using the form below.

    Header photo courtesy of ReBUILD Metro.