baltimore corps newsletter: March 2017

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Around the world and here at home, we see reasons everywhere to hope for a better future: freedoms being won, diseases being eradicated, children building lives their parents could only imagine. We also know that none of this progress happens automatically. It's only through the hard work, persistence and sacrifice of people - often in the face of daunting obstacles and caustic cynicism - that we find our feet on the path forward. To make the changes we all want to see in Baltimore, we need to do all we can to empower our ordinary people to be as highly effective as possible in order to produce extraordinary work.
A major opportunity of our time is the fact that the overwhelming proportion of nonprofit organizations and government agencies - anchor organizations with incredible potential to transform lives - report a chronic inability to recruit talent into their organizations. Our potential as a sector, and as a city, depends on our ability to enlist the talent to solve our hardest problems.
Today, we want to share some of the extraordinary work that happens behind the scenes to ensure effective recruitment and investment within this city.
Fagan Harris

Baltimore Corps staff at Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco

Baltimore Corps staff at Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco

Brittany Young of B-360 at Brain Trust.

Brittany Young of B-360 at Brain Trust.


Baltimore Corps’ takes a comprehensive approach to developing individuals as professionals, leaders and champions of Baltimore. We invest in our staff’s development by providing access to trainings, conferences and experiences designed to encourage innovation and effectiveness. We provide our Fellows with a professional development stipend, values based programming and space for self-led opportunities to explore innovative approaches to tackling social issues. Click here to hear to read more about how we use our Faculty Model to develop our staff and network members.

Faculty Model:

In January, we launched our Baltimore Corps faculty, a select group of leaders with a proven track record of passion, expertise, and impact in a diverse range of sectors and vocations related to the challenges facing Baltimore City and their potential solutions. Our faculty members are made available to our staff, fellows and Elevation Awards grantees. Faculty members have and are doing the following:


quick wins from our faculty:

Mischa Toland recently collaborated with Elevation Awards grantee, Brittany Young of B-360, to host a brain trust exercise. This exercise convened leaders from the Baltimore community to explore approaches to her innovative approach to tackling a social issue. We are grateful to leaders from organizations such as Vehicles for Change, NASA, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore City Community College for their attendance and support.

Nymisha Nimmagadda, Fellow at LifeBridge Health, is working with Jason Israel to connect with the country’s top health professionals such as White House public health advisors

Faculty members are working with fellows in general on topics such as systems and policy change, personal development, and becoming champions of equity in their workplaces.


360 Feedback

In addition to our Faculty, Baltimore Corps uses a 360 degree feedback model to assess the needs of our Fellows and Visional Cause Leaders (VCLs). Insights from these one on one sessions are used by our Baltimore Corps programs team and faculty members to support fellows with resources needed to remain effective and focused on their impactful work. Some common themes from our current cohort include:

  • VCLs truly value how flexible and adaptable their assigned Fellows are.

  • A majority of our current Fellows are interested in seeking full time employment with their VCLs upon completion.

  • Open and honest communication is something that both Fellows and VCLs have reported as a top reason why they have a great working relationship throughout the fellowship

  • VCLs are interested in learning more about incorporating race and equity principles to their overall organizational practices and policies


For this last Fellowship cycle Baltimore Corps received 551 applications and was able to convert 7% to placements; for our most recent staff openings we received 353 applications for 4 openings and for our Elevation Awards launch, we received roughly 150 applications and were able to award 8 individuals.  This has been a humbling experience and has led us to the conclusion that we must do more to convert talent looking for the opportunity to serve our City. To learn more about how we are developing our systems to better serve the talent and opportunity in our City please click here.

A single digit percent conversion rate while competitive is a disservice to talented people left without an opportunity to serve. Committed to serving in this capacity, Baltimore Corps has deployed one streamlined platform for all talent coming into the organization -- whether that is a potential Fellow, staff member, Place for Purpose associate, elevation awards grantee etc.  This is all with the goal to convert more talented individuals to opportunities to leverage their strengths for the betterment of our City.   So, as you interact with Baltimore Corps' talent application in the coming weeks you will find one single portal for entering our pool of talent regardless of types of roles you are interested in. WE gather baseline information that allows us to assess talent across core values, work history, work styles etc, then applicants are able to identify which specific opportunities are of interest. We believe this will provide us the agility to consider talent for multiple opportunities without having to complete multiple applications.


Baltimore Corps takes a broad approach to building the talent pipeline for Baltimore’s social impact sector. Our recruitment strategy reflects our belief that talent takes many shapes and forms. We aim to discover talented individuals and leverage their diverse strengths and experiences by deploying them to high-impact roles that align with their skills and expertise. 

Leveraging Baltimore Corps’ intake and matching platform, we learn about candidates’ strengths, experiences, and values and facilitate curated placements. By deploying talent strategically, Baltimore Corps hopes to build a robust network of changemakers and grow the next generation of leaders for our city.



Through our Baltimore Corps Fellowship, our flagship program, we place talented individuals in roles where they can be effective contributors from day one -- whether as a data analyst or a program manager -- to grow the impact of their Visionary Cause Leader’s work. Fellows are embedded in their placements for 12 months, and during that time they engage with Baltimore Corps programming, professional development, and networking as part of their Fellowship commitment.


Place for Purpose is a service that connects job-seekers to opportunities with mission-driven partners in Baltimore’s social impact sector, complementing our Fellowship model.


Through the Elevation Awards, we invest in Baltimore’s social entrepreneurs who have early-stage ventures with both grant funding and technical assistance. It is a privilege to support Elevation Award winners, who will develop solutions and interventions to strengthen our city. Supporting talented individuals in this way helps grow Baltimore’s leadership pipeline by focusing on entrepreneurship and local solutions, complementing the Fellowship program and Place for Purpose.