Baltimore Area Philanthropy Leaders Announce Collaborative Effort to Deploy $1.2 Million in COVID-19 Response Funding

(BALTIMORE – April 10, 2020) – A group of eight funders in the Baltimore region announced yesterday the COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore, a streamlined opportunity for nonprofit organizations to apply for funding to sustain, deepen, or pivot their operations to address critical needs in local communities resulting from the pandemic. Together these philanthropic organizations and families have committed to deploying $1.2 million to meet a wide range of urgent challenges communities are facing.

Those challenges are growing by the day. “We have seen an unprecedented spike in calls to our 211 Maryland Helpline,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “Average daily calls have tripled and even quadrupled in the past few weeks—exceeding 2,000 calls in a single day. The need is great and continues to grow.”

Through a streamlined application process that creates a single point of entry for applicants, funders will be able to quickly identify organizations that are best positioned to address gaps in critical services to vulnerable populations and disburse resources to support those efforts. Baltimore’s Promise, a nonprofit collective impact organization, is supporting the effort by serving as the administrative backbone, managing the implementation of the Collaborative, and functioning as the primary point of contact for applicants.

“We know that the impact of COVID-19 on our communities and the nonprofit organizations that serve them has already been severe and far reaching,” said Shanaysha M. Sauls, President & CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation. “By joining together to develop a shared application process to access multiple funding sources, we aim to ease the present burden on nonprofit organizations and deploy funding quickly and efficiently to meet community needs.”

These funds are not intended to replace larger public, systems level responses to the current crisis. Applications will initially be considered to address things such as access to food or other essential supplies; mental health and community coping; support for first responders and health care workers; information sharing; nonprofit sustainability; and technology needs. As public policy responses are implemented, funders will continually assess where gaps exist and how the collaborative COVID-19 response grant making can be most effective in addressing unmet, immediate needs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens every single person in our community, yet the impacts will be felt most severely by our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Traci and Mark Lerner. “Our family is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate in our philanthropy to get resources quickly to where they can do the most good.”

Nonprofit organizations in Baltimore City, as well as Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Harford Counties who wish to apply for funding from any of the participating funders may submit a single proposal via the ((Collaborative’s website: www.greaterbaltimorecovidresponse.org. Applications submitted will be reviewed for funding by the following philanthropic organizations and families: Abell Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation, the Bernard Family, France-Merrick Foundation, Goldseker Foundation, the Lerner Family, and United Way of Central Maryland. Maryland Philanthropy Network is an advisor to the collaborative, assisting with outreach and communications to philanthropy across the region.