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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.


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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - May 2018

Posted By Kim Snipes, Thursday, May 31, 2018

ICCC Launches in Baltimore; Development Program for Businesses Now Open for Applications

The Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program is seeking Baltimore business participants for this national program that positions inner-city businesses for long term success.  The ICCC’s 40 hour curriculum emphasizes capital access to help small 

businesses in economically-distressed areas build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability and employment.  Businesses can apply directly or be nominated for the program by third parties. Support for the ICCC is made possible through Kaiser Permanente and the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office.  More Information.

Maryland New Directions Hosting Employment Resource and Job Fair

A range of employers including anchor institutions as well as workforce development organizations will be on hand to support job seekers at 2640 St. Paul Street on Thursday, May 31 from 9 am to 12 pm.  Maryland New Directions is coordinating the resource and job fair with support from Central Baltimore Partnership and the BIP.  Individuals are encouraged to bring hard copies of their resume.   The event will also include free resume review as well as information about industry skill job training opportunities.  For more information.

NEW! Directory of Resources and Intermediaries to Help Find Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Local Business Enterprises

Intermediaries can play a critical role in connecting small businesses to the buying power of large businesses and anchor institutions. Often these organizations can identify firms that can meet buying needs while also offering capacity building, technical assistance and connectivity to additional resources that are needed to help the small businesses succeed.  This working document contains brief summaries of 20 organizations, websites, and business directories that BIP partners, stakeholders, and staff have used to help identify local, minority, and women-owned businesses.  Organizations include government agencies, nonprofits, and for-profit enterprises with Baltimore City or State of Maryland focused operations.  Download the Directory

Building Community Partnerships to Strengthen Local Hiring

This blog post captures the work and leadership of Towson University and their participation in Humanim’s Administrative Assistant Training Program.  It reflects on their challenges and approaches to local hiring and underscores the importance of partnerships and collaboration in fostering successful economic inclusion outcomes.  Read the Blog Post

Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter to Maryland’s Workforce

The Baltimore Integration Partnership partnered with Towson University and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board to host our 3rd Annual Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum on May 16th.  This year’s forum was focused on diversity and inclusion and attended by representatives of area communities, businesses, nonprofits, anchor institutions, and government agencies.  Full video coverage of the event is now available of the featured speakers including Clair Minson of Associated Black Charities, Leah Cox of Towson University, Kylie Patterson of Johns Hopkins University, Willy Moore of Southway Builders, Tammira Lucas of Moms as Entrepreneurs, Calvin Butler of Baltimore Gas and Electric, and Heather Lageman of the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland. News Story | Event Coverage with Video

HopkinsLocal 2nd Year Progress Report

With the creation of HopkinsLocal, leaders from Johns Hopkins University and Health System committed to set concrete, measurable goals over three years and to be transparent about the institutions’ results. At the end of the second year of the program—measured from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017—leaders from Johns Hopkins reported exceeding those goals.  Progress Report

Analysis of Patterns of Employment by Race in Baltimore City and the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

This new report by Associated Black Charities presents data on racial differences in employment, employment growth, earnings and job turnover. It finds African American employment is concentrated in lower wage industries and occupations and African American workers tended to earn less than their white counterparts and experience higher employment turnover.  It also finds that African American employment experienced faster post-recession growth than white employment
across all industries.  Read the Full Report

New Website Launched

The BIP has launched a new website.  Please update your links and visit us at

In the News

Employer Directory of Workforce Organizations to Help Hire Locally
A new directory of Baltimore nonprofit and public workforce development organizations is now available to help employers and community stakeholders find workforce partners to meet hiring needs. It summarizes the work of more than 45 organizations that support Baltimore City workers by offering skills training, eliminating barriers to employment, and facilitating job placement.  Learn More

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:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP 

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‘The Colored Waiting Rooming’: Takeaways that Transcend Generations

Posted By Kim Snipes, Monday, April 23, 2018

Written by David Daniels, Vice President, Operations and Organizational Effectiveness, Bainum Family Foundation

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a thought-provoking, poignant and powerfully packaged event hosted by the Association for Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). This event included a discussion by Kevin Shird and Nelson Malden, authors of the recently published book The Colored Waiting Room: Empowering the Original and the New Civil Movements followed by a panel discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This experience left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally because of the generational perspectives related to the civil rights movement that identified the critical systemic issues while sparking hopeful, solutions-oriented conversations.

I appreciated both men reflecting on their experiences and found myself drawn to the stories that Mr. Malden shared, the issues that are still pervasive in communities of color, and both men’s reflections on how their relationship developed. Shird’s intentional effort to seek out 84-year-old Malden and forge a friendship reinforced the importance of taking the time to not just listen but learn from elders who were willing to sacrifice so much to advance the civil rights movement. I was struck by the fact that while he experienced such a painful period, he was able to focus on the good, hopeful and often comical experiences that took place during the movement for strength. It caused me to reflect on the need for balancing the frustration I often feel when I think about the systemic racism that limits opportunities for people of color throughout this nation; with the need to remain hopeful and learn to find joy in the midst of struggle in the way that Mr. Malden and others have successfully done.

The deep discussion that took place that afternoon was particularly meaningful for me because of who I got to experience it with — my 16-year-old daughter, Lauryn. Just as the struggle spanned between the authors’ generations, the same entrenched issues transgressed ours. The event sparked multiple conversations between the two of us, and I was able to help my daughter better understand the unresolved hardships that people of color have and continue to face. This event presented an opportunity for the two of us to discuss our understandings of history, its complexities and the nuances that have shaped our individual understanding.

The panel discussion following Shird and Malden presented another opportunity for further reflections from Baltimore community leaders. While all of the panelists shared interesting insights and perspectives, my daughter Lauryn was particularly inspired by Diane Bell-McKoy and how she wielded influence and passion towards making change in her community. With injustice so evident and palpable in our world right now, hearing how these leaders are tirelessly rolling up their sleeves to tackle it was encouraging. And for Lauryn, with so much of her life still in front of her, I believe it was monumental. It was powerful for me to hear Lauryn’s reflections, specifically about Ms. Bell-McKoy because I knew what it meant for her to see someone that looks like her in such an influential role. As a parent, I want my children to see the endless possibilities and the impact they can have on others, and Lauryn saw that in Ms. Bell-McKoy.

I applaud ABAG and Celeste Amato for their continued deliberate, open and engaging efforts that not only benefit the greater Baltimore community but the philanthropic and nonprofit sector as a whole. Together, equipped with a more thorough understanding of systemic racism and equity, we can all advance our missions and visions and, ultimately, build and better serve our communities. 

David Daniels is the vice president of operations and organizational effectiveness at the Bainum Family Foundation. The Bainum Family Foundation operates and supports educational programs and projects assisting undeserved children and youth, from early childhood through post-secondary education. They have been a member of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers since 2016.


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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - April 2018

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Colored Waiting Room - The American Civil Rights Movement Then and Now
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., author Kevin Shird and eighty-four year old, Nelson Malden, will discuss The American Civil Rights Movement, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Turning Dialogue and Intention into Action on Friday April 6th. In addition, Anthony McCarthy will moderate a panel of Baltimore leaders, including:

  • Diane Bell McKoy, President and CEO, Associated Black Charities
  • Joe Jones, Founder and CEO, Center for Urban Families
  • Brad Shapiro, Principal, Jabber Five Real Estate Group

This program is co-sponsored by the Betsy Nelson Legacy Fund of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Maryland Institute College of Art, and is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, and a book signing will be held at the conclusion of the event.  Learn More

Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter to Maryland's Workforce
The Maryland Workforce Outlook Forum brings together leaders in business, workforce, and education to find common ground for where transformation and innovation can occur. It is a place to collaborate and to find solutions for the workforce and economic challenges facing our institutions and our state.  This year’s forum will be held on May 16th from 1:30 to 4:30 pm with a reception to follow.  “Unemployment and Racial Disparities in Maryland’s Workforce Pipeline” will be the featured Workforce Outlook Presentation which will be followed by a series of lighting presentations featuring local CEOs and leaders in economic inclusion.  Speakers include Leah Cox of Towson University, Kylie Patterson of Johns Hopkins University, Willy Moore of Southway Builders, Tammira Lucas of Moms as Entrepreneurs, Calvin Butler of Baltimore Gas and Electric, and Heather Lageman of the Council of Educational Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland.  This free event is sponsored by Towson University, the Governors Workforce Development Board, and the Baltimore Integration Partnership.  Learn More and Register

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) Coming to Baltimore
Through the support of Kaiser Permanente and leadership of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office, a new business development program will be launching in Baltimore later this spring.  Administered by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, the ICCC offers a 40 hour curriculum with emphasis on capital access to help small businesses in economically-distressed areas build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability and employment.  Learn More or please contact Audrey Johnson.

The Criminalization of Poverty: How to Break the Cycle through Policy Reform in Maryland
More than 1.5 Million Marylanders have a criminal record.  This new Job Opportunities Task Force report examines the interaction with the criminal justice system and the collateral consequences of the criminal record that results from this interaction.  The project sought to identify whether there are key laws, policies and practices in Maryland that are either unnecessarily penalizing the poor or leading the poor to be unnecessarily arrested, charged with a crime or imprisoned because they are poor and therefore unable to satisfy the demands of the law. The report finds that that the criminalization of poverty is occurring in Maryland, with disproportionate impact on people of color.  Read the Report

Recruiting Underway for Next Round of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
The GS10KSB program helps entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. The program is administered through collaboration between Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and Baltimore County Community College. The deadline to apply for the next cohort is April 30th.  Learn more and register for the 4/19 open house at Morgan.

MICA Launches New Book Store Featuring Made in Baltimore Products
Working to leverage student and community buying power to support local businesses, MICA had a grand opening for its new bookstore on Mt. Royal Avenue last week stocked with locally made products. Working in partnership with the Made in Baltimore initiative, the book store provides an opportunity for emerging and established businesses to have a retail presence and expand their customer base. Area businesses and organizations with products include SewLab USA, Jubilee Arts Youth in Business, Tiny Dog Press, Mt. Royal Soaps and Open Works.  Plans are in the works to add more local products in the near future.

BIP and Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce Host Reverse Vendor Fair
The BIP was pleased to partner with the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce to connect the purchasing opportunities of area anchor institutions and large businesses to small, local and minority owned firms.  More than 150 businesses and individuals attended the event hosted at Coppin State University in late January.  In addition to the reverse vendor fair, the event featured panel discussions with procurement representatives, state and local minority business development experts, as well as businesses who have done work with the institutions.  See event coverage.

In the News:

Employer Directory of Workforce Organizations to Help Hire Locally
A new directory of Baltimore nonprofit and public workforce development organizations is now available to help employers and community stakeholders find workforce partners to meet hiring needs. It summarizes the work of more than 45 organizations that support Baltimore City workers by offering skills training, eliminating barriers to employment, and facilitating job placement.  Learn More

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ABAG Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee 2017/2018 Report to Members

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Director of Learning and Engagement , Friday, April 6, 2018

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers’ mission is to maximize the impact of giving on community life through a growing network of diverse, informed and effective philanthropists. ABAG is committed to fulfill its mission by embracing diversity and inclusion and focusing on racial equity in its governance and programs.

ABAG recognizes that achieving diversity, racial equity, and inclusiveness is an ongoing process, which requires intentionality and explicitness. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee meets quarterly to infuse ABAG's values of diversity, inclusiveness and respect in our work and is charged with guiding, evaluating, and sharing information about ABAG’s work in accordance with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy. Please let me know if you would like to join the EDI Committee!

Since 2011, the Committee has led a learning agenda around racial equity, for itself and for the broader ABAG membership. A highlight from 2017 was our Philanthropy and Racial Equity Program Series. Over the course of the five programs in the series, we had 90 unique attendees, representing 36 unique organizations from community, private, family foundations and corporate funders participate. Moreover, 20 people participated in more than one event in the series! Please read more about our accomplishments in 2017 and plans for 2018 in our 2017 Report/2018 Work Plan.

In 2017, we thanked Nonet Sykes of the Annie E. Casey Foundation for her long service as one of the committee’s co-chairs and welcomed Michael Arnst of the Blaustein Philanthropic Group to that role. He serves alongside the continuing co-chair, Tracey Barbour-Gillett of the Abell Foundation. ABAG is grateful for the leadership, expertise and guidance of all our dedicated committee members.

If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions regarding ABAG’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, please contact me: Elisabeth Hyleck, or 410/727-1205 x 1211.

Tags:  ABAG Committee Updates  EDI 

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Young Adult Perspectives on Workforce Development

Posted By Linda Dworak, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Many of us working to identify good strategies and support effective programs understand the great importance of involving communities in informing and implementing our work. But we do not always know how to best approach effective community or youth engagement.

On February 28th, the ABAG Workforce Affinity Group hosted a program entitled Youth Perspectives on Reshaping Workforce Development in Baltimore. The program was the first stop on a Baltimore listening tour where stakeholders are hearing what some young adults have to say about education and employment opportunities. For ABAG members, this was also a chance to learn about an approach to conducting community-based research.

The uprisings that followed the death of Freddie Gray were a potent reminder that many young adults in Baltimore face barriers that have excluded them from opportunity in the local labor market. In Baltimore City, roughly one in five young people ages 16-24 are neither in school nor are working.  In response to the unrest, many ABAG members began to amp up efforts to understand systemic obstacles and develop programmatic approaches to address the striking opportunity gaps for young adults. Experience tells us that to do this well, we need robust and sustained ways of involving young people in identifying operational problems that may be most visible to them and in shaping solutions that are responsive to their real needs. Prioritizing this as a best practice, staff within the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Baltimore team put a youth engagement plan into action in 2016.

This plan involved the identification of a team of seven community leaders – all young-adult, African American residents with strong track-records of service, organizing and advocacy on behalf of historically underinvested neighborhoods and youth populations - who would develop and implement a participatory research strategy. These men and women were already heavily involved and engaged in local community revitalization efforts, often using unpaid time to shape initiatives, amplify community voice and organize community groups to demand policy and program changes. The Casey Foundation recognized that these leaders, who are of the communities for which they advocate, offer something that must be valued by philanthropy: the voice and expertise of the people most impacted by our investments and the issues that we all care about. And so, they worked with them to develop their skills as consultants and offered an opportunity to monetize their work with the Foundation as paid researchers.

With support from Frontline Solutions, a black-owned consulting firm serving the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, Casey staff and a range of community and industry partners, the group of 7 conducted exploratory research to understand the economic landscape impacting youth in Baltimore and to learn best practices for engaging community voices. They then went on to create customized engagement strategies to reach out to youth ages 16-24 in a variety of neighborhoods across the city. Through “corner conversations” and focus groups, they talked to over 80 Baltimore youth about their aspirations, concerns and overall impressions of workforce development practices in Baltimore. The consulting group reported that they could leverage their own shared racial and economic experiences to facilitate honest and meaningful communication with city youth. Based on what the team learned from youth, they developed a set of recommendations that can be implemented by organizations, businesses and systems to more effectively work with youth.

The findings from the consulting group’s research, and more about the process they led, can be found in a report published by the Casey Foundation last month: Reshaping Workforce Development in Baltimore.

As pertains to the recommendations for improvements to Baltimore’s workforce system, other city agency systems, and youth serving organizations, members of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative will continue to discuss next steps at our upcoming meetings.  If you missed the listening session at ABAG and would like to hear the presentation by the consultant group, there will be other dates on the listening tour. Please contact Sara Muempfer ( at the Annie E. Casey Foundation for information. 


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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update December 2017/January 2018

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Friday, January 12, 2018

Open to Growth -  In partnership with the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, please join us on 1/19 at Coppin State University for procurement panel discussions and a reverse vendor fair.  Participating organizations include LifeBridge Health, Towson University, MICA, UMB, UMMC, HopkinsLocal, Coppin State, Loyola, Kaiser Permanente, Plank Industries and UB. The event is FREE to attend, but you must register in advance. Room capacity is limited so please register today!

Food and Beverage Business Casting Call and Open House – In partnership with Humanim’s City Seeds and School of Food, please join us for an open house to learn more about the food and beverage sourcing needs of large businesses and anchor institutions.  Purchasers include Johns Hopkins, MICA, Loyola, Sagamore, LifeBridge, University of Maryland Medical Center, and University of Maryland-Baltimore.  Two open houses are planned on 1/31.  Learn more and register today!  

Kaiser Permanente Joins the BIP Board

The BIP Board was pleased to welcome Kaiser Permanente to its ranks this past week.  With a national footprint and a strong reputation for their anchor institution strategies, Kaiser Permanente has a growing Baltimore presence and is focusing a large part of their efforts on West Baltimore.  Future Baltimore, a flagship partnership between Bon Secours Baltimore Health System and Kaiser Permanente will address the socio-economic and health needs of residents in three of West Baltimore’s neighborhoods:  Boyd-Booth, Franklin Square and Fayette Street.  This partnership brings together the full assets of two anchor institutions in Baltimore that are committed long-term to the welfare of its citizens (See Baltimore Sun Story, 7/5/2017).  Kaiser Permanente is also a sponsor of the P-Tech program at Dunbar and is working to grow their minority business contracting locally and nationally.  The BIP is excited to have them help guide our collective work forward as they deepen their Baltimore commitments.  

BLocal Announces Year 1 Performance Outcomes

The Johns Hopkins led BLocal Initiative, which includes commitments from 27 businesses working to leverage their purchasing, hiring, construction and investment strategies for Baltimore, announced Year 1 outcomes from their work last week.  The BLocal Progress Report details over $73 million in construction spending, 470 new hires, $12.3 million in purchasing, and $12.2 million in investment and in kind support. The announcement was accompanied by  an editorial from the Baltimore Sun and a response from ABAG highlighting the need to grow and sustain these strategies.   

Made In Baltimore Opens Holiday Pop-up Store; Grows Certification

City of Baltimore is growing their efforts to promote businesses that sell products manufactured or created in the City.  Through Made in Baltimore, makers, makerspaces, and retailers are now eligible to be certified and have their business and products promoted online while gaining access to a variety of services and networking opportunities.  Over 130 businesses are now certified.  Workforce strategies, particularly in the textile space, are also part of their efforts.  This past summer, businesses toured Maryland Correctional Enterprises textile center in Jessup and this fall the initiative piloted a free textile training program for 10 individuals in partnership with SewLabs. BIP procurement and small business development leaders recently toured the Made in Baltimore Holiday Pop-up which features a range of artisanal, manufactured, and food related items.  Be sure to stop by for all of your holiday needs.

Free Development Programs for Businesses through Johns Hopkins and BLocal

Application processes are now open for two FREE programs to support business development and growth.  The BLocal BUILD Contractors College is a program that provides training for small, local, minority-owned, woman-owned and/or disadvantaged Baltimore-based businesses in the design and construction industries and features training sessions that focus on construction-, design-, and business-related topics.  The application period for the spring 2018 BLocal BUILD College is open until January 12, 2018.  Businesses are also being recruited for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program which is designed for small business owners who are interested in taking the business to the next level. In professional workshops, business owners learn about access to financial capital and build a powerful network of professional support. The curriculum focuses on practical business skills, including negotiations, employee management and marketing. Applications are being accepted until January 8th. 

MICA’s BCAN Initiative Launches; Fellowship Applications Now Being Accepted 

The Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network, hosted at the Maryland Institute College of Art, has launched providing strategic and as-needed, just-in-time entrepreneurship support for Baltimore creatives of all disciplines and backgrounds.  Applications are now being accepted for the BCAN Founder Fellowship powered by Creative Startups.  The program is a rigorous business boot camp providing access to local and global mentor networks, legal services, and pitch opportunities.   Participants will also receive a subsidized residency at one of Baltimore’s top creative incubators including Open Works, Eubie Blake, ETC, Betamore or Impact Hub.   Two information sessions will be held in early January before applications are due on January 14th.  The first cohort of 5-10 business is expected to be selected in March.  Please visit their website for more details and to apply for the Fellowship.   Additional programming will be launched in 2018 including Help Desk and BCAN Mobile. More Information on BCAN.  

Employer Directory of Workforce Organizations to Help Hire Locally

A new directory of Baltimore nonprofit and public workforce development organizations is now available to help employers and community stakeholders find workforce partners to meet hiring needs. It summarizes the work of more than 45 organizations that support Baltimore City workers by offering skills training, eliminating barriers to employment, and facilitating job placement.  Learn More

City Seeds Opens New Kitchen in Food Hub

"Kick it up a notch,” as chef Emeril Lagasse says, is exactly what City Seeds is doing as they move into their new kitchen becoming the first tenant in the Baltimore Food Hub.  Over the past four years, City Seeds has launched a multi-dimensional food strategy featuring small business development through School of Food, catering services, grab and go meals/ kiosks at area anchors, and workforce development training.  Their work has grown in part through contracts from Kaiser Permanente, Annie E. Casey, Johns Hopkins, Exelon and Maryland Institute College of Art.  Seven BIP anchor institutions are currently working with School of Food to connect food service purchasing to local and minority owned businesses.  Learn more about City Seeds Work and Outcomes.


The BIP partnering with the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce to host an anchor procurement and small business engagement event on Friday January 19th from 7:30 to 11.  Participating organizations include LifeBridge, Towson, MICA, UMB, UMMC, HopkinsLocal, Coppin State, Loyola, Kaiser Permanente, Plank Industries and UB.   Registration and details to come early in the New Year.  Please visit the City of Chamber’s website or the BIP’s in early January for details.


Administrative Training Program Cohort Graduates; Recruiting for Next Class Underway

Twelve institutions are working with Humanim’s administrative assistant training program that is preparing individuals for professional positions at anchors and with other employers.  Through support from DLLR’s EARN Maryland program and the BIP, 13 young men and women completed the admin training and graduated in late October receiving Microsoft Office and PACE Certifications.  Over half of the graduates have been hired already with placements at Notre Dame, Towson, University of Maryland Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Candidates are being recruited for the next cohort which will begin February 12, 2018.  Learn more about this Free Training Program.

In the News:

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Reflections from Community Engagement Matters

Posted By Blake Wrigley, Fellow, Maryland Environmental Health Network, Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a community engagement workshop hosted by the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) and facilitated by Paul Schmitz of Leading Inside Out. This was a valuable learning experience for me, as I was able to connect Paul’s ideas and the accompanying conversations with the work I am doing this year as a fellow with Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN), an ABAG project .

A concept that Paul introduced that I found to be very helpful was Asset Based Community Development. This model for community engagement recognizes the need to define a community by their gifts and talents. Too often, outside groups and organizations come into a community with good intentions, but define the people they are seeking to help by their problems or perhaps what they are lacking. The first question we should be asking when seeking to engage with a community is “What do the community members do best for themselves?”

Once this is answered, we can then move on to questions such as “What does this community need help with?” and “What organizations/programs would be the best fit for this community?”. If we can first look for assets, this then puts us in a much better position to build relationships, collaborate, and empower community members who are seeking positive change. This was a great take-home idea for me as I support MdEHN this year as they work with communities to promote the elimination of exposures to environmental threats to improve human health for all Marylanders.




Blake Wrigley is a fellow with the Maryland Environmental Health Network. He is a graduate student at University of Maryland's School of Social Work with a concentration in community action and social policy. 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update, October 2017

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017

Employer Directory of Workforce Organizations to Help Hire Locally

A collaborative project of the BIP and Central Baltimore Partnership, this new directory of Baltimore nonprofit and public workforce development organizations is now available to help employers and community stakeholders find workforce partners to meet hiring needs. It summarizes the work of more than 45 organizations that support Baltimore City workers by offering skills training, eliminating barriers to employment, and facilitating job placement. These organizations range in size and focus. Some provide general job readiness coaching while others focus on training, certifications, and placement in specific fields including health care, biotechnology, manufacturing, auto repair, construction, information technology and many others. Nonprofit and public workforce development organizations are ideal partners for employers and can facilitate local hiring, reduce long-term unemployment, and mitigate the city’s systemic socio-economic disparities. City residents have immeasurable talents and aspirations that, when matched with effective support, can build careers and create paths to upward mobility. This directory can help employers tap the remarkable potential of city workers. Download the Directory

Towson University commits to economic inclusion and joins the BIP Board; LifeBridge Becomes Co-Chair

The BIP is excited about two recent developments that will help the initiative expand economic inclusion strategies while guiding the growth of our work. Martha Nathanson, Vice-President of Government Relations and Community Development at LifeBridge Health, has become co-chair of the Board. LifeBridge Health has been active with the BIP for several years working to expand local hiring as well as local and minority purchasing. They are an investor in the Park Heights community and are piloting inclusion goals to guide their hiring and investments forward. The BIP Board also welcomed Towson University as a formal member. Towson, which is the largest educational institution in the region, has been participating with the BIP for over a year. The University is actively involved in the administrative assistant training program, employment fairs, and they are implementing training for faculty and staff on structural racism and implicit bias. Towson is the first non-Baltimore City anchor institution to formally join the BIP. Learn More.

Anchors, BIP, City Seeds Kick-Off New Food Business Initiative

Anchor institutions can support the growth of local businesses and jobs through intentional purchasing strategies. The food sector is a strong opportunity as anchors have multiple ways to leverage their purchasing power such as through food service plans, catering, and student/faculty spend. Building on City Seeds business development program School of Food and a growing portfolio of anchor successes in this sector, the BIP is launching a pilot to match the food buying needs of institutions with local businesses coupled with coaching and capacity building assistance for the businesses. Participating organizations include University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland Medical Center; LifeBridge Health; Maryland Institute College of Art; Loyola University Maryland; Sagamore Hospitality; and Johns Hopkins University. The project is expected to last 6 to 8 months with a goal to create contracting opportunities between the institution or their food service provider and local and minority-owned businesses. Special thanks to food service providers CulinArt, Aramark, Metz Culinary Management, Parkhurst Dining, and Bon Appetit for participating in the initiative. Learn More about School of Food

BIP Anchor Institution Economic Inclusion Activities

Fourteen higher education institutions and hospitals in Baltimore have been working with the BIP to grow their efforts to create economic opportunity for the City. This summary highlights recent accomplishments and ongoing projects that each institution is moving forward. The institutions all bring different business models, economic strengths, capacities, and opportunities for community benefit enabling them to engage collectively on some strategies while they move forward independently on others. Through their leadership and commitments, economic inclusion strategies are unfolding and local impact is growing. Learn More About their Activities.

Central Baltimore Future Fund Helping Propel Investment and Opportunity

Launched in December 2016, the $10 million dollar Central Baltimore Future Fund has supported three redevelopment projects in Central Baltimore. Projects include the latest 12 unit phase of Telesis’ 10 year 325 unit mixed income redevelopment on over 250 parcels in central Baltimore, the construction of 4 units on the 1600 block of Barclay, and improvements to artist studios and living space at the Oliver Street Studios. The Fund requires borrowers to achieve inclusion goals including local hiring and minority contracting. Several blogs have been posted recently on the projects highlighting strategies and outcomes.

Anchored In Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies

Anchor institutions can play a vital role in strengthening and connecting local economies, and can serve as powerful drivers for building inclusive and equitable communities. This new report issued by the Funders’ Network examines the potential these deeply rooted local enterprises hold to create lasting and sustainable change—and illustrates how funders are working with anchor institutions to create healthier, more equitable, and economically vibrant places to live and work. The report highlights case studies in Baltimore (!!!), Chicago, Twin Cities, Denver and Albuquerque. Read the Full Report

In the News

Financing Baltimore’s Growth: Measuring Small Companies’ Access to Capital

This new report by Johns Hopkins University’s 21st Century Cities Initiative explores Baltimore’s financing system and the flow of equity, loan, and grant capital to the city’s small businesses, from tech startups to Main Street mainstays. Baltimore has the potential to be a city that is truly hospitable to small business growth, with all the economic benefits of jobs and tax revenue such growth would bring. But for new and established small businesses to thrive, the city needs a financing system with capacity to meet their needs. Read the Full Report

Tags:  Baltimore Integration Partnership  BIP 

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Black Philanthropy Month 2017: Giving Voice to Fuel Change

Posted By Tausi Suedi, Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Black Philanthropy Month 2017: Giving Voice to Fuel Change by Tracey Webb, Founder, Black Benefactors


For the past four years, I have been honored to serve as an architect for Black Philanthropy Month (BPM), an unprecedented campaign observed during August that strengthens African descent giving in all its forms. Founded in 2011 by Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network (PAWPNet), BPM comprises of activities—online and in communities—to inspire people to advocate and to give in strategic ways that transform policies, systems, and lives for the better. Being a part of BPM fulfills my passion to give back, a tradition that has been a mainstay in my family for generations.  


As I reflected on this year’s theme, Giving Voice to Fuel Change, I thought about the impact of giving voice to stories of Black giving to counteract the stereotype that African Americans are passive recipients of giving. To the contrary, research has shown that we are benefactors with a long history of philanthropy. This is what inspired the name of the giving circle I founded in 2007 – Black Benefactors. One of our signature activities is an event series that features Black donors to share their story of giving. Sharing these stories is critical to changing how philanthropy is viewed – not just for the white and wealthy, but all who strategically give their time, talent, treasure and testimony.  


This summer at my family reunion in South Carolina, a distant cousin shared his giving story with generations of family members. An adjunct professorhe gives voice by providing black history tours in New Orleans and was instrumental in recent efforts to remove the city’s confederate statues. His giving story and voice has inspired the next generation of change makers not only within our own family, but within the Crescent City and beyond. 


My fellow BPM architect Valaida Fullwood gives voice as the co-author of the award-winning book, Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists. The book’s images and giving stories come to life in “The Soul of Philanthropy,” a multi-media exhibit that has been traveling the country since 2015 impacting those who have been able to see Black philanthropy in action.


I began offering my own voice to bring Black philanthropy to life in 2007 with a blog called The blog highlighted the philanthropic and charitable efforts of grassroots givers, celebrities, high net-worth donors, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, nonprofit and foundation executives, corporations and organizations that benefit the African American community. Although I ceased blogging in 2015, its content about the impact of giving within our own community continues to be relevant and viewed regularly.


As August comes to a close, there are still ways you make an immediate impact and communicate the importance of giving right where you are. You can speak up regarding causes you care about, volunteer and support what you are passionate about, donate to your favorite charity and more.   


These examples illustrate ways you can give voice to fuel change. We encourage you to participate in BPM by hosting self-organized events, charitable fundraising activities and community conversations this month and all year round. Visit our website at to view our participant guide for more ideas.


How are you giving voice to fuel change? Share online using #BPM2017 and #givingvoice.


Bio: Tracey Webb is the founder of Black Benefactors, a giving circle based in Washington, DC that provides grants and in-kind support to Black-led organizations serving the African American community. Webb has been hailed as the first online chronicler of Black philanthropy as the creator of, a pioneering blog that highlighted stories of Black giving from 2007-2015. She has been featured in national media and is the recipient of several honors and awards. Learn more about Black Benefactors and become a member at

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update - July 2017

Posted By Tausi Suedi, Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Recommendations and Community Perspectives to Advance Baltimore’s Anchor Work

At a forum in late June, a research team from the University of Colorado at Denver presented findings from interviews with workforce, small business and community stakeholders about the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) and anchor institution inclusion strategies. The event was framed by remarks from Junius Williams of Rutgers highlighting the need for community driven approaches. Kurt Sommer, Director of the BIP, provided an update on the inclusion implementation efforts of Baltimore anchors. The findings of the interviews are captured in a research brief highlighting community perspectives as well as a range of recommendations for institutions, businesses and stakeholders to consider as they implement inclusion strategies. The brief builds on an earlier report documenting anchor perspectives on inclusion. The studies were made possible through the support of the The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Read the 2nd Research Brief.

MICA Launches B/CAN to Support Baltimore’s Creative Economy

A new 10-year, multi-sector initiative is launching that will connect creatives to a range of resources and organizations to address career and enterprise development needs. B/CAN is committed to serving a broad population of creatives in Baltimore including those in a range of different disciplines and professional backgrounds that come from diverse neighborhoods with a special focus on underserved creatives. The BIP and Surdna Foundation supported planning work for the initiative while a range of local and national foundations provided implementation funding including the City of Baltimore. Learn More.

Kaiser Permanente and Bon Secours Partner to Support West Baltimore

Kaiser Permanente announced a commitment of $1.8 million to launch an anchor revitalization project in partnership with Bon Secours that will advance health equity and economic opportunity in West Baltimore. A key component of this project will be the construction of a community resource center that will serve youth and adults with economic, health and social services, supported by an array of local partners. The center will also include a small business incubator expected to support 5- 10 businesses a year. The investment builds on Bon Secours extensive workforce training programs and growing affordable housing portfolio. Kim Horn, President of Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, noted that the “partnership will create comprehensive support for this community, going far beyond what either of us could do alone.”  Read More.


Race Us:  Movement Toward Closing the Gaps

Living Cities has just launched their 2016 Annual Report. The collection of essays highlights what it means to take on the work of advancing inclusive capitalism and racial equity-- in cities, in cross-sector tables and within organizations. The report features some of the work of the BIP including the Central Baltimore Future Fund. Join the conversation.


A Conversation with David Williams on Race and Health

The BIP, in collaboration with Morgan State University’s School of Community and Health Policy, was pleased to host Dr. David Williams of Harvard University for an engaging conversation with institution, partner, and community leaders around race, bias, and health on June 23rd. Some of his remarks are captured in his recent TED talk and presentation “How Racism Makes Us Sick” which is available online. The event was part of the BIP’s ongoing efforts to engage institutions and partners around race and bias.  Through the support of the Surdna Foundation and Living Cities, the BIP is also supporting implicit bias and structural racism training for the anchors.


Second Round of Anchor Admin Training at Humanim Funded

Through support from DLLR’s EARN program as well as funding from the BIP, a second round of training for administrative assistant positions has launched.  Thirty individuals are expected to participate over two cohorts in this year’s program managed by Humanim.  Participants will be trained and tested to be certified in Microsoft Office as well as the Professional Administrative Certificate of Excellence. Human Resources leaders from 11 anchors and businesses are helping set program standards, offering job shadowing opportunities, providing seminars on anchor culture and will ultimately consider program graduates for positions. Participating anchors include Morgan, UMB, UMMC, UMMS, Towson, Notre Dame, JHU, JHHS, UB, Mercy, and UM Faculty Physicians, Inc. The program has been instrumental in not just offering training and pathways to jobs, but has also enabled anchors to consider their hiring policies and practices and ways they can build partnerships with workforce organizations. Learn More.

The Social Determinants of Economic Security
Many have heard about the social determinants of health, but how do social indicators impact an ecosystem’s ability to provide economic security? Creating the conditions for economic security requires more than job creation and wage growth. It means transforming systems so people are healthy, housed, prepared for work, and connected to job opportunities and more – and acknowledging the impact that racial inequities have had on each of these systems. Read Full Living Cities Blog

Anchors in the News:

Bon Secours starts $22M expansion of New Shiloh affordable housing complex

Towson President Schatzel honored by Associated Black Charities for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion

Kaiser, Bon Secours join forces on plan to improve health through economic opportunity

Baltimore youth jobs programs build a path to careers

Kaiser Permanente Engages Baltimore Small Business Community

West Baltimore Residents Offer Input at Town Hall

'Investing in Baltimore' means acting with intent and accountability, panelists say

Upcoming Events of Interest:

July 26: Maryland New Directions community ENGAGE event: Transportation…  Access Leads to Opportunity

July 26: Back to the Neighborhood: How to Succeed with a Criminal Record

July 27: UMB/UMMC Local Small Business Community Conversation

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:  BIP; BIP; Adventures in Philanthropy; philanthropy 

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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 

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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 

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Peer to peer: At the heart of influencing more effective philanthropy

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A new report by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation highlights the critical role of peer-to-peer- learning among foundation staff and trustees.

When looking to solve a problem or learn about a topic, foundation staff and board members indicated that they first go to a trusted peer or colleague. They also cited peers and colleagues as their most trusted source. Funders described trusted sources as people who are honest, open, and discreet. Trusted sources often have some shared characteristics like working in similar foundation roles or in a foundation of similar size, values, or geography. Interviews further confirm that peer validation is often what helps get knowledge to actually be used inside a foundation.


When asked about how they connect with peers, in particular, funders cited regional associations of grantmakers as being helpful in connecting them with one another.

The study also found that while not highly used now, social media may become a more important channel in the future for foundation audiences. Program staff, who tended to be younger, are more likely to use social media than foundation leaders, as illustrated by the fact that 27% of program staff cited social media as a primary way they seek out practice knowledge compared to 17% of foundation leaders. Do you connect with ABAG on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or ABAG's Adventures in Philanthropy Blog? We regularly share member news, reports, and other resources for the field.

When asked in an open-ended question to list their top three practice knowledge needs, 44% of survey respondents said evaluation and assessment. Respondents also expressed a desire for more information about best practices and information about what doesn’t work.

Our Association takes seriously our role as a convener, resource for Grantmakers, and the network for givers. We know our members like to learn together, in person, and from one another. We take care to provide ample opportunities for members to connect with one another, learn about best practices, and share information. Several upcoming events are providing such opportunities: Impact Investing: Setting the Stage, A National Perspective on Impact Investing; Racial Equity & Philanthropy: Achieving Equity…How Exactly?; and a Funder Conversation about Immigrants and Refugees.

We hope to see you at one of these or other upcoming programs. Or feel free to reach out to any ABAG staff member if you would like to talk with a peer about a specific issue.

We’d love to connect with you!

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy; philanthropy; ABAG mem 

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Baltimore Integration Partnership Update

Posted By Kurt Sommer, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strengthening Baltimore’s Workforce: Reflections and Lessons Learned

For over a decade, members of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative (BWFC) have supported a growing number of industry focused workforce development initiatives, and the outcomes are notable. Through these efforts, previously unemployed residents are getting industry recognized certifications and jobs with career advancement opportunities at impressive rates. This report highlights several of these initiatives and offers recommendations on how they can be expanded. Read the Report.



Growing Anchor Institution Local and Minority Purchasing 

Anchor institutions in Baltimore are working to strengthen minority and local purchasing to create jobs and local economic opportunity. To improve internal policies and practices, Next Street, U3 Advisors, and ML Whelley, LLC are completing reports assessing the budgetary, policy, infrastructure, and planning processes at five Baltimore anchor institution. Participating institutions include LifeBridge Health, Maryland Institute College of Art, Notre Dame, University of Maryland Medical System, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Common findings, strengths, challenges and recommendations from the work are captured in this summary presentation made to BIP anchor institutions and other stakeholders. Review the Findings.

Central Baltimore Future Fund Launches

A new $10 million fund was launched in December to continue the revitalization of neighborhoods in central Baltimore while creating jobs for area residents. The Central Baltimore Future Fund (CBFF), which was envisioned in the Homewood Community Partners Initiative, is being managed by the Reinvestment Fund. Fund borrowers need to incorporate economic inclusion goals including minority business contracting and local hiring into their projects.  Many area banks, foundations, and partners invested in the CBFF and loan guarantee pool including the Abell Foundation, The AnnIe E. Casey Foundation, City of Baltimore, First Mariner Bank, Goldseker Foundation, Howard Bank, Johns Hopkins University, Living Cities Foundation, M&T Bank, MECU, PNC Bank, and Rosedale Federal Bank. In addition to the Fund, predevelopment and acquisition resources are also available for eligible projects while Central Baltimore Partnership and BIP staff are connecting borrowers to workforce and other partners to help them achieve inclusion goals. The first CBFF loan was made to Telesis to support the next phase of their 300 unit mixed income housing project in Barclay. Learn more about the Fund. 

‘Big Bean Theory’ Sprouts with Baltimore Anchors

This past Thursday, the BIP was pleased to host Ms. Eula McDowell and her growing Mt. Vernon Marketplace based business Big Bean Theory as she pitched to the procurement leadership and food service providers of Baltimore’s anchor institutions.   The pitch was one of the prizes for winning the School of Food/Startup Soiree’s Food Entrepreneur Demo Day this past November covered recently by the Baltimore Sun. Food is a ripe opportunity for many Baltimore anchors to support their local economy as it is a sector they all share in common and can engage through multiple avenues including catering, campus food service, as well as student and staff spending.  Over the past three years, the BIP has partnered with City Seeds to help connect anchors to local food entrepreneurs through vendor fairs and their business development program School of Food. More about School of Food and the Big Bean Theory.

Pilot Administrative Training Program Completes 3rd Cohort

Hiring local residents is one of the key strategies of the BIP to address economic disparities and is a priority for a growing number of Baltimore employers. In late 2015, 10 anchor institutions came together to support a funding application to the City of Baltimore to create a new training program committing to consider program graduates for entry level positions. With a partial match from the BIP, Humanim launched a free 13 week Administrative Assistant workforce training program enrolling 45 city residents. Participants received two of three recognized certifications including Microsoft Office Specialist, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, and the Professional Administrative Certificate of Excellence. This past November, the third and last cohort of the pilot graduated. With placements still underway, the program has already achieved strong completion and placement rates. The pilot found that motivated anchors can be a core group of employers to create a program around but it is also valuable if the training is also oriented to support positions with other employers. For this pilot, anchors represented over half of the job placements with jobs more prevalent in medical institutions.  A variety of hiring barriers were also encountered including experience needed, availability/timing of open jobs, and lengthy hiring process. This required a customized hiring approach for each employer, a motivated human resource/hiring manager and strong communication with the workforce agency.  Challenges and strategies were collaboratively shared across human resource leaders through an anchor steering committee formed to craft new solutions and even open up opportunities with new employers. In partnership with the anchors, Humanim and BIP are looking to continue this work in 2017.

New Orleans Visits Baltimore

The Baltimore Integration Partnership was pleased to help host a team from New Orleans, a sister city in the Living Cities Integration Initiative, to highlight local anchor institution hiring, purchasing, and reinvestment strategies. Bon Secours, Johns Hopkins, Maryland Institute College of Art, Humanim, the University of Maryland-Baltimore, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Reinvestment Fund, and the Mayor’s Office participated in the visit.  


From the News Desk

-          Baltimore leads state in growth

-          Food entrepreneurs build business savvy with Humanim's School of Food

-          Officials announce $10 million fund for projects in central Baltimore

-          Anchors/City help medical laundry firm to open 80,000-sf facility in East Baltimore, hire 400 new employees

Around the BIP

From Left to Right Top to Bottom - Presentation to Kaiser Permanente/UMB & UMMC Food Vendor Fair / NPower Graduation/Presentation to SC Community Capital/CASE World Business Chicago Anchor Conference / Next Street Presentation to BIP.

TheBaltimore 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:  BIP; Adventures in Philanthropy; Philanthropy; ABA 

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2016 Annual Program Survey Results Report for Membership

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thanks to our members, what is consistently the most popular ABAG service? Our educational programs!

In 2016, we held 112 programs and webinars, all designed to assist and inform our members to be more effective grantmakers.  

In December 2016, we conducted the Seventh Annual Program Survey. The survey is designed to gather feedback to improve the quality of our work and capture the impact our programs may have had on your grantmaking and the community.

We are pleased to share with you a summary of the survey results. 

A personalized email was sent to 95 members who had attended three or more programs between January – December 5, 2016. 34 people responded (44% response rate). Thank you for your time and effort to help us provide you with the best possible educational programs in 2017.

We ask in the survey if any of the programs led members to take specific actions or influenced their grantmaking. Twenty people said, yes and gave examples of grantmaking decisions, aligning grantmaking with others, and sharing information with colleagues, to name a few.

We also learned from the survey that ABAG members continue to value ABAG programs for four qualities they provide:

1.       The “right” speakers and information;

2.       Great timing;

3.       Vibrant discussion with peers; and

4.       New perspectives or out-of-the-box thinking.

We will continue to make sure ABAG program have these qualities, especially including time for discussions with peers about how we can work together on issues!

When asked to name what program was most useful to them, the most frequently noted programs focus on education issues and grantmaking practice programs. Of note are that 6 programs on the list dealt with cross-cutting issues and/or were organized jointly by two affinity groups, something staff has been working on doing more of.

In 2016, for the first time, we asked about members who participate in programs remotely (either by phone or GoToMeeting). We want to share that remote participation is available for almost all ABAG programs, and while the majority of members participate in programs in person, those who have participated remotely rated their experience as “good” or “acceptable”. We encourage you to try it instead of opting out of a program!

The full report of the program survey results has been shared with the full ABAG staff, program committee, board, and group leaders. 

If you have ideas for program topics and speakers, or for further information on ABAG's events and programs, please contact Elisabeth Hyleck, Programs and Initiatives Director.

Tags:  ABAG Members; Adventures in Philanthropy; Philanth 

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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 

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Let's Give them Something to Talk About – Our Region’s Amazing Giving Circles!

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Monday, November 14, 2016

Blog written by: Elisabeth Hyleck, ABAG Programs and Initiatives Director



Our region is home to dozens of giving circles that benefit from connecting to and learning from one another about a variety of issues important to giving circles.