Baltimore Leader Secures $20 Million to Support Black Leaders and Organizations After Learning of Foundation’s Closure

One day, a book will be written about a Black woman from Baltimore who mobilized resources, built institutions, and developed frameworks and infrastructure that prioritized Black self-determination!

In three years as the director of Open Society Institute – Baltimore, Danielle Torain has changed the game! We honor Danielle for her commitment to Black, Brown, and Justice-seeking organizations. From the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund to Open Society Institute – Baltimore, you are blazing trails and bringing others along with you!

Jamye Wooten
Black Enterprise – After learning that the local foundation she leads (OSI-Baltimore) would close, a Baltimore leader sprang into action and secured $20 million from her parent organization, the Open Society Foundations, to seed a responsible wind-down effort.

Danielle Torain is a Black female attorney who has spent the past decade investing in Black-led groups and organizing efforts. She knew that without appropriate tie-off support, grantees, who are predominantly Black, could experience hardship. “I know firsthand the amazing work grantees are leading,” Torain said.“I also know that without intervention, the closure of OSI-Baltimore could present a disruption to critical work and organizing. It could also have a disparate impact on Black organizers and groups. It was important to me then that we went to extraordinary lengths to mitigate harm. Raising funds to support a responsible wind-down was the least we could do.” OSI-Baltimore opened 25 years ago as OSF’s first and only field office. In its quarter century, OSI-Baltimore helped catalyze key policy changes; foster new movements; inspire national investments to Baltimore; and lead the local philanthropic sector in supporting organizations advancing new approaches to the city and region’s biggest challenges. Read More
CLLCTIVLY to Launch $100 Million Campaign in Maryland to Fund Black Futures 

 BALTIMORE, MD. – CLLCTIVLY, a place-based social change organization, today announced the formation of the Maryland Black Futures Fund. The Fund is a five-year, $100 million, statewide campaign to invest in Black power-building and movement-building organizations. It was inspired by the California Black Freedom Fund and designed to stabilize, strengthen and convene Black-led organizations locally and across the state of Maryland. “For the past 6 months, CLLCTIVLY and our partners have worked to develop a liberatory framework for grantmaking,” said Jamye Wooten, founder, CLLCTIVLY. “We know firsthand the struggles Black-led organizations have in raising capital to support mission-driven work. We also know that too many times, entities that are not led by the community, and not accountable to the community, control dollars that should be managed by community members. The Maryland Black Futures Fund will ensure that Black-led organizations in our region have what they need to thrive.”

“In addition to announcing its launch, CLLCTIVLY also announced that it will receive a $6 million investment from OSI-Baltimore. The gift comes amid OSI-Baltimore’s decision to close operations later this year.“We are excited to offer an early investment that will support the Maryland Black Futures Fund as it works to acquire the resources necessary to challenge systemic and institutionalized racism,” said Danielle Torain, director, OSI-Baltimore.“We understand that no one stands alone, and no effort, regardless of how noble, can thrive without support,” Wooten said. “It is imperative that persons who agree with our ideals of funding Black futures, invest in and support our campaign.”The goal of the campaign, particularly in the first year, is to strengthen its coalition across the state, convene partners and investors, and position the fund for long-term success. To receive updates, sign up for CLLCTIVLY’s newsletter and follow us on social media.