Frequently Asked Questions

Membership & Joining  |  Circle Meetings  |  Committees  |  Grants

› Membership and Joining the Circle

Who are Circle members?

Women of all ages from diverse backgrounds who want to participate in a group whose mission is to improve the lives of other women and their families in greater Baltimore. We welcome new members throughout the year.

If I am interested or have a friend who is interested in the Circle, how can we get information?

Learn more about the Giving Circle by contacting:


Baltimore Community Foundation
2 East Read Street, 9th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 410.332.4172, ext. 133
Fax: 410.837.4701

A packet of information will be mailed upon your request.

How much of my annual $1,150 contribution is tax deductible?

All of it.

How is my contribution used?

$1,000 will be granted in the year following your payment. $100 is used to cover administrative support and costs related to Circle activities, committees and mailing and printing.

How long is my commitment when I join?

The commitment is made year to year, one year at a time. If you wish, you may pay for more than one year at a time.

When is my annual contribution due?

By September 30 each year so we can determine how much money is available for the next granting cycle. However, new members may join at any time.

What payment method may I use?

You may pay by check, online with a credit card, by wire, with securities, by recommending a grant from a donor-advised fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation, or by transfer from another charitable fund. See detailed information under Become a Member on the BWGC website.


› Circle Meetings

Does the BWGC meet as a group?

Yes, there are four Full Circle meetings a year. At three of the meetings, policy experts, program operators and program beneficiaries speak about issues affecting women and their families, followed by a Q&A. At the fourth meeting, Circle members vote to select the new grants that will be awarded effective July 1.

May members bring a guest to a Full Circle Meeting?

Yes, to three of the four meetings, subject to space. Members bringing a guest must RSVP with the guest’s name and must accompany the guest to the meeting. The May Full Circle meeting is reserved only for members as that is when new grants are selected.


› Committees

Whom do I contact if I want to join/change a committee?

The BWGC liaison at The Baltimore Community Foundation at 410.332.4172, ext. 133 or

Whom do I contact if I have a question about my committee?

The committee’s co-chairs:
Grants Committee:
Membership Committee:
Education Committee:
Post Grant Evaluation Committee:
Communications Committee:

Do I have to join a committee?

No, not at all. But it is a great way to get involved and learn about the Circle.

May I join more than one committee?

Yes, but we recommend you first carefully consider the time commitment of each.

May members bring a guest to a committee meeting?

No, committee meetings are for Circle members only.


› Grants

How are grants awarded?

Circle members are involved in all aspects of the decision-making process associated with grants awarded by the BWGC. Circle members who volunteer to be grant readers are organized into teams. Each team reviews a group of proposals to identify those that best address the BWGC grant criteria and warrant site visits. Subsequent to site visits, team members identify those proposals that they wish to recommend for funding. Circle members who attend funding presentations vote to select the new grantees. The awards are effective July 1.

How can I participate in the grants review process?

Sign up to serve on the Grants Committee when you join the Circle or renew your membership.

How does an organization receive information about applying for a grant?

Through the BWGC website or from an RFP (request for proposal) announcement emailed each fall to organizations in the Greater Baltimore area identified as providing services that relate to the BWGC mission. Circle members can request that a specific organization receive an RFP announcement by contacting Organizations may add their names to our RFP list by contacting Organizations do not need to receive an RFP announcement to apply for a grant; see Apply for a Grant on the BWGC website for information.