A New Collaborative Funding Opportunity: Baltimore Invest

A New Collaborative Funding Opportunity: Baltimore Invest

Friday, October 09, 2020, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

All Maryland Philanthropy Network members are invited to join Julia Baez, Executive Director of Baltimore’s Promise and Danielle Torain, Director of Open Society Institute - Baltimore, to hear about and discuss Baltimore Invest, a unique collaborative funding opportunity.

After a review of available data on outcomes related to the impact of COVID-19 as well as reviewing data, notes and feedback from the members of the COVID Collaborative, Baltimore’s Promise and OSI-Baltimore have come together with some early philanthropic and resident collaborators to form “Baltimore Invest.” Unlike past iterations of COVID-19 Response funding that sought to channel resources as quickly as possible toward efforts providing critical services or information to the Greater Baltimore region, Baltimore Invest seeks to do the following with intentionality in Baltimore City:

  • Mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color through a Race Equity and Inclusion frame by focusing on viable community-based strategies addressing poor outcomes existing due to structural racism that have been exacerbated disproportionately as a result of COVID-19.
  • Model and incentivize diverse collaborations that are inclusive of the following stakeholders: grassroots advocates, community leaders, local public officials, community practitioners, residents, and resource partners.
  • Share decision-making power between funders and community- and resident-leaders through a joint decision-making body (with a ratio of 2:1, local leaders to funders) that together will vet, discuss, and review proposals. Maintaining these four facets of Baltimore Invest will align the effort with principles of racial justice funding and build a foundation for long-term, transformational approaches to local understanding and consideration of community-based solutions, alternate funding mechanisms, and cultivating and supporting local leadership.

The foundational principles of Baltimore Invest are as follows:

  • Shift power dynamics and share decision-making power with A) Black/Indigenous/People of Color (BIPOC) Community- and Resident-Leaders and B) other funders, through the funding vehicle of a pooled fund explicitly designed to fund BIPOC-led community organizations
  • Structure this work with an explicit Race Equity and Inclusion frame that governs every aspect of its development and decision-making
  • Approach COVID relief by addressing structural racism causing disproportionate outcomes (e.g. policy, advocacy, program, systems)

These principles will be applied throughout the strategy in the following ways:

  • Collaborate with other funders and grassroots/resident stakeholders in design and development, and leverage additional funding to expand pool of resources
  • Track and share our collective work to identify challenges and best practices that support permanent changes in centering racial equity in approaches to grantmaking
  • Release funding in a phased funding approach, the first being directed by an internal identification process led by the decision-making body and the second being an open RFP to BIPOC-led, local collaborations meeting the to-be-determined criteria for funding

This briefing is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members only.