CONTACT US   |   Print Page   |   Sign In   |   join.
"Adventures in Philanthropy" Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
Our "Adventures in Philanthropy" blog posts are written by our staff and diverse membership and offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media, and those interested in current issues and giving trends.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: Adventures in Philanthropy  philanthropy  ABAG By the Numbers  Recent Reports from the Field  Workforce  public policy  BIP  ABAG members  Baltimore  Baltimore Integration Partnership  nonprofits  Affinity Groups  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Diversity  giving  March 2015 Members' Memo  Maryland Nonprofits  Equity  Inclusion  MdeHN  Education Funders  July/August 2015 Members' Memo  March 2014 Members' Memo  Maryland Environmental Health Network  November 2013 Members' Memo  October 2013 Members' Memo  the giving life  ABAG  april 2014 Members' memo  Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative 

Baltimore Integration Partnership Update, May 2017

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

University of Maryland Launches New Partnership for West Baltimore

The University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland, Baltimore have launched a new collaborative partnership with West Baltimore neighborhoods. At a Town Hall Forum on May 4th, university and hospital Presidents Dr. Perman and Dr. Suntha outlined that the new partnership will focus on improving community health, strengthening economic and community development, supporting education and youth development, and improving communication with community members. Their efforts build on a range of new resources and programs launched through their one year old community engagement center such as Workforce Wednesday and other initiatives such as the Cure Scholars Program and Local Food Connections. These initiatives are designed to target resources, investments, supports and opportunities to neighboring communities. At the Town Hall, community members were invited to identify other needs that the institutions, as anchors in the community, could work to collaboratively address. Learn More. 


HopkinsLocal Releases Year 1 Progress Report

One year after the launch of HopkinsLocal, leaders from Johns Hopkins University and Health System provided an update on the institutions’ efforts to expand economic opportunities for Baltimore businesses and residents. Outcomes include contracting 17.3% of addressable construction spend or $55 million with minority-owned, women-owned, or disadvantaged business enterprises; 304 new hires for a set of targeted positions live in focus area Baltimore zipcodes; and $4.9 million in spending in targeted categories with local businesses. The institutions are committed to build on the lessons of the program’s first year, leverage their influence with other companies and organizations, and seek new approaches, partnerships, and investments to reach the program’s goals in the coming years.  Read Full Report.


Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum

The Governor's Workforce Development Board, Towson University, and the Baltimore Integration Partnership are co-sponsoring the second annual Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum on May 17th from 1 to 5:30. This forum will focus on anchor and business workforce partnerships as well as ways to integrate often overlooked populations—opportunity youth, individuals on the neurodiversity spectrum—into our regional workforce. Click here for more information and registration.


Job and Workforce Fair in Central Baltimore

Maryland New Directions with support from Central Baltimore Partnership, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and the BIP, is hosting a job and workforce fair on Thursday, May 25th from 9 to 12. The free event will be held at 2640 St. Paul Street. A variety of employers including anchor institutions as well as workforce service providers will be participating. More Information.





Kaiser Permanente Outlines Power of Procurement

The BIP was pleased to co-host with Kaiser Permanente several conversations around small business development and anchor purchasing at the University of Maryland BioPark in early April.  The day included a presentation by Laurel Junk, Chief Purchasing Officer, who outlined Kaiser Permanente’s efforts and strategies to spend more than $1.6 billion with diverse suppliers at the national level. Through the meetings and other ongoing work in Baltimore, Kaiser Permanente is engaging other anchor institutions and partners to identify ways they can collectively grow impacts from institutional procurement and support local and minority owned businesses. Mayor Pugh also participated and provided participants a preview of the City’s efforts to grow small business development strategies. Finally, Andy Cook, who leads Made in Baltimore, provided an overview of the City’s new local business recognition initiative and branding campaign.


Baltimore Anchor Work Featured in Yes! Magazine

The work of several Baltimore anchors and BIP partners including the City of Baltimore, Bon Secours, and Johns Hopkins were featured in this recent Yes Magazine article, How the Neighborhood That Inspired “The Wire” Is Pulling Its Residents Out of Poverty. The article highlights the opportunities anchor institutions have through their hiring and purchasing powers to support area residents and businesses and features several of the BIP projects including Centre Theater and a Food Vendor Fair.

Anchors in the News

-  A Path to Success for Maryland’s Working Poor

-  A grand premiere for Baltimore's renovated Parkway Theatre

-  Next steps for HopkinsLocal

The Baltimore Integration Partnership is funded by the national Living Cities Integration Initiative, the Surdna Foundation and receives generous local support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Goldseker Foundation, Associated Black Charities, The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative and the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). ABAG acts as a backbone organization, coordinating and staffing the partnership.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  BIP 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Top Five Ways Grantmakers are Utilizing the Standards for Excellence® Program

Posted By Tausi Suedi, Tuesday, April 4, 2017

By Amy Coates Madsen, Director, Standards for Excellence Institute®, Maryland Nonprofits

All around the Free State, more and more grantmakers are utilizing the Standards for Excellence program. The Standards for Excellence program helps nonprofits live by the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, a set of 67 standards for good nonprofit governance and management. The Standards for Excellence Institute, a project of Maryland Nonprofits, offers a host of high-quality educational materials and training programs to help nonprofits achieve and embrace these leading standards. Organizations demonstrate to funders (and everyone else!) that they operate in a way consistent with these high standards by participating in the Institute’s accreditation and recognition programs. Nonprofits that earn the Seal of Excellence can display it prominently and it also becomes part of their GuideStar profiles.

In Annapolis, the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County has added a question about Standards for Excellence achievement to its grant applications. Melissa Curtin, Executive Director, stated, " Our confidence in an organization's focus on efficiency, effectiveness, integrity and transparency is increased significantly when an organization has earned the Seal."  

Prince George’s County Department of Social Services (PGDSS) is awarding extra points to organizations that receive the Standards. Additionally, the Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development requests the list of Standards for Excellence accredited and recognized groups when they are undertaking their grants review process.


The Horizon Foundation, based in Columbia, Maryland, has eligibility criteria for its Level III funding opportunities that require either Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence, BBB Standards of Accountability (or a similar industry specific standard) by the time of the grant award.

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is sponsoring a cohort of organizations in Baltimore to strengthen their governance and management capacity and earn the Seal of Excellence, combined with leadership development and peer learning.  T. Rowe Price Foundation is also sponsoring a cohort of organizations West Baltimore to strengthen their capacity, in part, utilizing the Standards for Excellence. 

The Standards for Excellence program is now offered under license by regional, statewide and national partners all around the country. 

The Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama (CFNEA) offers training and coaching for organizations interested in being accredited by the Standards for Excellence Institute®, and sets aside additional funding available exclusively for Standards accredited organizations.

“It is imperative that not-for-profits of all sizes be effective, efficient, credible and transparent as they strive to meet critical community needs,” says Jennifer S. Maddox, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama. “We believe not-for-profit organizations are our partners in achieving the mission of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama. The Standards for Excellence® accreditation gives us confidence in the grants we make.” 

Other examples of foundations moving in this direction are plentiful. 

• Seven foundations in Pennsylvania (where the Standards for Excellence program is offered by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations) encourage their grantees and other nonprofits to participate in the Standards for Excellence training and accreditation process (Phoenixville Community Health Foundation; Westmoreland County Community Foundation; Grable Foundation; Philadelphia Foundation; Montgomery County Foundation; Adams County Community Foundation; and the HBE Foundation.)

• Eleven foundations in Ohio (where the Standards for Excellence program is offered by the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations) do the same (Richland County Foundation; Licking County Foundation; Dayton Community Foundation; the Cleveland Foundation; the Columbus Foundation; Toledo Foundation; Greater Cincinnati Foundation; Findlay-Hancock Foundation; Gund Foundation; Gar Foundation; and the Mathile Family Foundation).

• In Oklahoma, numerous foundations ask whether potential grantees have completed Standards for Excellence comprehensive training programs, which are offered through Standards for Excellence replication partner, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.

Funders in Maryland can utilize the Standards for Excellence as a due diligence tool and as a resource for their grantees – and for nonprofits they aren’t able to support.  To learn more about how your foundation or governmental agency can benefit from the Standards for Excellence program, contact Amy Coates Madsen at  

Based on a blog originally published by the Peak Grantmaking (formerly Grants Managers Network), February 2017.

Top Five Ways Funders are Using Standards for Excellence in Grant Making

1. Providing support to nonprofits interested in Standards for Excellence training or accreditation.
2. Asking if an organization has earned the Seal of Excellence as part of the proposal or grant application process.
3. Awarding extra points or extra credit in the review process for organizations that have earned the Seal of Excellence.
4. Sponsoring cohorts of grantees to get consulting support to meet the Standards.
5. Referring nonprofits to the Standards resources such as the self-assessment, financial policies, or board composition analysis. 

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Maryland Nonprofits  nonprofits  philanthropy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The Role of Philanthropy in Public Policy: “ABAG Goes to Annapolis”

Posted By Jonalyn Denlinger, Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2017

By: Jonalyn Denlinger, Director of Member Engagement

On January 31st, ABAG held its first ever “ABAG Goes to Annapolis” event. Twenty ABAG members and staff met in Annapolis to participate in the legislative session. For many, this was their first time to Annapolis observing the legislative session, for others this was a repeat occurrence. Both seasoned and first-timers commented on the “hurry up to wait” experience of the legislative session, as well as the importance of participating as an active citizen in the decisions made in our state capital. Everyone also agreed that it was a positive experience that exposed members to the legislative process.

This day in Annapolis represents the work of the Association’s Public Policy Committee, which meets quarterly. In 2016, the Public Policy committee, led by chair Kevin Griffin Moreno of the Baltimore Community Foundation, worked together to learn about the various roles our members play in public policy. It was through these conversations and exploration that we learned many of our members had not been to Annapolis, either in their personal life or professional roles. We also learned that our members engage with public officials and policy-related issues in a variety of ways- each unique to the charter and bylaws of their organization. Additionally, we learned that many of our members had hesitations and the need for further clarity about the role philanthropy can play in public policy. As a committee, we wanted to capture the various ways our members both define and act within the context of public policy. Below is our guiding document of definitions:

Public policy advocacy is a means of effecting change in public policy or practice through persuasive communications with elected or appointed public officials.

Advocacy does not equal Lobbying. Public policy advocacy includes a broad range of communications, relationship-building, capacity-building, and other activities. U.S. and federal guidelines limit lobbying to contacting – or urging the public to contact – policymakers for the purpose of: proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation; and/or influencing public policy decisions by Executive Branch employees.

Public policy advocacy includes:

  • Legislative advocacy – aimed at passing, blocking, or changing legislation;
  • Budget advocacy – aimed at affecting the allocation of public resources;
  • Administrative/regulatory advocacy – aimed at affecting the ways that laws are implemented and budgets are spent by public agencies; and
  • Judicial advocacy – aimed at reforming the legal system.

Types of public policy advocacy and potential roles for philanthropy:

  • Capacity Building – grantmaking to advocacy organizations, organizing, leadership development  
  • Coalition Building – mobilizing individuals/organizations around specific policy issues
  • Convening – holding meetings/forming networks around particular issues
  • Education – providing information to public officials and other stakeholders about policy issues
  • Grassroots Organizing – leading organizing efforts around particular issues
  • Litigation – lawsuits, legal representation, etc.
  • Lobbying –direct & grassroots lobbying – includes verbal & written testimony unless formally invited
  • Research – funding and/or disseminating the findings of studies, reports, white papers, etc. for the purpose of effecting policy change
  • Relationship-Building – cross sector relationship building with public, private, and social sector stakeholders
  • Strategic Communications – press releases, interviews, op-ed pieces, blog posts, social media activities, marketing, branding, emails to stakeholders, etc.
  • Funding - direct funding to advocacy organizations to address key issues important to foundation and community

Please join us for continued conversations about the role of philanthropy in public policy at our upcoming Public Policy Committee Meetings:

March 30, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

June 19, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

September 18, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

November 20, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM 

Tags:  ABAG Members  Adventures in Philanthropy  Philanthropy  policymakers  policyworks  Public Policy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Feelings; a Database Transition Tool

Posted By Kathleen McCarthy, Monday, August 8, 2016

This article originally appeared on the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation's blog. It is shared here with permission. 


A lesson in how to relate “thinking” technology to “feelings” and our broader organizational culture



Maya Angelou famously said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I have given a lot of thought to this quote over the past year, especially as the Knott Foundation has transitioned to a new grants management system.

The transition to a new system began with a deep dive into to the ever-expanding world of software options. To see the multitude of bells and whistles available to manage, measure, and message our data was both overwhelming and exhilarating. And, like buying a new car, I could see how it would be very easy to walk away with a Ferrari when you only needed a Ford.


Our approach when identifying a system was largely threefold: to find a system that would improve operational efficiencies internally, enhance the grant applicant experience externally, and enable us to understand, aggregate, and share the data and stories we are collecting.


After months of planning and long hours of building out our new Fluxx platform, with tremendous excitement we went live with the system in April of this year. While largely a smooth ride, as is customary with any database transition, we have hit a few bumps in the road. 


And this is where Maya Angelou comes into play. As it turns out, database transitions concern themselves with more than just data. At their heart they are all about people and how they feel.


For our staff, it was important that that the new system be flexible and powerful without being intimidating. To ensure that we achieved this in the final build, feelings became a big part of the conversation. Learning curves are inevitable, but what’s invaluable in getting the best possible product is understanding how the database ultimately makes the staff responsible for interacting with it feel. Communicating with Fluxx how certain processes and design elements were leaving individuals confused and uncertain helped us get to a place where change management (rather than crisis management) could take place.


For our applicants, it was important that the new system provide a high level of real time access and control. We believe, and have heard from many applicants, that the new online system does this. While the empowering elements are a valued improvement, we remain committed to our welcoming culture in the face of our new technology. Realizing that grant writing is a hard job and navigating the proclivities of foundations can be even harder, we never want to promote technological empowerment over human understanding. If we neglected to address how our new grants system made our applicants feel, we would not only be making their jobs harder, we wouldn’t be true to our own organizational culture. 


Listening, acknowledging and responding to feelings throughout our database transition process has not always been easy. We believe in the end, however, that in doing so we have created a strong platform to achieve our long-term goal of understanding, aggregating, and sharing the data and stories we are collecting. While this goal will take a bit longer to achieve, we are energized by the thought that our grants management system transition could have a transformative impact on how we work to strengthen communities and foster relationships. 


As the Grants Manager, my job has been to shepherd the Foundation and our applicants through the transition to the Fluxx system. There have been times when my flock strayed; however, I found that when I took a step back and thought to myself,how would this change element make me feel if my role were something different? I found that I was able to get the flock back in the stall.


There are so many amazing grants management systems on the market today. There are also a lot of great resources, such as Idealware’s A Consumers Guide to Grants Management Systems, to help you get started in your journey. Regardless of the route you take in selecting your Ferrari or your Ford, and regardless of the choice you ultimately make, we’ve found that feelings are the fuel that will keep both on the road and running smoothly. They may be hard to hear and challenging to translate, but if you take the time…and a breath…people will never forget how you and your grants management system made them feel.  (And your database will thank you for it.)


Kathleen is the grants and information technology manager at The Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation. You can learn more about the Foundation by visiting their website,

Tags:  ABAG members  Adventures in Philanthropy  grants management 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

10 Core ABAG Milestones in 2014

Posted By Celeste Amato, Monday, January 12, 2015
January 2015

By Celeste Amato, ABAG President

The begining of a new year provides opportunity to both look back, and look forward at our plans, goals, successes and challenges.
Over the last year issues like education, workforce, the environment, diversity and inclusion, and innovative aging - to name a few – have been in the headlines, and ABAG members have been at the forefront tackling these challenges.

We have seen new collaborations and partnerships blossom and grow among ABAG members and partner organizations.

Partnerships focused on innovation and community collaboration in addition to thoughtful ongoing grantmaking across the region. The notion of collective action, in its many forms, is taking hold and driving greater results than individual grantmaking can achieve alone.

This growing interest among members, for collaboration and action, is also driving the five-year update of the ABAG strategic plan.

In mid-2014, ABAG board and staff began asking some big but familiar questions about the ABAG brand, new member types, and the capacity to facilitate critical initiatives and partnerships that increase the impact of philanthropy on communities. Through this process the ABAG staff is also considering how to balance and deliver services to meet the evolving needs of a diverse membership.

Early this year, ABAG will seek input from the full membership via a survey of critical questions and issues the Association will need to address over the next five years.

Reflecting on the year gone by, 10 Core Milestones stand out and speak to the core mission of ABAG – the network for donors in Maryland – and the work and impact of every ABAG member.

ABAG thrives on the energy and engagement of members and we thank you for making us part of your philanthropic efforts.

We look forward to continuing this journey together throughout 2015.

Tags:  10 Core ABAG Milestones  Adventures in Philanthropy  Members' Memo January 2015 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

12 Months, 12 Blog Posts by ABAG Members

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwarz, ABAG Communications Director

Our "Adventures in Philanthropy" blog posts are written by our staff and diverse membership and offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media, and those interested in current issues and giving trends.

As we start the New Year, we took a look back at 12 blog posts by 12 ABAG members over 12 months in 2014. We look forward to a robust year in 2015 of ABAG members blogging and sharing the good work of their philanthropic efforts.

Adventures in Philanthropy Blog Highlights: 

  1. Three Questions With ... Carmel Roques, President and CEO of ABAG Member Keswick Multi-Care 
  2. Call 2-1-1. There's Always an Answer - by Stephanie Halcott, United Way of Central Maryland
  3. Report Shows Growth for Community Foundations: Maryland Community Foundation Association Members Make Top 100 Lists - by Tamara Zavislan, Executive Director, Harford County Community Foundation
  4. Meet Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Newly Elected ABAG Board Chair Program Officer, Goldseker Foundation 
  5. 3 Questions With ... Janet Currie - Baltimore Market Manager, Bank of America 
  6. 3 Questions With ... Scott Nolen, Director, Drug Addiction and Treatment Program, OSI-Baltimore 
  7. 3 Questions With ... Mary Ann Scully, Chairman, President, CEO, Howard Bank 
  8. New Opportunities to Communicate - by Kelly Medinger, Executive Director, Knott Foundation 
  9. Blue Water Baltimore "Launched” - by Cathy Brill, Program Director, Rauch Foundation 
  10. Baltimore Library Project Celebrates Read Across America Day … All Month! – by Kate Sorestad, Program Officer, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation 
  11. Top Ten Ways to Leverage Your ABAG Membership - by Brooke Hodges, former Chair of ABAG’s Member Services Committee 
  12. Baltimore Ravens Community Quarterback Awards - by Kelly Quinlan, Baltimore Ravens Community Affairs 

Tags:  ABAG Members  Adventures in Philanthropy  Blogs 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Constellation Supports Maryland Gives More on Giving Tuesday, 12/2

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Thursday, November 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20, 2014

By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, ABAG Communications Director

Giving Tuesday has become a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. December 2, 2014 will mark the third national Giving Tuesday.

This year a new statewide effort called Maryland Gives More will promote giving in an effort to make Maryland the "Most Generous State in America," Maryland Gives More is building off last year's very successful Giving Tuesday effort called B'More Gives More, where Baltimore organized the second biggest fundraiser in the nation recognizing over $5 million in giving in just one day.

ABAG is again partnering with Maryland Nonprofits, and others - including ABAG members, like Constellation - to spread the word and help fund hundreds of nonprofits raising dollars and awareness for their cause. 

We had a chance to talk to Carrie Stockwell, Principal, Community Stewardship at Constellation, about their participation in Maryland Gives More.

Why is Constellation a partner this year in Maryland Gives More?

At Constellation, giving back is a part of who we are and something our employees do year round. We’re proud to be a part of the #GivingTuesday and #MarylandGivesMore campaigns, to kick off the holiday season with a spotlight on charitable giving.

How is Constellation engaging employees?

We are engaging employees through our giving campaign and volunteerism. Teams within constellation have been competing against each other for the most volunteer hours and highest participation through our constellation community challenge, and we’ll be announcing the top teams on #GivingTuesday.

The company also provides a match for employee donations, which acts as a multiplier effect ultimately providing additional dollars to many important causes and support to those in our community with the greatest need.

How is Constellation involved this year?

We’ll will announce grants for our Constellation Community Champions awardees, as well as have a team of volunteering locally with Art With a Heart on #GivingTuesday.

Carrie can be reached at:

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Constellation  Corporate Philanthropy  Maryland Gives More  Maryland Nonprofits 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Connecting for Impact

Posted By Celeste Amato, Thursday, November 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6, 2014

By Celeste Amato, ABAG President

Recognizing the critical partnership between nonprofits and funders in affecting the change we seek in our communities, we were pleased to join our strategic partner, Maryland Nonprofits, to present the 2014 Annual Conference: Connecting for Impact on November 5.

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers is the network, the resource and the voice for the philanthropic community in Maryland. We represent about 80% of the giving assets in Maryland including more than 140 foundations, funds, public charities and corporate giving programs. Our mission is to maximize the impact of philanthropic giving on community life.

But without the nonprofit sector, we cannot achieve that mission. Nonprofits are the partners who deliver the service and the impact.

The strategic partnership between ABAG and Maryland Nonprofits is an important one, secured by our shared interest in promoting a healthy, vibrant nonprofit sector. Our goal in partnering on this year’s Annual Conference was to increase the impact of our members by sharing our expertise, influencing good governance, and increase opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.

In fact, ABAG staff and funder members participated in two panel sessions, "Building Strong Relationships With Grantmakers" and "How to Tell Your Story Effectively to Funders and Beyond." Staff from the Blaustein Philanthropic Funds, Hoffberger Foundation, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation shared information, tips and resources to an engaged room of nonprofits. And, ABAG Member The Family League of Baltimore, was awarded the Maryland Nonprofits Standards of Excellence.

We will continue to partner with Maryland Nonprofits on a variety of efforts, and our hope is that Maryland’s nonprofits will continue to connect with ABAG and take advantage of opportunities we have to offer by:

We look forward to continuing our important partnership with the nonprofit sector.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Maryland Nonprofits  November 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

What We’re Reading: "Working Hard and Working Well"

Posted By Kelly Medinger, Monday, October 13, 2014
Updated: Monday, October 13, 2014
October 13, 2014
By Kelly Medinger
Executive Director, Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation
A nonprofit’s guide for taking a successful "leap of reason” to sustained social impact

This summer I spent some time at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana working on my master’s degree. In my nonprofit management class, entitled "Leading for Social Impact,” we discussed the unique demands, expectations, challenges and opportunities of managing to success in the nonprofit context.

As part of my class, I read Working Hard and Working Well by David Hunter. Described as "a sleeves-rolled-up companion to Leap of Reason,” Hunter’s book picks up where author Mario Marino left off by sharing how leaders, managers, staff, funders, and consultants can better understand and implement a performance management culture.

Some of you may remember my colleague Kathleen McCarthy’s review of Mario Marino’s Leap of Reason a couple years ago. His book is a call to action for nonprofits to make smarter decisions based on measurable outcomes. The premise is that many nonprofits don’t know whether they’re actually delivering on their promises. So instead of taking a "leap of faith” to achieve our mission, we should make a "leap of reason.”

Hunter follows Marino with the "how to” guide for making a successful leap. He says it’s all about becoming an organization that manages to performance. Performance management has struggled to take hold in the social sector, perhaps because of the top-down, command-and-control approach many managers take to making improvements. Hunter dubs this form of performance management "compliance management,” saying it’s better for driving activities, not results.

To articulate the recommended approach, Hunter outlines three pillars of performance management: performance leadership; management systems; and information and knowledge production. Related to the first pillar, an important distinction in Working Hard, Working Well is the difference between an operational leader and an operational manager. Operational leaders continually challenge the status quo, inspire others, and drive their concerns downward. Operational managers, on the other hand, align with the vision and priorities articulated by the leader, deploy resources to sustain excellence, and channel the leader’s concerns into productive work and high standards.

Reading this book, I learned that performance management is the relentless pursuit of "making it better.” Yet moving to this culture of continuous improvement is not an easy road. It means shifting perspectives: from data as a burden, to data as a useful tool; from functional program silos, to cross-functional teams; from fear of breaking rules and patterns to support for making mistakes and trying new strategies.

The point is that the world is (and probably will always be) messy and complicated. On top of that, social change is and will continue to be even messier and more complicated. But there are tools we can all use to respond and be ready – strategic clarity and measurable outcomes being among them. With these tools in hand and Hunter’s road map for performance management, we can all hold hands and take a "leap of reason” toward greater impact by working hard and working well.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Knott Foundation  October 2014 Members' Memo  Social Impact 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Jobs in Philanthropy: Making the Most of Your ABAG Membership

Posted By Kim Snipes, Monday, September 15, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
September 15, 2014
By Kim Snipes, ABAG Member Information and Operations Manager

ABAG’s "Jobs in Philanthropy” continues to be one of the top pages visited on our site.
Your ABAG membership entitles you to unlimited, free postings to our job bank for openings at your organization. Current ABAG members that take advantage of this benefit include, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation and Maryland Legal Services Corporation, just to name a few.
By subscribing to our "Jobs in Philanthropy” RSS feed or signing up for customized notifications, job seekers stay informed about positions available in philanthropy, internships at member organizations and other job opportunities available at ABAG member organizations.

Members of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers may post openings free of charge. Click here to submit your position description now. You are required to be affiliated with or employed by an ABAG member organization to access this benefit. If you do not have an ABAG website account and qualify as a member, click here to create a website account.
Please contact Kim Snipes,, with questions or if you have trouble accessing the site.
  • Non-member organizations interested in posting a job opening, you may create an account and purchase a 90-day listing for $125 (plus one-time $50 administrative fee).
  • Job seekers can click here to start searching for employment opportunities in our local grantmaking community.
Position listings are viewable by any site visitor. An ABAG website account is not required to view current positions.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Jobs in Philanthropy  Member Benefits  Member Services  September 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Call 2-1-1. There's Always an Answer.

Posted By Stephanie Halcott, Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

By Stephanie Halcott, Information & Referral Specialist at 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland

Call 2-1-1. There’s always an answer.

How United Way of Central Maryland’s 2-1-1 call center makes a difference in the lives of thousands of Marylanders every year.

Every day, I receive dozens of calls from people looking for help with no place to turn. Thomas, a recent caller, had almost given up hope. I’m glad he didn’t.

Today, Thomas is excited to be starting his new job. His family recently visited him in his home to celebrate — the same home that he almost lost over the summer. Thomas, a veteran, couldn’t believe that he was facing the possibility of becoming homeless just a few short months ago. At the time, paying his back rent and past due energy bills seemed impossible without a job or any financial assistance.

Luckily, Thomas had heard of 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland, a 24/7 health and human services referral hotline. I took his call when he dialed for help.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember phone number that helps people in need navigate the complex and ever-growing human service arena. Many callers are without a job,food or shelter. Others sit in the dark because their lights have been turned off or they are a stone’s throw away from eviction. Sometimes we receive calls from people who are so scared and worn out, they are having thoughts of suicide.

2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland received more than 96,400 calls for help in our last fiscal year.

I referred Thomas to several organizations that could help him avoid eviction and get his energy bills paid off.I also found out that Thomas suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and was looking to find affordable mental health care.

Thomas said that his whole life has changed since he dialed those three digits.

He was able to find a job through Hire Heroes USA and no longer fears becoming homeless. He took care of his energy bills, has an appointment scheduled to get mental health treatment and is now receiving case management services.

Talk about a fresh start.

I’d say the most rewarding part of my job is following up with callers and learning that 2-1-1 truly made a difference in their lives.Such is the case with Thomas and hundreds of other people like him who call 2-1-1 every day.

To learn more about 2-1-1 Maryland at United Way of Central Maryland, visit

Tags:  211  Adventures in Philanthropy  September 2014 Members' Memo  UWCM 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

National Philanthropy Day

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Thursday, September 4, 2014
September 5, 2014
By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, ABAG Communications Director
National Philanthopy Day is November 14.

The day pays tribute to the invaluable contributions that philanthropy has made to our personal lives, our nation, and the world.

It also acknowledges the entire spectrum of services provided by the nonprofit community and recognizes the profound impact that philanthropy has on the quality of our lives and the fabric of our society.

The great contributions of philanthropy and those people active in our philanthropic community here in Maryland are recognized each year by the sector at AFP-Maryland's National Philanthropy Day celebration.

This year, AFP-Maryland has announced:

  • Aris Melissaratos as the 2014 Philanthropist of the Year
  • The Charles Crane Family Foundation as the 2014 Foundation of the Year

At the event, the Business Philanthropy Awards, Outstanding Youth Fundraisers, and the Unsung Hero Awards will also be recognized.

And, this year, special recognition is planned for all Maryland Community Foundations for an anniversary celebration.

We look forward to celebrating ABAG Members, philanthropists and the field overall on Friday, November 14, 2014.

Learn more on the AFP-Maryland website and join us!

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Community Foundations  MCFA  National Philanthropy Day  September 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Advancing Philanthropy's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Thursday, September 4, 2014
Updated: Monday, September 15, 2014

September 4, 2014

By Elisabeth Hyleck, Programs and Initiatives Director

ABAG is a member of the D5 Coalition, a five-year effort to advance philanthropy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

The D5 Coalition has published a series of research reports to explore the opportunities and challenges facing the field as we work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—and illuminate some best practices that are propelling the movement forward. Their reports have explored the role of peer networks in facilitating progress, the career trajectories of people of color in philanthropy, and policies, practices, and programs that advance DEI in philanthropy.

The final report of the series that explores grantmaking practices, "Foundations Facilitate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Partnering with Community and Nonprofits,” was authored by the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning. It confirms that foundations can, in fact, facilitate DEI through their grantmaking processes and their partnerships with nonprofits—and identifies eight specific practices for foundations to emulate.

The report takes a deep dive into the work of nine foundations that represent a diverse cross-section of types and sizes, and offers useful lessons about how foundations can better partner with nonprofits to be more effective in their work. 

As our constituencies become increasingly diverse, we need to understand and reflect their rich variety of perspectives in order to achieve greater impact. To that end, here at ABAG we are committed to fulfill our mission by supporting the learning of members about issues related to DEI. In fact, we are pleased to present to members the opportunity to attend the following free webinars offered by the D5 Coalition and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers:

Vision and Voice: The Role of Leadership and Dialogue in Advancing Diversity,
Wednesday, October 22, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Philanthropy Northwest will share its findings from a research study that explored the complex factors and opportunities that foundation leaders navigate to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their foundations. Foundation executives that participated in a peer learning cohort as part of this study will reflect on their experiences and share their own lessons learned for colleagues and the field. This is a free webinar offered by the D5 Coalition and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

Empowering People in Philanthropy to Take Action
Wednesday, November 19, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Philanthropy cannot meet its potential without harnessing the creativity, strengths, and insights of all members of our society. This webinar will draw upon research conducted by D5 that sheds light on how change happens, specific strategies and resources for taking action, and winning words to start and sustain conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a free webinar offered by the D5 Coalition and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

Building Momentum for Data Standards to Tell Philanthropy’s Full Story
Wednesday, December 10,
1:00 – 2:00 PM

Who works in philanthropy? Where do philanthropic dollars go? In our era of big data and in a field that recognizes the importance of data, why has the collection and sharing of demographic data been so elusive? Learn how regional associations and their members are using data conversations and tools to spark efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy, and to strengthen their grantmaking and impacts in communities. This is a free webinar offered by the D5 Coalition and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

To register for any of these webinars, please email Hafizah Omar at the D5 Coalition. 

It’s important for us at ABAG to play a role in equipping philanthropic leaders with information that can help us create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field and we remain committed embracing diversity and inclusion in our membership, governance and programs and will continue infuse ABAG's values of diversity, inclusiveness and respect in our work.


For more information on our efforts, click here.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  D5 Coalition  Diversity  Equity  Inclusion  Members' Memo September 2014 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Baltimore Welcomes Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Senator Ben Cardin

Posted By Linda Dworak, Monday, August 11, 2014
Updated: Monday, August 11, 2014
August 11, 2014
By Linda Dworak
Director, Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative
U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin recently visited Baltimore’s BioTechnical Institute of Maryland (BTI) for a special tour, a private lunch meeting, and an Employer Roundtable. BTI is one of the original sectoral workforce grantees of the ABAG-based Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative. It’s training and job placement strategies exemplify the industry-led model that BWFC and our members have worked to launch, sustain and grow since the late 1990’s.
Our friends at BTI described the activities that took place during the visit:

Welcomed by Deric Richardson, a successful BTI graduate and employee of Paragon BioServices, and Kathleen Weiss, BTI’s Executive Director, the Secretary and Senator donned lab coats and toured the lab facilities, learning about BTI’s tuition-free lab training. Secretary Perez joked that, "Just putting on a lab coat makes me feel smarter.” During the tour, they observed and talked with BTI’s summer students, who were conducting a molecular biology exercise, reconstructing proteins at the lab benches.

Joining the lab tour was Dr. Marco Chacon, President of Paragon BioServices and Deric’s employer. The Secretary and Senator engaged informally with BTI’s staff, Deric and employers, inquiring about the state of the industry and the employment needs and challenges of industry employers.

Perez and Cardin next addressed the press, emphasizing the critical importance of the bio-pharma industry and the growing need for skills-ready employees. BTI’s training was specifically identified by the Department of Labor as a "What Works” program that effectively addresses employers’ needs by providing tuition-free, industry-based job skills to un-and under-employed, motivated workers and connecting them to employment opportunities.

Secretary Perez and Senator Cardin joined a private lunch with Deric and a few others to gain a personal perspective on the issues and challenges of skills training, career advancement and employer priorities.

Following lunch, Secretary Perez led an Employer Roundtable with CEOs from several industries, including biotech, health care, cyber, advanced manufacturing and workforce development professionals. A lively exchange of ideas ensued centered around workforce issues and suggestions for addressing the workforce needs of today - and preparing for those of tomorrow.

Secretary Perez’s visit took place during the same week that President Obama signed into law the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA, which was enacted by large bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate, includes some modifications to the previous federal workforce system by expanding the types of effective strategies that our Funders Collaborative has promoted to better prepare disadvantaged adults and youth to be successful in the workplace.

The Secretary’s visit is one of a number of recent indicators that through impactful aligned and pooled grantmaking, BWFC is making progress towards our goal of influencing the development of sustainable public sector support and revenue streams for workforce interventions that work!

You can read more in this recent Baltimore Business Journal article

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Workforce Collaborative  September 2014 Members' Memo  Workforce 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood

Posted By Karen Alexander, Monday, July 28, 2014
Updated: Friday, August 1, 2014

Updated: August 1, 2014

By Karen Alexander, Education Funders Affinity Group Coordinator

Dr. Karl Alexander joined us at ABAG on July 22 to discuss his fourth bookfrom the Johns Hopkins University’s Beginning School Study: "The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood.”

As Dr. Alexander’s daughter and the coordinator for ABAG’s Education Funders Affinity Group, I was excited to develop this program for our members.It was a thrill to bring in my dad to discuss his latest book and to introduce him to more than 40 of my colleagues!

Starting in 1982, as a Johns Hopkins University Sociologist, Dr. Alexander spent more than 20 years studying a cohort of nearly 800 Baltimore City School students.Through repeated interviews with the children and their parents and teachers, the research team observed the group as its members made their way through elementary, middle, and high school; joined the work force; and started families.At our program, he discussed his research findings about how the children's first years of life ultimately colored their success as adults and how these findings might inform local grantmaking

Last week, Al Jezeera's America Tonight aired a segment about The Long Shadow, with extensive footage of two Beginning School Study participants as adults.   

Here at ABAG we are working to put program materials on our website on an ongoing basis – on the event listing for each past program.

ABAG members can download Dr. Alexander’s presentation slides here and/or listen to a recording of this session here (Sign-in to the members-only section of ABAG’s website is required).

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Education Funders  September 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative - 18 Years of Impact

Posted By Ann Sherrill, Monday, July 28, 2014
Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014
July 28, 2014
By Ann Sherrill, Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative
Following 18 years of pooled funding and strategic grantmaking for neighborhood revitalization, I am proud that the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative (BNC) has successfully concluded its operation and transitioned its work to partner organizations and an ongoing Neighborhood and Community Development Affinity Group within ABAG.

BNC contributed significantly to efforts to revitalize the city and its neighborhoods. With participation from 45 local and national funders, BNC awarded more than $8.3 million to strengthen community groups, foster citywide discussion, fund policy research, and to launch new programs.
BNC generated action on a range of issues including resident engagement strategies, strengthening the city’s "middle” market neighborhoods, sustainable homeownership, foreclosure prevention, and transit-centered community development.

In its wind down, BNC awarded nearly $200,000 in grants and training funds to support long standing grantee partners and assistance to counseling agencies. In the first six months of 2014, the collective result is:
  • 300 households avoiding foreclosure
  • 190 home purchases
  • Nine façade improvements on commercial corridors
  • 31 new housing units with another 40 in the pipeline
  • Over 100 events and small block improvement projects. .
  • Continued progress and investment in Central Baltimore, including the start of construction at The Centre at 10 E. North Avenue
BNC also helped the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition transfer the host role to the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.

BNC’s impact can be felt in communities across the city from Reservoir Hill to Greenmount West to Belair-Edison. Its legacy will continue through the new affinity group, and through the nonprofit organizations, partnerships and initiatives it helped nurture and sustain.
My thanks to the many ABAG members who participated in BNC these past 18 years!
You can learn more about BNC's impact on the BNC website at

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative  BNC  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

ABAG's Colleague Directory Connects Members Year Round

Posted By Kim Snipes, Monday, July 28, 2014
Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014
July 28, 2014
By Kim Snipes, ABAG Member Information and Operations Manager
Summer is in full swing here at 2 East Read Street. We are moving through our supplies of Diet Coke and Pepperidge Farm Cookies a bit slower than usual, but what doesn’t change is the interest among ABAG members to connect with one another. Given the business of this time of year, we want to highlight the release of the updated ABAG Colleague Directory that we emailed to members in June.

Members tell us one of the most valuable benefits of ABAG membership is their relationships with fellow members - the philanthropy network. We also know that ABAG Members depend on one another for inspiration, advice and lessons-learned, collaboration opportunities and grantmaking expertise.

To facilitate this relationship building, the Directory contains the missions and areas of interest, as well as contact information, for our entire membership. The back pages feature a unique First Name directory to help you identify a colleague. The Directory is also your reference for all-things ABAG, including information on our staff and board, affinity groups and projects, member benefits, and the policies that guide your association.

For the first time, the Colleague Directory is an Adobe PDF file. In keeping with our core values, to be forward thinking and forthright stewards, it was time to go digital and to reduce paper and publishing expense. Please note that as the Colleague Directory contains many private addresses and phone numbers, this information is for member use only and is not to be shared with grantseekers or non-members.

Public information for grantseekers, as designated by members, about grant guidelines and processes is available through the ABAG Membership Directory, also accessed online at

ABAG members should contact Kim Snipes ( for access to the Colleague Directory.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Colleague Directory  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Meets With ABAG Members

Posted By Adam Donaldson, Monday, July 28, 2014
Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

By Adam Donaldson, ABAG Member Services Director 

On Thursday, July 25, 2014, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined members of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers for a recurring conversation on "a shared vision for the city.”

The Mayor named five priorities to achieve her goal to grow Baltimore by 10,000 families "by attracting new residents and making the decision easy for current residents to stay.”

  1. Make Baltimore safer
  2. Get our fiscal house in order
  3. Create jobs and access to jobs
  4. Develop clean and healthy communities
  5. Improve schools

This is the third time ABAG members met with Mayor Rawlings-Blake. ABAG regularly invites public leaders and agents from all levels of government to meet with members as part our public policy work. We think about public policy less often as legislative activity and more often as sharing strategies and aligning work between government and philanthropyto build stronger communities. As the Mayor said Thursday, "We live in a world where we have to be efficient and effective with our resources.” That starts with engaging partners.

In addressing particular areas where philanthropy can help right now through funding and expertise, the Mayor spent time detailing Youth Connection Centers, Job Readiness, and INSPIRE - community engagement in school construction.

Youth Connection Centers 

Under a new curfew law that has supporters and critics, children under 14 must be off the street at 9:00PM. Children 14 to 16 are able to stay out until 10:00PM on school nights and 11 p.m. on weekends and over the summer. Under existing law in place for two decades but not always enforced, all children and teens younger than 17 could stay out until 11:00PM on weeknights and until midnight on weekends. Found children will be escorted to Youth Connection Centers. There are currently two located in East and West Baltimore with plans to create nine. The parents or guardians face a fine of $500, but the fine can be waived if the family participates in social services. The stated goal is not criminal punishment but rather to connect families to needed help. Investments in family services and the Centers are welcome. Read more in this Sun Article

Job Readiness

The Mayor highlighted recent job growth. To access jobs, she emphasized, Baltimore residents from distressed communities need additional support with remedial education, job credentials and certifications, and soft skills (time management, accepting feedback, etc). ABAG projects the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC) and Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) are among efforts underway in job readiness.


Through the 21st Century School Initiative $1.1 Billion will be invested to renovate or replace approximately 30 Baltimore Schools. The Planning Department has begun developing a planning program for the neighborhoods around each of the new/renovated schools (quarter mile radius). The program is called INSPIRE, which stands for Investing in Neighborhoods and Schools to Promote Improvement, Revitalization, and Excellence. The challenge before the Planning Department is that not all neighborhoods have equal capacity to participate in a planning process. There is need to build and strengthen neighborhood associations and support community organizing.

ABAG members in their turn highlighted priorities through questions to the Mayor. These included exchanges on:

  1. Journey Home Plan and youth homelessness;
  2. Role of anchor hospitals and universities;
  3. Infrastructure improvements including a public advisory group for the newly implemented storm water utility;
  4. Healthy food access;
  5. Vacant lots and Growing Green Initiative;
  6. Affordable housing;
  7. Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs;
  8. and trash.

The number of topics and concerns did feel overwhelming. As time ran out with a dozen raised hands, it also felt great to be surrounded by institutions and people wanting to help. And the Mayor concluded there is "more to do; more to do.”

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake  Public Policy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Report Shows Growth for Community Foundations: Maryland Community Foundation Association Members Make Top 100 Lists

Posted By Tamara Zavislan, Thursday, July 24, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 24, 2014

By Tamara Zavislan, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Harford County and Steering Committee Member, Maryland Community Foundation Association (MCFA)

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that due to a high-flying stock market and an influx of gifts, community foundations’ total assets climbed to a record $66 Billion in 2013, up from $58 Billion the previous year, according to the most recent report on community foundations, published by CF Insights and the Council on Foundations.

The report is based on survey responses from 285 community funds that represent more than 90 percent of assets estimated to be under the control of community foundations in the US.

Highlights from the study include:

  • The field’s assets, gifts, and grants are at an all-time high - $66B in assets, $7.5B in gifts, and $4.9B in grants.
  • Virtually all Columbus Survey participants experienced asset growth.
  • Donor advised funds continue to be an important source of contributions for communities.

Two Maryland Community Foundation members made the list of the Top 100 Community Foundations by Assets:

  • #45 - The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region - $334,979,789
  • #89 - Baltimore Community Foundation - $161,062,393

In addition the Baltimore Community Foundation,Community Foundation of Frederick County and the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region made the Community Foundation Benchmarks Top 100 Lists.

This report provides data that is important to our field to assist us in understanding the growth in grantmaking as well as community investment both in Maryland and across the country. Having several of the 14 community foundations that serve Maryland highlighted in the report shows the generosity of communities in our state, and the important leadership role that Maryland’s Community Foundations play.

This past year, the 14 community foundations that serve Maryland and comprise the Maryland Community Foundation Association, held over $795 million in charitable assets and donated $138 million to local communities.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the nation’s first community foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and community foundations around the country are celebrating the impact of the first century of community philanthropy and looking ahead to the next 100 years.  The Maryland chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals announced for this anniversary it will present a Special Recognition Award to Maryland’s Community Foundations on National Philanthropy Day, November 14th. You can follow more centennial news at #CF100 on Facebook and Twitter and on the Council on Foundations website.  

For more information contact Adam Donaldson, Maryland Community Foundation Association at the Association of Baltimore Area, 410-727-1205 or visit:

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  #CF100  Adventures in Philanthropy  Community Foundations  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Maryland Community Foundation Association  MCFA 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Thursday, July 24, 2014
Updated: Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014

By Elisabeth Hyleck, ABAG Programs and Initiatives Director 

As summer heats up, so does the hurricane season. With the possibility of disaster striking, we are reminded how important it is to prepare well in advance for emergencies and to review our disaster preparedness plans.

Not only does the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers support the coordination and education of the Baltimore-area philanthropic sector to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major local disaster, but ABAG encourages all our staff, member organizations and their staffs to be prepared themselves.

Simply put, we encourage everyone to get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.

We encourage and support ABAG staff and members to have a family emergency kit and plan. This increases the likelihood that individuals and their families can cope with the disaster without outside help and maximizes the ability to quickly bounce back. In fact, I believe basic preparedness can build the resiliency of all Marylanders during many times of crisis.

What's in a good plan?

A good emergency plan should include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • A printed list of key contact numbers for each family member and loved one;
  • A strategy for reuniting family members, including an out-of-state telephone number, which family members can use to contact each other if local lines are overloaded;
  • Escape routes from home;
  • Inventory of key personal financial and legal records; and
  • A kit of supplies to get you through the first 72 hours after an emergency.

Many available resources

What will you do if your office is flooded? If your server goes down? Do your staff members know what to do if authorities instruct you to shelter in place?

No one, especially your clients, customers, or in the case of foundations, your grantees, wants your services to be disrupted. Like insurance policies, emergency plans are a critical component of an organization's operations. Luckily, there are many tools available to assist in developing a plan.

For information about preparing your family, home and work, visit or

ABAG members can visit ABAG’s webpage for Disaster Preparedness for tools specific for ABAG members, including an Emergency Plan Template, which is intended to communicate your organization's policies and procedures to be followed during an emergency situation.

Another template of a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan is available from the Council on Foundations. Although it was developed for Community Foundations, it can be adapted for all types of foundations.

There are many ways to keep abreast of emergency situations. You can check the websites of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency or Baltimore City’s Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, get the "Maryland Prepares” mobile app, or call 311 to register to receive alerts from Baltimore City about major emergencies on your phone or by email.

A prepared Marylander, creates a resilient Maryland. Let’s build our resiliency - both personally and organizationally.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Disaster  Disaster Preparedness  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
July 2014
By Kurt Sommer
Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

Baltimore City and Anchor Presidents Announce New Commitments
The Baltimore City Anchor Plan was signed Wednesday by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and eight anchor institution presidents, solidifying a shared commitment to collaborate and align resources to increase public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life. The plan details the anchors economic strength, community engagement, and development activities laying out a series of goals for the City, the anchors, and strategic partners to help move forward. Read the Plan

TRF Closes Financing on Centre Theater
The Reinvestment Fund closed on financing for the Centre Theater. The project is driven by the co-tenancy of the film programs of both The Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The schools are partnering in a shared opportunity to meet their facility needs by making an intentional investment to anchor a catalytic real estate project in the revival of Station North. TRF provided New Market Tax Credits, bridge and permanent financing as well as a predevelopment loan to support this catalytic project led by Jubilee Baltimore.

Opportunity Collaborative Releases Workforce Barriers Report
This new study finds that a significant number of job seekers in the Baltimore region lack necessary workplace skills and must overcome multiple and complex challenges to find work, ranging from inadequate transportation to a criminal record. Among its recommendations, the study calls for increased funding for training and basic adult educational programs, improved public transportation to link low-income areas with employers and the development of new "pathways” to help lower-skilled job seekers find jobs and advance in family-supporting careers. Read the Report

EARN Grants Announced
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation announced the first EARN implementation grants. The program, passed by the legislature in 2013 with support and advocacy from a range of BIP stakeholders, provides grant funding for industry led workforce training partnerships. Congratulations to DLLR for their leadership in moving this important program forward and all of the inaugural grant recipients. Read More

From the News Desk:
Contact Me With Questions:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Workforce 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions

Posted By Linda Dworak, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
July 1, 2014
By Linda Dworak
Director, Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative
I was happy to watch as three Baltimore healthcare providers were recognized as 2014 "Frontline Healthcare Worker Champions” recently for their investments in skill and career development of frontline workers. The awards were presented at the Fourth Annual Meeting of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) in Chicago.

The award ceremony was attended by an enthused Baltimore contingent comprised of several ABAG members, non-profit workforce providers and the recipient employers who traveled to Chicago together to attend the meeting.
The awardees - Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, Lifebridge Health, and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital - were recognized for their significant investments in skills and career development opportunities for their frontline workers. For more than a decade, these investments have been bolstered by local philanthropic support provided to the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (BACH).

BACH is a strategic industry partnership involving seven major healthcare systems in the Baltimore region. BACH seeks to broker the collective capacities of the healthcare, philanthropic, governmental and educational organizations in Baltimore to prepare and advance entry level workers and to address the region’s healthcare workforce shortages.
BACH is supported by a number of ABAG members and is one of the core initiatives supported by the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative at ABAG.

In addition to the awards presentation, the NFWS meeting focused on effective community-based strategies and policy initiatives aimed at improving employment outcomes for low wage adults. In his keynote address at the meeting, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez commended ABAG and our members for our longstanding commitment to supporting model workforce development initiatives in the Baltimore region.

The Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative, hosted by ABAG, is a member of NFWS’s national network of over 30 funder collaboratives, all of which are focused on career advancement for low-wage workers and job seekers. Members of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative align resources to address workforce and economic development challenges through community-designed strategies built on industry partnerships, regional characteristics, and evidence-based research.

In June 2015, the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative will host the annual NFWS meeting here in Baltimore. It will be a great opportunity for Baltimore to showcase more of our great efforts to a national audience.
I look forward to having more ABAG members in attendance!

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Baltimore City and Anchor Presidents Announce New Commitments

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014

By Kurt Sommer, Director, Baltimore Integration Partnership

The Baltimore City Anchor Plan was signed today by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and eight anchor institution presidents, solidifying a shared commitment to collaborate and align resources to increase public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life.

Many of these issues are also at the center of ABAG’s Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) – an initiative complimenting the City’s efforts and expanding the table of partners to include City, State and regional government partners, additional anchor institutions, foundations and nonprofits driving policies to increase economic inclusion. The BIP is seeking to connect low income residents to jobs within anchors and anchor-supporting businesses; connect small and minority-owned businesses to anchor procurement opportunities; and leverage anchor real estate investment for the intentional benefit of the broader community.

An example of the strength of this collective approach is embodied in a long anticipated project The Center Theater at 10 E. North Avenue, in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. A reinvestment project embodying the strength of this collective approach moved forward late last week.

BIP Partner, The Reinvestment Fund, just closed on financing for the Center Theater. The project is driven by the co-tenancy of the film programs of both The Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. The schools are partnering in a shared opportunity to meet their facility needs make an intentional investment to anchor a catalytic real estate project in the revival of Station North. TRF provided New Market Tax Credits, bridge and permanent financing as well as a predevelopment loan to support this catalytic project led by Jubilee Baltimore.

The BIP is funded by nationally by Living Cities and by local foundations including the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Goldseker Foundation.

Congratulations to the Mayor and her staff as well as Bon Secours, Coppin State University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, Loyola University, Notre Dame University, and Morgan State University for their leadership and commitment.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP  July/August 2014 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

2014 Foundation Source Annual Report on Private Foundations

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 2014

Aggregating data from its own clients, Foundation Source recently published the 2014 Annual Report on Private Foundations.

The report is unique to our field because it covers activity in the immediate past year and investigates small, private grantmaking foundations with less than $50 million in assets.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Asset balances increased by 14.1%.
  • Distributions averaged 7.3%, well above the 5% required by law.
  • The average grant of $1M-$10M foundations was $8,283.
  • 29% of grant dollars awarded to Education, followed by Human Services (17%), and the Arts (12%)

According to Andrew Schulz, an executive vice president at Foundation Source and the author of this year’s report, "Having observed the consistently high rate of giving among these foundations over the past five years, we are no longer surprised by their generosity. Indeed, these foundations have demonstrated time and time again that compliance with the 5% minimum distribution requirement is not what drives their philanthropy.”

You can learn more or access the report for free after registering your information on the website here.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  adventures in philanthropy  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  private foundations 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Meet Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Newly Elected ABAG Board Chair

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Monday, June 16, 2014
Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Program Officer at the Goldseker Foundation, is the newly elected Chair of the Board of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG).

During our organization's recent 2014 Annual Meeting, Laurie mentioned that "our region benefits greatly from a long tradition of thoughtful, innovative, and committed philanthropy and it's an exciting time to be involved with ABAG, where we continue to challenge ourselves to maximize the impact of philanthropic giving in our region, including especially to promote equity, and I look forward to working together to move our membership organization forward over the next two years."

Given Laurie's new position, we wanted to hear more about her and her vision for the next few years:

1. What might your ABAG member colleagues not know about you?

I've traveled to 21 countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and one Caribbean Island.

2. You have been a long-time leader at ABAG. What excites you about taking on the role of Board Chair?

Now is a really exciting time to step into the role of Board Chair. I feel as though the last 18 months we have really been completing the process of ABAG's first executive transition.

With Celeste's first year under her belt and the talented and committed staff that we have, our association is poised to address some really timely and interesting questions. For example, what does the emerging democratization of philanthropy mean for our association and our membership? How do we take up the challenge that Angela Glover Blackwell posed at our annual meeting, that of advancing fair and just inclusion in our philanthropy?

3. What do you see as your most important priorities during your tenure the next two years?

We are embarking on a process to update our strategic plan. A big priority for me is considering the strategic questions we face from the perspectives of our diverse membership, our board, and our staff, and helping us to articulate our shared goals for philanthropy in the region.

The updated strategic plan will then require thoughtful communication among our membership and the wider community.

Thanks Laurie!

As a membership organization of 145+ foundations, donor advised funds, and corporate giving programs, the mission of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers is to maximize the impact of philanthropic giving on community life through a growing network of diverse, informed and effective grantmakers.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  June 2014 Members' Memo  Laurie Latuda Kinkel 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 1 of 6
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal