How We Work
We work by committees, involving all who care to join in a giving and learning process that makes a difference to us and to our grantees.
The BWGC is a member-driven organization that derives its strength from effectively integrating the talents, expertise, and energies of its dynamic and diverse members. The Circle is led by co-chairs elected every two years by the membership. Responsible for oversight of the Circle’s affairs and its relationship with the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF), the Circle co-chairs conduct monthly Steering Committee meetings with other officers as well as co-chairs of the committees.
The Circle enables its members to connect to each other, to the community and to causes they support to the extent they have the time and interest. Joining a committee is a wonderful way to become involved in the work of the Giving Circle and to get to know other members.
Members of the Circle can choose to serve on one or more of the following committees:
The Communications Committee works with other BWGC committees to communicate the work of the Circle to prospective and current members, non-profit organizations, and the Baltimore area community. The Committee produces five newsletters, hosts a Facebook page, and oversees the Circle website. Committee work includes development of a communication strategy, writing short news articles or grantee success stories, editing and photographing events. The Committee meets monthly, but most of the work is done via phone and email. The Website subcommittee has day to day responsibility for ensuring that the website functions properly and that content is up to date and accurate.
The Education Committee is responsible for planning the programs for Full Circle meetings as well as educational events organized by their subcommittees. Circle Forum organizes site visits and interactive meetings focused on the work of our grantees. Circle Advocacy introduces members to current policy issues related to our mission and educates them on how to effectively advocate as individuals for causes they care about. Circle Reads, our membership book club, organizes two meetings a year. The Circle Study subcommittee chooses a topic to study in more depth. Through research and meetings with community leaders, the group identifies speakers for the Full Circle and other subcommittees.
The Grants Committee orchestrates the grant-making process for the BWGC. Between January and April, organized teams of grant readers review grant requests, conduct site visits, and recommend selected programs to receive funding. Circle members who attend funding presentations are eligible to vote on the selection of new grantees. New grant readers are encouraged to attend an orientation meeting in the fall. If you would like to be a grant reader you need to be able to attend grant reader meetings between January and April. Grant readers for the current grant cycle must sign-up by January 1.
Post Grants Committee
The Post Grants Committee establishes a relationship with our new grantees and monitors their accomplishments and progress through their grant period. Committee members serve as liaisons to conduct site visits and interviews with their assigned grantees. There are four committee meetings each year with most other work being completed by email and telephone. Committee members are encouraged to have experience in grant reading and must sign up by August 31.
Grantee Connect Committee
The Grantee Connect Committee fosters relationships among our grantee alumni and assists them in their non-profit work by presenting programs in which they have a special interest. Committee members research topics, select speakers, and organize two events a year. The time commitment is minimal and flexible as most communication with grantees is via email or telephone. A few committee members attend the events as facilitators.
The Membership Committee is responsible for organizing events for prospective and new members. The New Member and Mentoring subcommittee assigns mentors to welcome new members to the Circle and educate them about engagement opportunities. The Speakers and Donations subcommittee invites speakers to prospective and new member events and also organizes donations for selected grantees at Full Circle meetings. The committee meets monthly. The Circle Works subcommittee organizes opportunities for Circle members to volunteer together for a day of service on site at a non-profit organization. Two events are planned each year. This is great opportunity to connect with each other in the service of our mission. The time commitment is minimal.