FAQs - Elevation Awards

What is the purpose of the Elevation Awards?

The Elevation Awards provide funding and tailored support to people of color who are Baltimore City residents piloting novel approaches to strengthen Baltimore communities. The aims of the Elevation Awards are as follows:

  • Leveraging the assets of communities to pioneer new solutions in social entrepreneurship;

  • Elevating leaders of community solutions; and

  • Supporting the early-stage pipeline of social entrepreneurs in Baltimore.

Who is eligible to apply?

Adult (18 and over) persons of color with lived experience in Baltimore City who have innovative and  sustainable ideas to further positive progress in Baltimore City communities.

May I apply if my project scope is inclusive of, but not limited to, Baltimore City?

Yes, however the Elevation Awards are geared toward social solutions focused on communities within Baltimore City.

If I applied in the past, but was not awarded a grant, may I apply again?

Yes, you are welcome to reapply, so long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

How long is the grant period?

The grant period will last 11 months, beginning in January. (Learn more about program requirements during the grant period.)

How much is the grant award?


I am currently a student or have a full-time job and am interested in exploring my idea on the side. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. The Elevation Awards are designed to be low-barrier, providing the opportunity for individuals to explore innovative social solutions in a low-risk, supportive environment. The support and coaching provided seeks to meet awardees "where they are."  (Learn more about program requirements during the grant period.)

What is meant by social entrepreneurship?

Our vision for social entrepreneurship is in agreement with Ashoka’s definition: “Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide ­scale change.”

How does Baltimore Corps define "idea" or "early stage"?

We are open to both conceptual ideas and those already in the early stages of exploration. The Elevation Awards are not designed to fund organizations that are already up-and-running with full-time staff. Ideas that are spinoffs of more established programs will be considered, but not prioritized. These ideas must be uniquely different from the current established initiative.

I never ran a social enterprise before. May I still apply?

Yes. The Elevation Awards are designed to be low-barrier, providing the opportunity for individuals to explore innovative social solutions in a low-risk, supportive environment.

Do I need to have an organizational structure set up, such as an LLC or 501(c)3, in order to apply?

No. The support available to awardees includes exploring such options for structure.

What types of support are available to awardees during the grant period?

Awardees will benefit from ongoing programming and coaching tailored to support their initiatives. From design to implementation, awardees will have access to constant feedback from experts in their fields. Awardees will also be introduced to a range of prospective partner organizations positioned to invest further in their initiatives.

Will there be further funding available after the initial award?

Further funding for grantees is not currently available through the Elevation Awards. However, all awardees will have the opportunity to present their visions and projects to prospective seed funders.

How do I apply?

The Elevation Awards application will be open through September 18, 2019. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting; save and edit your application as you wish. Applicants are welcome to submit more than one idea, as long as they vary in scope and partnership. The application will ask about the following: personal story; project or idea; contribution; collaboration; passion; sustainability; and additional information. If you do not have regular access to internet or need other accommodations, please contact us at hello@baltimorecorps.org or (443) 640-8904.

I'm not sure if my proposal meets your criteria. May I schedule a personal interview or phone call to review my proposal before I decide whether to apply?

No. While we are unable to meet with potential applicants individually, the following information sessions are being held across the city, at which time interested parties can get further questions answered.