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Funder Affinity Groups

Association members represent diverse funding types and interests, and our affinity groups allow members with common interests to learn and share together.

Volunteer chairs and steering committees lead affinity groups and Association staff help develop educational programs and facilitate communication among members. All members are invited to participate in the affinity group programming.

This collective group of funders is dedicated to promoting and strengthening grantmaking for an aging society. An educational resource for staff and trustees of foundations and corporations active in the field of aging, the group collaborates to identify opportunities, challenges, and opinions of how to engage in responsible philanthropy and convene resources together.

The purpose of the Arts Affinity Group is to engage and educate Baltimore area funders about the dynamic local arts scene and the many opportunities it presents. ABAG members interested in the arts will build relationships with each other; share information, research and ideas; and learn together along with local and national experts.

Basic Human Needs
For the purpose of this affinity group, basic needs are defined as: shelter, food, emergency financial assistance to avert crisis, and legal aid or other services that help eligible clients access public benefits. This group of funders seeks to raise awareness about critical human service needs, to share information about new and current strategies to keep vulnerable residents from falling into crisis, and to foster the coordination of services among providers.

Community Investment 
The goals of this group are to build relationships among ABAG members interested in neighborhood and community development; share information, research and ideas for impact and leverage; and explore opportunities to align resources and strategically think about how community development resources are allocated in Baltimore City and the surrounding region. This Affinity Group was born from the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative, which concluded operations in 2014.

Members interested in supporting education learn more about worthy initiatives, educational research findings and best practices. Group meetings provide learning opportunities for ABAG members and allow members to share educational grant-making experiences with others.

Members explore topics related to community greening, sustainability, and environmental protection. Topics covered tend to be cross-sectoral, examining the impact of environmental issues on community development, human health, or economic welfare, for instance. Members come to the Green Funders table from a wide range of grant-making backgrounds and learn from each other's diverse areas of expertise.

This is a peer learning group for ABAG members interested in understanding best practices and emerging opportunities in the field of health, including behavioral health. The group meetings provide opportunities for ABAG members to learn about key issues, share health-related grantmaking priorities and shared interests with others including policymakers/public agency staff, and explore aligned or collaborative grantmaking. To reflect the integration of behavioral health into somatic health care, the Behavioral Health and Health Funders Affinity Groups merged in 2018.

Workforce Development
Funders interested in workforce development join together to learn more about effective programs, national and local best practices, and their colleagues' investments. In addition to the traditional issues of job training and retention, the group now addresses a continuum of issues surrounding successful employment and financial security for low-wage workers and vulnerable populations including, advancement of incumbent workers, and barriers to employment such as transportation, child care, and criminal records.

For further information on ABAG's Affinity Groups, please contact Elisabeth Hyleck, Director of Learning and Engagement. 


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