Today, the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better Baltimore region through strategic investments, civic leadership and guidance for donors who want to make a difference, gathered stakeholders at its annual 2023 Investment and Impact Briefing at Brown Advisory. Attendees included donors, advisors and nonprofit partners. Marking the first time the event has been held in-person since 2019, BCF revealed the foundation’s investment strategy, results and impact on the Baltimore region over the past year via grants, investments and advocacy.
Shanaysha Sauls, BCF’s President & CEO, shared that despite the Baltimore community and the rest of the country experiencing times of market volatility and uncertainty, the foundation distributed $31 million in grants through donor-advised, discretionary and other restricted funds to nonprofits in Baltimore and beyond in 2022. “BCF is much more than an institution,” said Sauls. “It is a vibrant community of people who are passionate about Baltimore and purposeful in their philanthropy. Every day at BCF, individual contributions are being multiplied for collective impact, in pursuit of a better region.” Over the past three years, the foundation welcomed 112 new fundholders, including many young philanthropists, first-generation philanthropists and philanthropists of color.
In a presentation on investment results, BCF Investment Committee Chair Patricia P. Baum, noted that the three-year annualized rate of return on the BCF’s total investment pool was 10.9 percent at the end of the first quarter in 2023. “BCF is, by its very nature, a long horizon investor for its endowment, able to stay the course through market ups and downs. This has proven critical in meeting urgent needs today while ensuring a permanent philanthropic resource for the next generation,” said Baum. She also highlighted the value of the foundation’s Invest for More impact investing portfolio, which supports projects that offer a financial return alongside economic and community development benefits and is largely protected from market fluctuations. Invest for More launched in 2018 with 4% of BCF’s total investment pool allocated to support affordable housing, mixed-use commercial and residential space, solar energy infrastructure and more. After a strong record of success, the organization increased the allocation to five percent and by the end of 2022, had made more than six million dollars in impact investments and leveraged an additional $45.8 million from other sources for small businesses, housing units and amenities such as parks and public markets. Baltimore is seen as a national leader in impact investing for its emphasis on innovative, community-led projects.
Among the impact investments profiled at the event was a $250,000 loan to the International Rescue Committee’s Center for Economic Opportunity (IRC-CEO) to provide micro credit-building loans and financial education for immigrants and refugees, helping them to transition into the financial mainstream. “With the investment from BCF, we’ve been able to provide micro-loans, financial education and wrap-around services that immigrants and refugees need to build a foundation here,” said Kasra Movahedi, IRC-CEO’s executive director. “We are grateful for BCF’s partnership, especially for believing and trusting in our work, and with their support, hope to continue to tell success stories for years to come.”
Furthermore, BCF welcomed the following new members into its Professional Advisor Recognition Society (PARS), a group of financial and legal advisors who prioritize philanthropy in their practice: Jonathan Ackerman of the Law Office of Jonathan Ackerman, LLC, Susan M. Hovanec of The Winslow Group at RBC Wealth Management and James D. Stone, formerly of Bowie & Jensen, LLC.
BCFs Investment and Impact Briefing showcased its strategic approach to community investments, emphasizing its commitment to multiplying the impact of individual, corporate and public entities and contributing to the growth and well-being of the Baltimore region.
To view the full report online, visit bcf.org/2023-investment-impact-briefing/.
About Baltimore Community Foundation:
For nearly 50 years, the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) has connected people who are passionate about their city and purposeful in their philanthropy. BCF amplifies donors’ philanthropy with strategic grants, impact investments, special initiatives, and advocacy to strengthen schools and neighborhoods. Visit www.bcf.org to discover meaningful giving, invest your funds wisely, and join a diverse community working for a better Baltimore.