The Baltimore CASH Campaign—Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope—was launched in 2001 to increase access to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a powerful work incentive and poverty-alleviation tool, lifting more families out of poverty than any other federal aid program. Now a program of the CASH Campaign of Maryland, Baltimore CASH plans to serve 7,500 Baltimore residents by operating 15 to 20 free tax preparation sites, continuing its efforts to build high volume sites that can provide quality tax preparation, and asset development services.
Blue Water Baltimore advances clean water and watershed protection and elevates citizen concerns through multiple fronts: water and outfall sampling, data collection and scientific analysis, outreach and education, green infrastructure installation and tree plantings, cultivation and sale of native plants, targeted policy work, legislative advocacy, as well as litigation to hold polluters accountable under the Clean Water Act. This grant provides staff support to address top pollutants plaguing Baltimore City and its waterways: stormwater runoff and sewage overflows.
The Summer Funding Collaborative (SFC) is an aligned fund that directs resources to high-quality summer programs for low-income children in Baltimore City. In 2020, the SFC included 13 public and private funders that, collectively, distributed $3.5 million to 74 programs, funding a projected 9,500 seats. This grant includes funding for between 15-20 nonprofit organizations that will be determined in late winter 2021 through the SFC’s request for proposals as well as a fee for Baltimore’s Promise, the SFC’s administrative backbone.
Baltimore Re-Entry Resources, Inc. created a reentry website, returnhome.org, to provide accessible information about critical reentry services such as healthcare, housing, jobs, treatment, etc. The website is targeted to returning citizens from Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Funding from the Abell Foundation will support two enhancements to the website: 1. Adding a geo location feature so that a map will appear on each resource's page and tie into bus schedules; and 2. Providing ongoing web scraping to ensure that the website always has the latest, most accurate information.
BERC pursues long- and short-term data analysis and research, and subsequently interprets and shares the findings with Baltimore City Public Schools, community leaders, and other stakeholders. This grant will strengthen BERC’s core operating budget, which will support the onboarding of a new executive director and maintain the robust data archives that are the foundation of BERC’s work.
The Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition (BDEC) was formed in March 2020 to help provide digital access for those without in Baltimore in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns and closures. To date, this volunteer-led effort has focused its efforts in four areas: (1) access to devices; (2) greater Internet connectivity; (3) digital skills training and support; and (4) advocacy. While volunteers continue to be engaged and committed to the Coalition’s goals and priorities, the Coalition’s work demands are steadily growing and requires dedicated staff time.
Baltimore Corps supports Baltimore City’s social innovation sector by recruiting and deploying mission-driven young professionals to Baltimore City’s public agencies and social sector organizations. Kiva-Baltimore will target Black-owned small-business and micro-enterprise operating in Baltimore City and struggling to survive the economic collapse due to COVID-19. Grant funds will be used to support staff costs to meet expansion needs and increased demand from small and micro-business for ongoing advice and consultation through the Kiva-Baltimore platform.
Baltimore Community Lending (BCL) is an intermediary lender under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Microloan Programs. The foundation will provide the balance of matching funding to create a 15 percent loan loss reserve to launch the program. In supporting the small business assistance infrastructure in Baltimore City, the first year’s SBA Microloan fund of $750,000 is expected to fund loan amounts between $10,000 and $50,000 to between 15 to 75 small businesses, with special outreach to Black-owned businesses and businesses owned by people of color in Baltimore City.
From 2007 to 2017, a troubling trend emerged: the homeownership rate in Baltimore City fell from 51% to 47%, and the Black homeownership rate sank to 42%. This trend is part of a national crisis – even as other racial groups across the country have largely recovered from the wave of foreclosures during the Great Recession, Black homeownership continues to decline. The question now is whether more extensive first-time homebuyer incentives, and more flexibly underwritten home loans, could reverse declining rates of homeownership.