Spruce-Up FAQ

Community Spruce-Up Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to CBP’s Community Spruce-Up Program as an individual?
No. Eligible applicants are organizations with 501c3 status, merchant associations, and community groups/organizations that either have 501c3 status or fiscal sponsorship.

Can I apply as part of an unincorporated group of residents?
No. The applicant must be incorporated as a nonprofit and hold either a 501(c) (3) IRS tax code designation or use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status.

Does my organization need to have 501C3 tax exemption status in order to apply?
No. You can be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit, but your business or organization must be incorporated.

Are there any fees necessary to apply to CBP’s Community Spruce-Up Program?
No.

Can I use funding for design?
Up to ten percent (10%) of the awarded funds may be used for administrative and operational expenses (including project planning activities) directly associated with the management and completion of the funded project.

How are grant funds distributed?
Each awarded project will receive 25% of the awarded funds to help start the project. The final 75% will be distributed in installments of 25% after CBP receives proof of payments for the spent funds. An applicant can make a formal request to develop a different disbursement schedule, however, there has to be a strong need.

Does my group/organization/company need to have a bank account?
Yes.

How long do I have to complete a project if awarded funding?
Twelve (12) months from the date the funding agreement is signed (executed). Please contact us if you anticipate a need for additional time to complete a funded project.

Can I apply to the program if I live outside of Central Baltimore?
Yes. However, you must demonstrate a connection and commitment to supporting residents in Central Baltimore neighborhoods.

Can I apply if my project site is located outside Central Baltimore?
No. Projects must be located within the following neighborhood boundaries in order to be eligible to apply: Abell, Barclay, Charles North, Charles Village, Greenmount West, Harwood, Midway, Oakenshawe, Old Goucher, Remington, Wyman Park, Waverly Main Street, and some Jones Falls area locations.

Will I need permits for my project?
Yes, if applicable. You are required to provide proof of all permits, approvals, and site control necessary for a completed project.

Can an applicant apply for multiple projects?
Yes. We encourage you to do so. Each project must have its own Letter of Intent and Project Application.

What is the goal of the program?
The goal of CBP’s Community Spruce-Up Program is to:

  1. Provide mid- to large-scale leveraged grants for residents, merchant associations, community groups, and organizations in the CBP catchment area to develop and implement quality of life capital improvement projects.
  2. Facilitate and support the community engagement, quality of life and capital investment goals of the HCPI agenda.
  3. Support the engagement of diverse groups of community residents, business owners, artists, community groups, and stakeholders in the strategies of physical and social planning as community engagement and revitalization tools. In addition, engagement by parties investing within Central Baltimore (e.g., developers, builders, financial institutions, larger employers) will also be sought in terms of supporting the funded projects with cash and in-kind contributions, as well as recognizing the value that such projects bring to their respective interests.
  4. Assist with the realization of the master and vision plans of communities in Central Baltimore.
  5. Contribute to the momentum of critical mass building in Central Baltimore through high-impact, visible quality of life improvement projects.

How much financial support can I apply for?
In 2019, applicants can apply for funding between $10,000 and $20,000 per project application.

What support is offered to applicants?
Please email Aaron Kaufman at akaufman@centralbaltimore.org. CBP is here to provide technical support on a case-by-case basis. We will work to connect you to appropriate resources that can assist you with your project.

I don’t know how to write a grant proposal. Can you help?
Please email Aaron Kaufman at akaufman@centralbaltimore.org. CBP is here to provide technical support on a case-by-case basis. We will work to connect you to appropriate resources that can assist you with your project.

Will I need to submit a report once my project is completed?
Yes, a six-month report and final twelve-month report are required. The six-month report is due by December 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm; The final twelve-month report is due by June 30, 2020 at 4:30 pm. All reports should be sent to akaufman@centralbaltimore.org.

Will you notify me whether or not my proposal will be awarded support?
Yes.

Do you have any examples of a Community Spruce-Up project?
Yes. See below.

  • Creating and installing gateways and signage, as identified in community master and/or community vision plans.
  • Streetscaping and lighting initiatives along key corridors, as identified in community master plans or the HCPI plan.
  • Facilitating and sustaining the transformation of vacant lots.
  • Activating and improving underutilized and unappealing public spaces (i.e., lack of greenery and vegetation).
  • Addressing the need for bicycle amenities, i.e. parking facilities.
  • Creating and implementing community/public art projects.
  • Improving community and/or education public realm spaces.
  • Enhancing pedestrian lighting.

Which projects have you supported in the past?
For information on funded Spruce-Up projects, visit www.centralbaltimore.org/spruce-up-grant-recipients

Are matching funds required in order to apply?
Matching funds are not required, but you are encouraged to provide matching funds.

How much funding can I use toward administrative project-related costs?
Up to ten percent (10%) of the awarded funds may be allocated to administrative and operational expenses (including project planning activities) directly associated with the management and completion of the funded project.