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    1. Trustees

      October 2017 Grant Awards

      By Kathleen McCarthy

      10-13-2017

      Announcing our most recent recipients in Catholic activities, education, health care and human services

       We are pleased to announce that 12 organizations received over $900,000 in our October grant cycle.

       

      Catholic Activities

      • Our Lady Queen of Peace Church: $60,000 to support the renovation and repair of the stained glass windows at this Catholic church located in Middle River

       

       Education

      • Calvert Hall College High School: $107,000 to support theatre stage lighting upgrades in the Marion Burk Knott Center for Performing Arts at this Catholic, college preparatory high school for boys located in Towson
      • Irvine Nature Center: $17,000 to support an environmental education program for students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and St. Ignatius Loyola Academy
      • Notre Dame Preparatory School: $80,000 to support auditorium lighting upgrades at this Catholic, college preparatory school in Towson serving girls in grades 6 – 12
      • Parks & People Foundation, Inc.: $50,000 to support the Branches environmental education and youth leadership internship program for middle and high school students in Baltimore City
      • St. Francis Neighborhood Center: $128,147 to support the Count on Me capital campaign for the expansion of this longstanding community center located in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City

       

      Heatlh Care

      • MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital: $50,000 to support equipment purchases for the hospital’s Center for Successful Aging, which provides comprehensive geriatric services to patients ages 65 and older

       

      Human Services

      • Marian House: $150,000 to support renovations of the former convent and rectory of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Baltimore City to provide supportive housing for homeless women seeking to transform their lives

       

       

      Behind the Scenes of the Knott Foundation: Part III

      By Kelly Medinger

      08-14-2017

      A Q&A with trustees about the family’s participation in our grantmaking process

      Knott_office_2.jpgThis is the third post in a multi-part series that explores a year in the life of the Knott Foundation behind the scenes 

       

      Did you know that 93% of Knott Foundation trustees conducted one or more site visits in the community last year? 

       

      This hands-on approach that our trustees take in our grantmaking process is one of the unique components of the Knott Foundation’s operations.  In essence, our board of 28 family members from 3 generations functions not only as the governance body of the Foundation’s assets and charitable activities, but also as “a team of volunteer program officers” – evaluating grant requests, conducting site visits, and reporting back to their fellow board members each year. 

       

      As part of our “behind the scenes” blog series, we’re taking a look at the inner workings of the Knott Foundation, from strategic planning to grantmaking.  This is the third post in the three-part series:

       

      • Part I (read it here) recapped our strategic journey over the past three years to share our donor intent and legacy, explore our own talents and resources, and create a common education base around community needs and conditions.
      • Part II (read it here) examined what happens behind the scenes with grant applications – from the time a letter of inquiry comes in the door to when a final grant report is submitted.
      • Part III (this post) features a Q&A with trustees about the family’s participation in our grantmaking process, including reflections on their giving philosophies and experiences as site visitors.

       

      Recently, I sat down with several longtime trustees of the Knott Foundation to hear their perspectives on how we approach our grantmaking and what they look for in grant requests.  Below are excerpts from that conversation. 

       

      How would you describe the involvement of our trustees in the grantmaking operations of the Foundation? 

       

      Martin:  We are very involved, not only from a screening perspective when an organization comes to us with a letter of inquiry, but beyond that.  We go out on site visits to see organizations in action and meet the people involved, and then we write about it and share it with our fellow trustees.  This work ultimately puts us in touch with the people we’re serving. 

       

      Patrick:  My grandfather was very hardworking, so it’s not surprising that we have a hardworking board as well.  And while I don’t want to speak for everyone on the board, I think many people would say that doing site visits is their favorite thing that we do as trustees.  Each cycle we get to select the grant application we want to evaluate.  Kathleen sends us the materials, and we study them and prepare our site visit questions.  After the visit we do our own write-up about the organization, the nuts and bolts of the request, and an assessment of their leadership and financial position. 

       

      John:  On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the involvement of our trustees as an 8.  Obviously, some people are more involved than others, but we still rely on our professional staff to do some of the legwork each grant cycle.

       

      In your experience, what makes for a good site visit?

       

      John:  Being prepared.  Having the right people in the room and thinking of questions and issues ahead of time.  But also being prepared to offer suggestions or be critical in front of them.  We’re here to learn from you, but we’re also here to share our own perspective.  I find that I can usually offer them a variety of suggestions or connect them to organizations that might be good partners.  As a foundation operating in the Baltimore community for 40 years, we bring a huge amount of knowledge to the table. 

       

      Visiting the nonprofit organizations we support creates meaningful opportunities for learning about the needs of our community.  What are some trends, challenges, or opportunities that you see in the program areas we support?   

       

      Lindsay:  I see a trend in Catholic religious orders that are not prepared financially to take care of their aging populations. 

       

      John:  There is also a lot of consolidation of Catholic schools, parishes, and provinces going on. 

       

      Patrick:  I see a trend in programs that work with older youth in our city, where so many of the movers and shakers are new organizations that are founder-led and founder-driven.  It makes me wonder what the sector will look like in 20 or 30 years, and how we can support these organizations now to ensure that their innovation and work continues for decades to come.

       

      What are some of the key ingredients you look for when evaluating a grant proposal?

       

      Martin:  Statistics that demonstrate successful outcomes, along with trying to get a read on the leadership and make-up of the board – are they givers, raisers, what are their talents?  Knowing they’ve executed the mission successfully and can back that up with data is important. 

       

      John:  The very first thing I look at is the professional leader’s experience and tenure.  Board giving is also hugely important to me, because if an organization’s own board isn’t contributing financially, then why should we?  Next I look at how many people are served, is the ask reasonable, and how well-prepared they are for the site visit. 

       

      Any other thoughts or reflections you’d like to share with our grant applicants?

       

      John:  Tone down the flowery language and stick to convincing facts.

       

      Patrick:  I’d point out that we don’t always have the funds available to award every worthwhile grant that comes to our attention.  There are lots of great organizations and programs strengthening the community, and we’re lucky to be able to support a few of them in that important work.

       

      Lindsay:  When we as trustees meet with grant applicants is when we really find out about your impact in the community.  A hallmark of the Foundation is the time we spend as trustees learning about your work, seeing your program in action, and then sharing your story with the rest of the board.  I think we are all very thankful that we have that opportunity and grateful for our many grantees who’ve been so generous with their time and expertise over the past 40 years. 

       

       

      June 2017 Grant Awards

      By Kathleen McCarthy

      06-16-2017

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 14 organizations received over $800,000 in our June 2017 grant cycle.

       

      Catholic Activities

      • Church of the Nativity: $67,506 to support the purchase of liturgical elements to enrich the spiritual experience of parishoners and visistors alike at this growing Catholic parish in Lutherville
      • Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House: $60,000 to support capital improvements to enhance the comfort and prayerful experience for youth and young adults visiting this Sparks-based Catholic retreat facility for the past 50 years
      • St. Bernardine Church: $20,000 to support capital improvements to increase safety and access to this Catholic parish in the Edmondson Village neighborhood of Baltimore City

       

      Education

      • Camp Puh’tok for Boys and Girls: $75,000 to support the participation of 50 low-income Baltimore City youth in the year-round Urban Youth Scholars Program at this 60 acre outdoor learning center in Northern Baltimore County
      • Loyola Blakefield: $60,000 to support 1:1 technology access for students in need at this Jesuit, college preparatory school in Towson serving boys in grades 6 – 12
      • Maryvale Preparatory School: $100,000 to support STEM-related technology upgrades at this Catholic, independent school in Lutherville serving girls in grades 6 – 12
      • St. Elizabeth School: $58,353 to support capital improvements so that this Catholic, nonpublic, special education school in Baltimore City can serve more elementary-age students
      • St. Ignatius Loyola Academy: $55,285 to support the expansion of technology and faculty training at this tuition-free, Jesuit school in Baltimore City for underserved boys in grades 5 – 8
      • St. Michael – St. Clement School: $120,000 to support the purchase and integration of technology at this newly merged Catholic school in Baltimore serving students in grades pre-K-8

       

      Human Services

      • Franciscan Center: $33,335 as a 2:1 matching grant to support the capacity-building efforts of this Catholic outreach organization in Baltimore City, which has provided a continuum of basic services to the poor for nearly 50 years
      • Paul’s Place: $30,000 to support general operating costs associated with the case management program at this anchor community organization, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Southwest Baltimore

       

       

      Video Release: The Knott Foundation’s History & Mission

      By Kelly Medinger

      03-07-2017

      Celebrating 40 years of a family legacy of generosity to strengthen our community

      04a_Henry_and_Marion.jpegWe are pleased to release a short film showcasing the history and mission of the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation.

       

      After four decades of grantmaking in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, we wanted to tell the story of who our founders were, why they created the Foundation, how multiple generations of the Knott family are involved in our work today, and how our founders’ vision and legacy continues to strengthen the community in and around Baltimore. 

       

      Click here to watch the 6-minute film, or visit our homepage and click on the photo of Marion and Henry.

       

      We would like to thank all of the people who participated in the making of this film, including our grantees Caroline Center, St. Elizabeth School, and St. Francis Neighborhood Center, as well as Archbishop William Lori, Fr. Robert Leavitt, Peter Angelos, and members of the Knott family. 

       

      It is an honor to steward the legacy of Marion and Henry Knott, and to share our story with you. 

       

       

       

       

      February 2017 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-28-2017

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in arts & humanities, education, health care, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 16 organizations received over $700,000 in our February 2017 grant cycle. 

       

      Arts & Humanities

      • Baltimore Center Stage: $50,000 to support this nationally recognized theater company’s accessibility for blind, deaf, and autistic populations

       

      Education

      • Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School: $40,000 to support this experiential education organization’s Character & Leadership Initiative at two Catholic girls schools, Sisters Academy and Mercy High School
      • Dyslexia Tutoring Program: $50,000 to support the general operations of this program delivering free, specialized tutoring services to low-income children and adults with language-based learning differences
      • Mount St. Mary’s University: $40,000 to support equipment acquisition in the Division of Chemistry at this Catholic university in Emmitsburg
      • St. Maria Goretti High School: $65,000 to support a 1:1 Chromebook initiative at this Catholic high school in Hagerstown
      • St. Mark School: $100,000 to support technology upgrades at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Catonsville
      • St. Stephen School: $60,000 to support the Academic Excellence in Reading Program at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Kingsville
      • The Maryland School for the Blind: $45,073 to support the construction of a new accessible playground for students who are blind or visually impaired
      • Trinity School: $82,400 to support technology upgrades at this K-8 Catholic school in Ellicott City

       

      Health Care

      • Charm City Clinic: $17,000 to support the general operations of this volunteer-driven health care access organization serving low-income residents in East Baltimore

       

      Human Services

      • Adoptions Together: $49,463 to support digital enhancements to the Heart Gallery, a physical display featuring adoptable children in foster care, as part of this organization’s mission to create lifelong connections for children in need
      • CHANGE, Inc.: $25,000 to support renovations to their Respite Inn in Carroll County, where individuals with disabilities and their families can receive respite care
      • Job Opportunities Task Force: $35,000 to support the general operating costs of Project JumpStart Mentoring, a new program pairing Baltimore City’s opportunty youth with successful graduates of JOTF’s cornerstone pre-apprencticeship workforce development program
      • Maryland Farmers Market Association: $30,000 to support Maryland Market Money, a program designed to augment the food budgets of low-income residents while simultaneously supporting the livelihoods of local farmers
      • Partners in Care: $45,000 to support the Member Care and Ride Partner Programs, which are designed to maintain and enhance the independence of older adults in Anne Arundel County
      • Penn-Mar Human Services: $45,000 to support the Baltimore County operations of the Customized Integrated Employment Program, which places individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community-based employment positions

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database. 

       

       

      BOOST Grant Awards: Round I

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-28-2017

      Announcing our first round of grant recipients in our Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time initiative

      Our founders believed that education was the key to success, and that hard work combined with access to the right opportunities opened doors for people to become leaders in their communities.  Our Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) initiative is an extension of this donor intent and seeks to build opportunities in out-of-school time hours for older disadvantaged youth in Baltimore.

       

      In short, we believe that kids need committed and caring adults to help them navigate life, and that out-of-school time programs are a great avenue to help build those relationships and help them realize their full potential.

       

      Through our BOOST initiative, we’d like to see organizations demonstrate significant depth, duration, and reach of informal and formal mentoring relationships between older youth and caring adults.  With those measures, research says in the long-term these youth will experience improved educational outcomes and labor market success, improved decision-making capabilities, and beneficial effects on a number of other well-being variables – all of which point to our founders’ deep-seated value of education, opportunity, and hard work. 

       

      This year we are pleased to announce our first round of BOOST initiative grants, totaling $355,000 to four organizations in Baltimore. 

       

      BOOST Awards:  Round I

      • Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT): $140,000 grant over four years ($35,000/year) to support the capacity-building efforts of this organization, which aims to eliminate health care disparities by transforming underrepresented Baltimore City high school students into health care leaders
      • Next One Up: $40,000 grant over two years ($20,000/year) to support the general operations of this organization, which aims to transform the lives of young men in Baltimore City by supporting and advancing their academic, athletic, and social development
      • Sisters Circle: $105,000 grant over three years ($35,000/year) to support the general operations of this organization, which offers long-term mentoring relationships for at-risk girls in Baltimore, empowering them to define success for themselves, make intentional decisions about their futures, and become self-sufficient young women
      • Thread: $70,000 grant over two years ($35,000/year) to support salary expenses of this organization, which engages underperforming high school students in Baltimore City, provides them with a family of committed volunteer mentors, and encourages them to become self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens 

       

      BOOST is a 5-year, $1 million initiative.  Participation is by invitation only.  We look forward to sharing what we learn from this initiative over time. 

       

      For a complete description of the program, please visit our BOOST initiative webpage.  And to read more about the Foundation’s journey to develop the BOOST initiative, click here.  

       

       

      Our 2016 Annual Report

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-23-2017

      Weaving a network of life, hope, and charity

      2016_Annual_Report_Cover.png

       

      I am pleased to announce the publication of our 2016 annual report.

       

      “Weaving a Network of Life, Hope, and Charity” is the theme of our 2016 annual report.  Through this theme we remark how organizations across the Archdiocese of Baltimore are weaving the threads of life, hope, and charity to create a more vibrant social fabric in the communities we serve.

       

      Our annual reports are a wonderful archival resource of the Foundation’s grantmaking activities, as well as a way to learn about the positive impact of some of our recent grants in education, human services, health care, arts & humanities, and Catholic activities.  For a collection of our past annual reports click here

       

      I hope you enjoy reading our 2016 annual report and learning more about the Knott Foundation’s mission to strengthen the community.



       

       

       

      October 2016 Grant Awards

      By Kathleen McCarthy

      10-14-2016

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education and human services.

      We are pleased to announce that 14 organizations received nearly $650,000 in our October grant cycle.

       

       Catholic Activities

      • Jesuit Volunteer Corps: East: $15,000 grant to support the recruitment, training and on-going work of five Baltimore-based Jesuit Volunteers committed to serving the poor and marginalized

       

      Education

      • Monsignor Slade Catholic School: $59,000 grant to support the implementatoin of a mobile device program and teacher professional development at this pre-K – 8 Catholic school in Glen Burnie
      • St. Francis of Assisi School: $65,420 grant to support the implementaion of a technology Master Plan at this pre-K – 8 Catholic school in Northeast Baltimore

       

      Human Services

      • Associated Catholic Charities: $65,000 grant to support the St. Edward’s Workforce Development Center, an automotive job training program located in West Baltimore
      • Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland: $40,000 grant to support the launch of a centralized intake system called Access FCS, creating a single point of entry and lowering barriers for individuals and families seeking behavioral health services
      • Intersection of Change: $35,000 grant to support Martha’s Place, a recovery program for women overcoming drug addicition and homelessness in West Baltimore
      • Living Classrooms Foundation: $48,457 grant to support general operating costs of Project SERVE, a community service and job-training program for unemployed and disadvantaged adults
      • Pathfinders for Autism: $39,880 grant to support and expand the Community Safety Program, training law enforcement, fire, and EMS first responders across Central Maryland to more effectively interact with individuals on the autism spectrum
      • St. Mary's Outreach Center: $35,000 grant to support operating costs for the Center, which improves the quality of life for older adults living in poverty in the greater Hampden community

       

      Behind the Scenes of the Knott Foundation: Part II

      By Kelly Medinger

      09-30-2016

      A look at what happens behind the scenes with grant applications

      Knott_office_2.jpgThis is the second post in a multi-part series that explores a year in the life of the Knott Foundation behind the scenes 

       

      Do you ever wonder what happens to your grant application after you click “submit”?  Or who reads your final report once your grant is over?  If so, this blog post is for you!

       

      As part of our “behind the scenes” blog series, we’re taking a look at the inner workings of the Knott Foundation from strategic planning to grantmaking.  This is the second post in the three-part series:

      • Part I (read it here) recapped our strategic journey over the past three years to share our donor intent and legacy, explore our own talents and resources, and create a common education base around community needs and conditions.
      • Part II (this post) examines what happens behind the scenes with grant applications – from the time a letter of inquiry comes in the door to when a final grant report is submitted.
      • Part III will feature a Q&A with trustees about the family’s participation in our grantmaking process, including reflections on their giving philosophies and experiences as site visitors.

       

      Letters of Inquiry

      Our grantmaking process starts with registration in our online Grants Portal and submission of a letter of inquiry. 

       

      Nearing the deadline, our Grants Manager, Kathleen, starts processing all of the letters that are submitted.  Your letter merges into a template, with key information at the top (organization name and address, request amount, project title, etc.) and the body of your letter below.  We also include a chart of your funding history and attach your one-page Financial Analysis Form. 

       

      All of the letters and financial forms are organized by program area and sent to a committee of our board who review the letters three times a year.  The committee spends a couple weeks looking through the information and then meets to discuss the submissions. 

       

      Each cycle we receive approximately 60 letters of inquiry.  In the end we only invite 1 in 4 applicants to submit a full proposal – more a factor of our own limited resources than anything else.  Notably, while education is our largest program area in terms of funding, about half of the letters we receive each year are in the human services program area. 

       

      By the end of the month we notify every applicant via email whether your letter of inquiry was advanced or not.  Sometimes applicants will call (understandably) to find out why their letter was not advanced.  While we’re always happy to take a call or respond to an email, it’s rare that we have any specific feedback for applicants (other than we simply didn’t have enough resources to bring them in). 

       

      Full Proposals

      The full proposal process starts with a phone call and a conversation with Kathleen.  She walks you through the application guidelines and what to expect, and emails you a link to the full proposal template in our Grants Portal. 

       

      One unique feature of this stage in our process is the opportunity to have Kathleen review a draft of your proposal.  A good number of our applicants take advantage of this opportunity each cycle, and Kathleen shares her feedback through the Grants Portal.  We see this as a great opportunity for knowledge-sharing:  we learn from the information contained in your proposal, and we’re also able to ask questions or share ideas that we’ve gleaned from others who have done similar projects in the past. 

       

      Once you submit your full proposal and all of the required attachments, your proposal is merged into a template (similar to the letter of inquiry).  A list of all of the applicants is sent to a committee of our board who votes on grants, and each committee member selects which organization(s) they want to explore. 

       

      About a month or so after submitting your full proposal, a trustee or staff member will usually contact you to schedule a site visit.  That person will have all of the information you submitted with your grant application, as well as a copy of your post grant report from your most recent grant (if applicable). 

       

      Once the site visits are complete, the committee meets to discuss and vote on each proposal.  While the letter of inquiry process is highly competitive (with only 1 in 4 applications advanced), by the full proposal stage the odds are much better:  about 80% of our applicants receive at least a portion of what they asked for. 

       

      After this meeting, we call you to relay the news about your proposal, regardless of the outcome. 

       

      Interim Reports

      A few years ago my colleague, Kathleen, spearheaded a new modality for interim reporting:  phone conversations!  For years we used to require our grantees submit a written report at the 6-month mark of their grant; however, Kathleen knew from her experience as our Grants Manager that the information exchange could be (and would be) better over the phone.

       

      For this step, Kathleen contacts you to schedule the phone conversation.  Each conversation typically lasts about 30 minutes.  Some organizations delegate the call to their development person, while others pull in one or more program people to discuss the details of the grant-funded project.  Either way the conversation is fruitful; both parties can ask questions, link to other resources, problem-solve, or even brainstorm new ideas.

       

      Throughout these phone conversations, Kathleen takes notes.  She shares her notes with me and the trustee who conducted the original site visit for the grant.  Over time, these interim phone conversations have become an integral part of our knowledge gathering and knowledge sharing in the field. 

       

      Post Grant Reports

      At the end of each grant, a post grant report is due.  Unlike the interim report, this is a written report prepared by the grantee that recaps the challenges and successes encountered during the grant period.  Kathleen reviews all of the reports and prepares a brief summary of each.  I review both the summaries and the reports, and if there are no issues, we officially “close” the grant in our system. 

       

      Like our notes from the interim report conversations, your post grant report is shared with the trustee who conducted the original site visit.  But your report ALSO becomes part of your next grant application, as we seek to incorporate an assessment of your previous stewardship into any new request for funding.

       

      So what? 

      So that’s it – our grant process from soup to nuts!  I hope this post has given you a window into what happens “behind the scenes” once your letter of inquiry, full proposal, and grant reports are submitted.  If you have any input on our process from your standpoint – timing, requirements, feedback, etc. – please feel free to share it with us at knott@knottfoundation.org

       

       

      June 2016 Grant Awards

      By Kathleen McCarthy

      06-30-2016

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in arts & humanities, education and human services.

      We are pleased to announce that 10 organizations received over $650,000 in our June 2016 grant cycle.

       

      Arts & Humanities

      • Port Discovery Children’s Museum: $31,203 grant to support the delivery of the STEMventures after school program to children in grades 3 – 6 attending the four Catholic community schools in Baltimore City

       

      Education

      • Archdiocese of Baltimore: $50,000 grant to support the Smart Classroom initiative designed to enhance 21st Century technology opportunities in the four Catholic community schools in Baltimore City
      • Institute of Notre Dame: $143,000 grant to support technology and security upgrades at this all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore City
      • Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke School: $61,590 grant to support Chromebooks for the middle school and associated infrastructure upgrades at this pre-K – 8 Catholic school in Dundalk
      • Saint Ursula School: $89,000 grant to support a Chromebook initiative at this pre-K – 8 Catholic school in Baltimore County
      • Sisters Academy of Baltimore: $50,000 grant to support development operations at this all-girls, tuition-free Catholic middle school in southwest Baltimore

       

      Human Services

      • Catholic Charities: $72,123 grant to support a technology upgrade designed to improve employee mobility, system access and security, and quality of care at the largest private human services provider in Maryland
      • Helping Up Mission: $40,000 grant to support general operating costs associated with the Education and Workforce Development program at this 130-year-old organization serving homeless, poor, and addicted men in Baltimore City
      • Itineris: $100,000 grant to support the acquisition of additional building space to expand the availability of services for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Baltimore City

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards from previous cycles, please visit our past awards database.

       

       

      Behind the Scenes of the Knott Foundation: Part I

      By Kelly Medinger

      03-07-2016

      Recapping our strategic journey over the past three years

      Knott_office_2.jpgThis is the first post in a multi-part series that explores a year in the life of the Knott Foundation behind the scenes 

       

      Transparency, in a nutshell, is about openness and accountability.  To operate transparently, I believe our foundation must provide the broader community with relevant and timely information about our work, our operations and processes, and what we’re learning.  A valuable byproduct of this sharing is that it opens the floor for discussion and participation from our stakeholders, promoting our own accountability to the community. 

       

      Having been in the grantseeker role myself, I understand that people might be curious about what’s happening “behind the scenes” in our office (or any private foundation for that matter).  While there’s a lot of information on our website, and we’re always happy to talk over the phone, there may still be some big, unanswered questions.  For example:  When and how do we reflect on our work?  What strategic thinking have we been doing over the past few years?  How is the Knott family involved in our grantmaking process, and how do their professional and personal experiences help inform their work?  And what exactly happens to that letter of inquiry, grant proposal, or post grant report that you write once it’s submitted? 

       

      To help answer these questions, I’m launching a blog series to explore a year in the life of the Knott Foundation behind the scenes.  Here’s an outline of what you can expect to learn from these blog posts:

       

      • Part I (this post) recaps our strategic journey over the past three years to share our donor intent and legacy, explore our own talents and resources, and create a common education base around community needs and conditions.
      • Part II will examine what happens behind the scenes with grant applications – from the time a letter of inquiry comes in the door to when a final grant report is submitted.
      • Part III will feature a Q&A with trustees about the family’s participation in our grantmaking process, including reflections on their giving philosophies and experiences as site visitors.

       

      To begin, we’ve spent the last three years reflecting on three important components of our work:  our donor intent and legacy, our foundation talents and resources, and our community needs and conditions.  All of these components play a role in guiding our strategic direction as a Catholic family foundation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 

       

      Our Donor Intent and Legacy

      One way of positioning donor intent is through three basic, formative questions I believe all foundations must answer about their giving:  why, what, and how.  Donor intent is the why.  It illustrates the values that motivated our founders to give back in the ways that they did. 

       

      In the words of business writers Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, “It is more important to know who you are than where you are going, for where you are going will change as the world around you changes” (Building Your Company’s Vision, Harvard Business Review, 1996).  For a family foundation like ours, donor intent is that identity, that stable force in an ever-changing world, which Collins and Porras allude to. 

       

      In 2014, after researching our donor intent and discussing it at a foundation retreat, we decided to share more about the legacy of our founders through the program pages on our website.  There, you can find information about why Mr. and Mrs. Knott cared so deeply about supporting communities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore through giving to education, human services, health care, arts and humanities, and the Catholic Church.  The values embodied in these stories are the guiding force behind our role as grantmakers entrusted with honoring the legacy of our founders.  

       

      Our Talents and Resources

      Yet even with a shared understanding of our donor intent, it’s worth noting that our board looks very different today than it did when Mr. and Mrs. Knott established the Foundation 39 years ago.  Twenty-nine Knott family members serve as trustees, representing three generations of the Knott family – the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Marion and Henry Knott. 

       

      With this many voices in the boardroom, it has been important for us to understand and reflect on our own talents and resources as a grantmaking foundation, and to be mindful in how we approach our work.  We do this by taking a global view of our grantmaking – evaluating application and award statistics by each program area, for instance – as well as discussing our own tolerance for risk, expectations for results, passion for our work, and capabilities as a small-staffed foundation. 

       

      Our Community Needs and Conditions

      Another important piece of the strategy puzzle for family foundations is external in nature – it’s all about community needs and conditions. 

       

      Last year I had the opportunity to formally consult with more than 25 high-level experts representing all sectors of our giving – executive directors, school principals, researchers, program staff, national advocates, and other grantmakers.  These practitioners painted a picture of some of the key challenges facing our community and pointed us to important resources to further our learning.  The Knott Foundation's board examined these findings at a retreat, spending time discussing the landscape of our ever-changing community, reflecting on our own giving, and determining how best to advance our mission to strengthen the community within the panoply of pressing needs that exist now.

       

      So What?

      So what do these three components have in common?  They all intersect to help us manage our own strategic direction as a foundation. 

       

      Our founders saw a whole community of needs, which is reflected today in our broad programmatic focus and open application process.  At the same time, Mr. and Mrs. Knott were steadfast in their dedication to education and the Catholic faith; they saw the Church as an anchor institution poised to address a wide spectrum of societal needs.  Therefore, within our five program areas we continue to prioritize education and Catholic organizations because they were of central importance to our founders and remain important to both our current board and the Maryland community. 

       

      Next year, we’ll also initiate a small-scale, proactive funding portfolio in the out-of-school time space.  This portfolio will focus on helping disadvantaged older youth in Baltimore City, especially through informal and formal mentoring relationships between youth and caring adults.  I look forward to sharing more about this initiative and what we learn from it over time. 

       

      Ultimately our goal is to steward the resources entrusted to us by honoring the intent of our original donors, accommodating the preferences of our current board, and responding to the conditions of the present community.  In this way, we remain true to our roots as a family foundation seeking to strengthen the community here in Maryland. 

       

       

      February 2016 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-16-2016

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education, health care, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 18 organizations received over $700,000 in our February 2016 grant cycle. 

       

      Catholic Activities

      • FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students):  $50,000 grant to support this organization’s expansion to Towson University, inviting college students into a growing relationship with their faith and the Catholic Church
      • Ignatian Volunteer Corps.:  $25,000 grant to support the Baltimore-based capacity building efforts of this Catholic, volunteer service organization for men and women over the age of 50
      • Saint Clare Parish:  $50,000 grant to support capital improvements to the interior church at this 60-year-old Catholic parish located in Essex, Maryland
      • St. Vincent De Paul Roman Catholic Church:  $12,840 grant to support the church’s Resource Exchange Program, which seeks to turn houses into homes for the formerly homeless

       

      Education

      • Acts4Youth:  $10,000 grant to support two comprehensive mentoring programs, Game Plan to Manhood and Shine Into Womanhood, serving at-risk youth in Baltimore City elementary, middle, and high schools
      • Druid Heights Community Development Corps:  $30,000 grant to support year-round programming for youth living in the Druid Heights neighborhood of Baltimore City
      • Higher Achievement Baltimore:  $45,000 grant to support the general operations and technological capacity of this academic focused after-school program serving youth in grades 4 through 8 in Baltimore City
      • Junior Achievement of Central Maryland:  $30,000 grant to support the implementation of the JA Career Success and JA Build Your Future career prep and life success programs for early high school students in the Archdiocese of Baltimore
      • Mercy High School:  $76,150 grant to support technology upgrades at this all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore City
      • St. John the Evangelist Catholic School (Long Green):  $50,000 grant to support a technology expansion, including 1:1 devices for the middle school, at this preK-8 Catholic school in Baltimore County
      • Soccer Without Borders Baltimore:  $35,000 grant to support this comprehensive afterschool program for newcomer refugee students in middle and high school in Baltimore City
      • South Baltimore Learning Center:  $45,500 grant to support the development and execution of a new marketing and outreach plan for this community-based organization focused on educationally disadvantaged adult learners in Baltimore City

       

      Health Care

       

      Human Services

      • CASA of Allegany County:  $25,000 grant to support efforts to recruit, screen, train, and support new volunteer advocates for children in the custody of the court in Allegany County
      • Caroline Center:  $50,000 grant to support the expansion of this Catholic, tuition-free employment training program for women in health care to Baltimore City’s Westside
      • Catholic Charities:  $64,100 grant to support the implementation of a professional mentoring program for teachers at their Catholic Charities Head Start of Baltimore City program
      • Harford Community Action Agency, Inc.:  $25,740 grant to support the expansion of their foodbank/pantry hours to reach more individuals and families in Harford County who are experiencing financial hardships
      • Moveable Feast:  $49,500 grant to support architectural design costs for this “food as medicine” organization’s renovation work as part of the Sustain the Feast, Secure the Future capital campaign

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database.

       

      Our 2015 Annual Report

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-10-2016

      Bringing people together “under one roof” across Maryland

      2015_Annual_Report_Cover.jpgI am pleased to announce the publication of our 2015 annual report.

       

      Last year painted a dichotomous picture of our community.  On the one hand, we observed the noble ministry of nonprofits working tirelessly to help meet the spiritual, educational, social, and cultural needs of people all across Maryland.  On the other hand, we also witnessed unrest in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death that plainly exposed the many structural inequities facing our city. 

       

      “Under One Roof” is the theme of our 2015 annual report.  Through this theme we express optimism in our potential to bring people living in the Archdiocese of Baltimore closer in communion with one another, and to promote opportunity for all people.

       

      I hope you enjoy reading our 2015 annual report and learning more about the Knott Foundation’s legacy as well as the many inspiring stories behind the grants that we award.

       

       

      Knott Foundation Featured in Catholic Review

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-04-2016

      Article explores how Knott grants to Catholic schools change students’ lives

      Student_Reading.jpgThe February 2016 Catholic Review magazine features an article by Mary K. Tilghman that explores how our grants to Catholic schools improve students’ lives. 

       

      Education is our largest program area, and we’re proud to have awarded over $4 million to Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore over the last five years.  In 2015 alone, we awarded just over $1 million to Catholic schools, which equates to approximately 45% of our aggregate grantmaking distributions that year. 

       

      Beyond these numbers, however, is a story at each and every school illustrating how students are benefiting from the “whole package” that Catholic education offers:  the character development it nurtures in students; the moral stability it provides to the community; the motivation it provides to students who are excelling academically; and the doors it opens for students who may have limited access to opportunity. 

       

      Our founders believed that education was the key to success, and that hard work combined with access to a quality education was the foundation from which all people could become active citizens, ready to give back and become leaders in their communities.

       

      We thank the Catholic Review for highlighting our work in this area, and we hope you enjoy reading the article yourself. 

       

      October 2015 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      10-23-2015

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 14 organizations received over $700,000 in our October 2015 grant cycle.

       

      Catholic Activities

      • St.Francis Xavier Parish: $85,175 grant to support capital improvements to this historic church in East Baltimore, known as the first African American Catholic church community in the United States

       

      Education

      • Mother Seton Academy: $40,000 grant to support school-wide technology upgrades at this co-ed, tuition-free Catholic middle school in Baltimore City
      • Mother Seton School: $30,000 grant to support the purchase and installation of interactive projectors in classrooms at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Emmitsburg
      • Sacred Heart School of Glyndon: $60,000 grant to support a 1:1 technology initiative for grades 6 through 8 at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Baltimore County
      • Seton Keough High School: $47,363 grant to support technology infrastructure upgrades at this all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore City
      • Visitation Academy: $90,665 grant to support capital improvements to this historic, all-girls pre-K-8 Catholic school in Frederick

       

      Human Services

      • Hampden Family Center: $65,000 grant to support capital improvements to this “community hub” that offers educational and support services to families, children, youth, and senior citizens living in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City
      • Manna House, Inc.: $40,000 grant to support the hiring of two new staff to assist this day shelter for the homeless reach more individuals in need in Baltimore City
      • Meals on Wheels of Central MD., Inc.: $40,000 grant to support the Case Management and Client Services program, designed to help homebound people remain in their homes by connecting them to critical services
      • Parks & People Foundation: $46,243 grant to support the BRANCHES youth job program for middle and high school youth in the Mondawmin community in Baltimore City
      • St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore: $40,000 grant to support a technology upgrade that will help unify multiple program sites for improved data collection, program delivery, and mission advancement at this human-serving organization located in Baltimore City

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database. 

       

       

      June 2015 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      06-12-2015

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education, health care, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 13 organizations received over $700,000 in our June 2015 grant cycle. 

       

      Catholic Activities

       

      Education

      • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore:  $48,000 grant to support operating costs for 16 scholars, ages 10-18, residing in the boys and girls homes in Baltimore City
      • St. Augustine Catholic School:  $45,750 grant to support an educational technology upgrade project including iPads, projectors, software, and teacher training at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Howard County
      • St. Mary Catholic School:  $46,970 grant to support new computers for the student computer lab, faculty, and staff at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Washington County
      • St. Philip Neri School:  $70,000 grant to support technology including infrastructure upgrades, a mobile device program for students, and professional development at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Anne Arundel County
      • St. Pius X School:  $82,500 grant to support technology including infrastructure upgrades and tablet devices for students at this pre-K-8 Catholic school in Baltimore County

       

      Health Care

       

      Human Services

      • Catholic Charities:  $52,480 grant to support the hiring of a case manager for My Sister's Place Women's Center's Learn to Earn Internship Program, which helps women in Baltimore City experiencing poverty and homelessness obtain employment and housing
      • H.O.P.E. (For All):  $22,000 grant to support general operating costs associated with the Turning Houses into Homes Program, which assists formerly homeless families and individuals in Anne Arundel County secure furniture and household items when they begin again in their own home
      • House of Ruth:  $25,000 grant to support the hiring of a bilingual child therapist for the Adelante Familia program, serving Hispanic/Latino children and parents in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore City
      • Maryland Food Bank:  $75,000 grant to support this hunger relief agency’s food safety initiative by upgrading their main distribution warehouse in Baltimore
      • Paul's Place Outreach Center:  $30,000 grant to support case management in the STABLE housing program, which seeks to rapidly re-house individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and prevent first-time homelessness in the Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore City

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database. 

       

       

      Our 2014 Annual Report

      By Kelly Medinger

      03-10-2015

      Connecting to the vision and values of our founders

      2014_Annual_Report_Cover.jpgIt is my pleasure to announce the publication of our 2014 annual report!

       

      In 2014, we came together to explore and formalize the values and principles behind our founders’ generosity to people and organizations in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  Consequently, in addition to stories about the impact of our grant awards, our 2014 annual report features short narratives about Henry and Marion Knott and how they lived their lives.  These narratives and the values that they stand for inform our work as a Catholic family foundation committed to nurturing family unity and strengthening the community. 

       

      On a more personal note, I would like to remark on the passing of our beloved trustee, Alice Voelkel, at the end of last year.  Alice was the third of Henry and Marion Knott’s 13 children.  She was a past president of the Knott Foundation and a charter trustee, serving for 37 years on our board.  She will be dearly missed. 

       

      I hope you enjoy reading our 2014 annual report and learning more about the Knott Foundation’s story and the many wonderful stories behind the grants that we award.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      February 2015 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-27-2015

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in arts & humanities, education, health care, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 14 organizations received over $700,000 in our February 2015 grant cycle. 

       

      Arts & Humanities

      • Art With A Heart:  $20,000 grant to support general operating costs associated with the Youth Entrepreneurship Program serving at-risk youth ages 16-24

       

      Education

      • Archbishop Spalding High School:  $150,000 grant to support this Catholic high school’s Keeping the Promise Campaign by purchasing seating for the renovated auditorium
      • Bishop Walsh School:  $81,275 grant to support technology upgrades including interactive display systems and iPads for this pre-K-12 Catholic school located in Cumberland, Maryland
      • Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County:  $45,240 grant to support the STEM Technology Refresh project benefitting children ages 5-18 at four of the Club’s locations
      • Downtown Sailing Center:  $25,588 grant to support salaries related to the organization’s STEM Summer Program, which provides hands-on STEM enrichment to 80 low-income children from Baltimore City and County
      • Dyslexia Tutoring Program:  $40,000 grant to support operating costs to deliver free specialized tutoring services to low-income children and adults who are dyslexic or have a language-based learning disability
      • John Carroll School:  $40,000 grant to support the acquisition of architectural designs for the renovation of the Academic Wing at this Catholic high school in Harford County
      • St. Elizabeth School:  $43,764 grant to support the replacement of carpeting throughout this Catholic school serving children with special needs age 6-21
      • St. Francis Neighborhood Center:  $40,000 grant to support this community-based organization’s Power Project, an after-school program for children ages 5-14 in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City
      • St. Michael the Archangel School:  $45,000 grant to support technology infrastructure upgrades, projectors, and the installation of an interactive weather station at this pre-K-8 Catholic school
      • Trinity School:  $55,000 grant to support renovations to St. Lidwine’s Hall at this pre-K-8 Catholic school

       

      Health Care

      • Good Shepherd Services:  $90,000 grant to support renovations to two residential units, providing housing and therapeutic services to youth ages 13-21 who are experiencing severe mental health and emotional disorders
      • Shepherd's Clinic:  $35,000 grant to support operating costs to provide health care to uninsured and underserved adults age 19-64 living in northeast Baltimore

       

      Human Services

      • Assistance Center of Towson Churches:  $10,000 grant to support emergency assistance with evictions, utility turn offs, and medicine for people in need living in Baltimore City and County

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database.  

       

      Cash Flow Loans

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-27-2015

      Helping organizations make ends meet in times of uncertainty

      Financial uncertainty is more common than not in the nonprofit world.  One estimate says that approximately one-third of all nonprofits operate in a constant state of financial distress (Mattocks, Zone of Insolvency, 2008).  For others, financial distress can come at a moment’s notice.  A late grant payment, a pending insurance claim for a major repair, or a lackluster fundraiser can make it difficult for organizations to make ends meet in any given month.

       

      The Knott Foundation can serve as a source of help.  In 2003, we began offering cash flow loans to qualifying nonprofits that meet our eligibility guidelines.  In brief, we have the ability to provide short-term loans of $10,000-$25,000 with favorable rates and a quick turnaround time to nonprofits experiencing delayed receivables.  You can learn more about the cash flow loan program and how to apply on our website. 

       

      Over the last 12 years, we’ve awarded 38 loans totaling $739,500.  As of the date of this posting, all of the funds have been paid back to the Foundation.  Many organizations have benefited and, while the number of loans awarded each year reached its peak in 2008, we continue to respond to inquiries and accept applications. 

       

      A few years ago we highlighted a story about one of our cash flow loan recipients and their journey with fundraising after undergoing a leadership transition.  That story is just one example of how an organization experiencing unforeseen financial distress can benefit from a small loan to bridge a critical moment in time.

       

      Cash flow loans are just one tool that we’ve been able to use to help make a difference in the day-to-day operations of the nonprofits we support.  If you are interested in learning more about the program or applying for a loan, please take a moment to review our website or call our office. 

       

      October 2014 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      10-27-2014

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in Catholic activities, education, health care, and human services

      We are pleased to announce that 15 organizations received over $700,000 in our October 2014 grant cycle. 

       

      Catholic Activities

      • Jesuit Volunteer Corps:  $20,000 grant to support the recruitment, training and on-going work of five Baltimore-based Jesuit Volunteers committed to serving the poor and marginalized

       

      Education

      • Catholic High School of Baltimore:  $100,000 grant to support the school’s first capital campaign and the McCafferty Visual & Performing Arts Program by renovating the auditorium’s production booth
      • Code in the Schools:  $20,000 grant to support operating costs for this out-of-school time program’s work teaching computer coding to underserved and under-represented youth in Baltimore City
      • Notre Dame of Maryland University:  $80,000 grant to support the Academy of Catholic School Educators (ACES) program and the creation of a model 21st century classroom and technology center for the professional development of K-12 Catholic school educators in the Archdiocese of Baltimore

       

      Health Care

      • Hospice of the Chesapeake:  $45,000 grant to support the expansion of the Chesapeake Kids Perinatal Pediatric Palliative Program providing a continuum of care for families and children diagnosed with a life-limiting illness

       

      Human Services

      • Baltimore Child Abuse Center:  $50,000 grant to support the expansion of the Family Advocacy Program and an additional Family Advocate who will serve child witnesses to violence in Baltimore City
      • Catholic Charities:  $50,000 grant to support the work of the Community Cares Outreach Worker in Western Maryland who connects households in crisis with resources in Allegany and Garrett counties
      • Franciscan Center:  $41,205 grant to support the work of the Volunteer and In-kind Coordinator at this comprehensive direct service outreach agency serving all zip codes in Baltimore City
      • Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation:  $35,000 grant to support operating costs for this housing and supportive service organization’s Community Services/CARES programs, which help move individuals from crisis to stability
      • Light House Shelter:  $20,000 grant to support advanced culinary job training and field catering experience for individuals in Anne Arundel County who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
      • Marian House:  $95,000 grant to support capital upgrades to the organization’s headquarters, which provides transitional, supportive housing for homeless women and children
      • Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training:  $57,705 grant to support the Homeless Veterans Emergency Services Program by improving classroom instruction for homeless veterans and enhancing the organization’s marketing and outreach efforts
      • Pathfinders for Autism:  $48,533 grant to expand the organization’s Community Safety Program, which trains first responders to more effectively interact with individuals who have autism spectrum disorders
      • St. Mary’s Outreach Center:  $35,000 grant to support operating costs for the Center, which improves the quality of life for older adults living in poverty in the greater Hampden community
      • YMCA of Cumberland:  $62,311 grant to support capital upgrades to the Y’s Gilchrist Center, which provides housing for low-income, homeless, and disabled persons in Allegany county

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database. 

       

      June 2014 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      06-26-2014

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in education and Catholic activities

      We are pleased to announce that 12 organizations received over $700,000 in our June 2014 grant cycle. 

       

      Education

      • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore:  $35,000 grant to support the Be Great Summer Club Program at five sites in Baltimore City
      • Immaculate Heart of Mary School:  $45,000 grant to support the expansion of technology at this pre-K-8 Catholic school, including tablets for 8th grade students
      • Maryland School for the Blind:  $52,035 grant to support assistive technology and learning resources for students with multiple disabilities
      • Mount de Sales Academy:  $50,000 grant to support the technology integration program at this Catholic high school for girls, including outfitting classrooms with projectors, upgrading wireless capabilities, and purchasing a mobile laptop cart
      • Mount Saint Joseph High School:  $120,000 grant to support a campus-wide technology upgrade at this Catholic high school for boys, including replacement of their existing 1GB fiber connections between buildings
      • Notre Dame Prep School:  $80,623 grant to support the construction of a Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math (STEAM) Center at this Catholic middle/high school for girls
      • St. Frances Academy:  $30,000 grant to support the expansion of the after-school program at the Cosby Community Center, which serves the broader Brentwood Village/Johnston Square community in Baltimore City
      • St. John Catholic School (Westminster):  $60,000 grant to support the upgrade of this pre-K-8 Catholic school’s technology, including iPads for middle school students and faculty
      • St. Joseph School (Cockeysville):  $35,000 grant to support the construction of a playground at this pre-K-8 Catholic school
      • St. Maria Goretti High School:  $80,000 grant to support the renovation of this Catholic high school’s chemistry and physics lab

       

      Catholic Activities

      • The Josephites:  $60,000 challenge grant to support this religious society of priests serving the African-American community by building their capacity to sustain their operations in the Archdiocese of Baltimore
      • Saint Margaret Church:  $90,000 grant to support the renovation of their church building

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards, please visit our past awards database. 

       

      Congratulations Chae

      By Carol Hoffman, Kathleen McCarthy, and Kelly Medinger

      06-16-2014

      Celebrating the recent graduation of our intern from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

      Chae_Harris_4.jpgIn life, we often meet someone who demonstrates a special quality that you cannot really describe.  They exude an energy that you know will carry them far.  We at the Knott Foundation met one such individual when Mr. Chae Aaron Harris walked through our doors in 2010. 

       

      Chae came to us through Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Corporate Internship Program, a unique funding model whereby students contribute to the cost of their education through work partnerships with local employers. Through this program, Chae was a member of the Knott Foundation team for two years.

       

      Chae has long been interested in music, writing songs, and performing.  In addition to singing at his church, he has written many of his own lyrics and occasionally sang them to his “beats” in our office!  He recently performed in the play, “Lost Now Found,” at Victorious Ministries International and is working on a mixed-tape entitled, “Music Forever, Part 1.”

       

      It’s hard to believe that Chae graduated from high school this past weekend.  Yet it is exciting to watch him enter another stage of his life.  Chae applied to six colleges and was accepted to the Community College of Baltimore County.  He is still awaiting news from several other schools.   Wherever he lands, he plans to major in music.

       

      This summer, Chae will be working two jobs in order to help with college expenses. 

       

      While Chae gained worthwhile work experience during his time with us, we benefitted as well by seeing his tenacity, curiosity and talents grow.  We also saw first-hand how opening doors of opportunity for talented, faith-filled students like those at Cristo Rey helps to create a stronger, more vibrant community.

       

      We are so proud of Chae and all of the other Class of 2014 graduates who are starting their next journey, and we remain thankful for everyone who has helped them along the way.

      Our 2013 Annual Report

      By Kelly Medinger

      04-09-2014

      Painting a broader picture of the impact we’re having on people and communities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore

      2013_Annual_Report_Cover.jpgIt is my pleasure to announce the publication of our 2013 Annual Report!

       

      By weaving together outcomes from grants in our five program areas, our annual report paints a broader picture of the impact the Knott Foundation and our grantees are having on people and communities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. 

       

      I hope you enjoy this publication and the many wonderful stories behind the grants that we award.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      February 2014 Grant Awards

      By Kelly Medinger

      03-06-2014

      Announcing our most recent grant recipients in education, Catholic activities, human services and health care

      We are pleased to announce that 19 organizations received over $700,000 in our February 2014 grant cycle. 

       

      Education

      • Enoch Pratt Free Library:  $44,000 grant to support the expansion of the eLibrary and Gale Virtual Reference Library
      • Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke School:  $24,371 grant to support the upgrade of this pre-K-8 Catholic school’s computer lab and network
      • School of the Incarnation:  $67,000 grant to support Phase II of this pre-K-8 Catholic school’s technology initiative, including network upgrades and the purchase of new hardware
      • Village Learning Place:  $31,224 grant to support the LINK (Let's Invest in Neighborhood Kids) initiative, a free after school and summer program for students in the Charles Village neighborhood

       

      Catholic Activities

      • School Sisters of Notre Dame:  $24,768 grant to support Villa Assumpta, a retirement facility for religious sisters, through the acquisition of much-needed equipment

       

      Human Services

      • At Jacob's Well:  $25,000 grant to support case management services for mentally ill, homeless men and women in a transitional housing program
      • Caroline Center:  $50,000 grant to support operational costs for this organization’s tuition-free career and life skills educational program for unemployed and underemployed women in Baltimore
      • CASA of Allegany County:  $15,000 grant to support the recruiting, screening, and training of CASA volunteers to serve Allegany County’s abused and neglected children
      • Family Tree:  $40,000 grant to support family strengthening, school enhancing services at four Catholic schools in Baltimore City
      • Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition:  $25,000 grant to support the new position of a Director/Program Manager for the Baltimore Food Enterprise Center, providing economic and workforce development opportunities in a growing local food economy in East Baltimore
      • HopeWell Cancer Support:  $32,699 grant to support technology upgrades to help this organization improve education, outreach, and support to individuals and families dealing with cancer
      • Job Opportunities Task Force:  $25,000 grant to support JumpStart, a pre-apprenticeship training program in the building and construction trades for underserved, low-income Baltimore City residents
      • Moveable Feast:  $45,000 grant to support operating costs for the Culinary Training Program, providing job training and placement to underemployed adults in Baltimore who have a passion for food
      • The Arc Baltimore:  $17,400 grant to support this organization’s Parent’s Day Out Program at four Catholic parishes, offering respite for parents and caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities
      • The Arc Carroll County:  $40,000 grant to support the position of an Autism Coordinator to help craft Carroll County’s first autism program

       

      Health Care

      • Brook Lane Health Services:  $50,000 grant to support the expansion of a facility that will provide 14 additional beds for inpatient psychiatric care for children and adolescents
      • Gilchrist Hospice Care:  $40,000 grant to support the Gilchrist Kids program that provides compassionate end of life care to children and those who love them
      • Mission of Mercy:  $42,000 grant to support the expansion of this community-based mobile health clinic by providing one additional day of service per month at their Reisterstown Clinic in Baltimore County
      • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults:  $75,000 grant to support capital costs associated with the construction of a comfortable, multi-dimensional, supportive housing community in East Baltimore for young adults with cancer and their caregivers

       

      For a complete listing of our grant awards from previous cycles, please visit our past awards database.  

       

      By the Numbers

      By Kelly Medinger

      02-11-2014

      A snapshot of facts and figures about us, our giving, and the Knott family legacy

      Mr_and_Mrs_Knott.jpgOftentimes my favorite part of a publication is the “by the numbers” section.  (I can’t seem to resist a cleanly presented package of numbers that tells a bigger story!)  So, I thought it would be interesting and useful to present a few facts and figures about the Knott Foundation, our giving, and the family’s historic legacy.   

       

      About Us

      • $57 million in assets as of December 31, 2013
      • 30 Knott family members serve on our Board of Trustees
      • 3 full-time staff members work in our office
      • 83% of Trustees conducted a site visit in 2013
      • 15 years is the average tenure of our Trustees

       

      About Our Giving

      • Annually:
        • 3 grant cycles are held in February, June and October
        • Approximately 200 letters of inquiry are received
        • Approximately 50 grants totaling around $2 million are awarded
      • $40,000 was our median grant in 2013
      • $120,000 was our largest grant in 2013
      • Education is our largest program area

       

      About the Knott Family Legacy

      • 13 children were borne to Marion & Henry Knott
      • 257 people now make up the Knott family – direct descendants of Marion & Henry Knott, their spouses, and children
      • 3 generations of the Knott family serve on our Board of Trustees
      • More than $50 million in grants have gone to help communities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore since our founding in 1977

       

      As a premier Catholic family foundation in Maryland, we have the dual purpose to strengthen our community in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and promote family unity.  With this mission in mind, we look forward to expanding these numbers in the future and continuing to tell our story for many years to come.   

       

      Our New Website

      By Kelly Medinger

      01-17-2014

      We've expanded our communications mission through a refined website design

      Our website has a new look! 

       

      In refining the design, we’ve also expanded our communications mission:  Our aim is to paint a vivid picture of who we are and share in real-time what we’re learning. 

       

      As such, one of the new features on our website is a blog where we’ll post foundation news, spotlight stories about our grantees, and our key learnings from the field.  We’ve also incorporated an embedded search function on the site and built program pages to showcase our giving in our five program areas:  arts and humanities, Catholic activities, education, health care, and human services.   

       

      Beyond these changes, we want to assure you that grant seekers still have the ability to:

       

      If you have any feedback about our new website, please send it to knott@knottfoundation.org.  We would add that our new website is best viewed in the most recent version of popular web browsers (Internet Explorer version 10 or above, Firefox, and Google Chrome). 

       

      We look forward to staying in touch via our e-newsletter.  In the meantime, please accept our warm wishes for a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!

       

      Appointment of New Executive Director

      By Owen Knott

      01-03-2013

      On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation, I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new Executive Director, Kelly Medinger.

       

      Many of you know Kelly from her former role as our Program and Communications Associate.  Joining the Foundation in March 2011, she excelled in her work, and in our evaluation, exhibited competency and strength beyond that position.  As Executive Director, her new responsibilities include managing the general operations of the Foundation, supporting board membership and development, overseeing our grantmaking efforts, and guiding and carrying out our strategic direction.

       

      Since graduating with honors from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, Kelly's career in the philanthropic giving arena has spanned 12 years.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as a Program Officer at The Goizueta Foundation in Atlanta, a private family foundation with Catholic roots.  Upon moving to Baltimore in 2007, she became the Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at Stevenson University.  You can learn more about Kelly by clicking here.

       

      Kelly's appointment comes at an important time for the Knott Foundation.  This past year we celebrated 35 years of grantmaking.  With three generations and 30 family members on our Board, we are confident that Kelly will serve the Foundation, the Knott family, and the Maryland nonprofit community with enthusiasm and thoughtfulness - as we have learned is her way.

       

      "It is an honor and a privilege to be selected for this role," shared Kelly.  "And I very much look forward to working with our trustees, grantees, fellow funders, and community leaders to help carry out the mission of the Foundation and the inspiring legacy of our founders, Marion I. and Henry J. Knott."    

       

      Alongside our Board of Trustees and our dedicated professional staff, Carol and Kathleen, we invite you to extend a warm welcome to Kelly in her new role.  We are extremely grateful to have her talent and leadership at the Knott Foundation.     

       

      Thank you for all that you do to support our community, and please accept our best wishes for a joyous and successful new year.