Baltimore is a planning a huge move that will create one of the largest grant-making operations in the nation. A 34-member task force, including members from the Catholic Charities, Associated Black Charities and Abell Foundation, will be organized to give the money to Baltimore’s children and youth.
The city will commit to setting aside over $12 million each year for grants that will be distributed to community organizations that work with young people. The city already spends nearly $375 million on pre-kindergarten, schools, libraries, youth health services and after-school programs.
John Brothers and Adam Jackson have been chosen as the co-chairmen of the task force. John Brothers oversees T. Rowe Price’s philanthropic activities and Jackson is the CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. Brothers said the City’s youth fund will stack up against some of the largest private non-profits in Baltimore.
“You’re essentially creating the third or fourth largest grant-making institution in the city,” he said. “This committee will try to make sure the funding gets back out into communities in a real serious way.”
Jackson said his goal is to make sure grassroots, black-led organizations are positioned to get the funding. The youth fund will empower Baltimore to move away from the conditions that led to the unrest of 2015. The funding will be invested directly into Baltimore’s African-American community.
As of now, Baltimore faces a $20 million budget shortfall, as the Baltimore school system faces a $130 million deficient. City officials are under pressure to increase funding to Baltimore schools. Mayor Catherine Pugh has argued that the public should consider the youth fund as a contribution to schoolchildren.
Law determines the amount of the funding by the value of the city’s assessable property, which recently estimated to be worth $40.4 billion. This would make the city’s contribution $12.1 million. This amount could be supplemented by private donations.