Funding Available for Small Neighborhood Projects!

Do you and your neighbors have a great idea for a project that will make your block a better place to live?

Apply for up to $5000 to make it a reality!

The Southwest Partnership Small Neighborhood Grants Fund is now accepting applications! Up to $5,000 is available per project to support small projects that reduce blights, make our streets and public spaces more vibrant, and improve the quality of life in the Southwest Partnership neighborhoods.

Fall Applications close April 1 2019! Apply Now!


Application Packet

Apply Now!

Contact Information:  667-210-2105

Southwest Partnership Small Neighborhood Grants

Application Overview

The Southwest Partnership provides small (up to $5,000) grants to neighborhood associations and block groups in the Southwest Partnership area for projects that:

  • Reduce and prevent blight
  • Increase vibrancy and positive use of streets and public spaces
  • Increase the quality of life for area residents
  • Increase community engagement and participation in community projects

Application Deadlines

Application open: January 1 2019

Application deadline: April 1 2019

Grants awarded: May 1 2019

Projects completed: May 1 2020

Eligible Applicants: Neighborhood associations, block groups, and other community groups in the Southwest Partnership area are eligible to apply. The Southwest Partnership area is the neighborhoods of Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Roundhouse, Mount Clare, Pigtown, Poppleton, and Union Square. Block groups and other community groups are highly encouraged to receive the approval of their neighborhood association before applying. Contact the Southwest Partnership staff for details on the appropriate neighborhood association to contact.

Individual applicants are not eligible–community members interested in applying for a project independently should contact Southwest Partnership staff for support in organizing a group of neighbors to support the project. All eligible applicants must have an organizational bank account. If this is an issue, the Southwest Partnership can serve as a fiscal sponsor.

Eligible Projects: Eligible projects must:

  • Occur in streets or public spaces, and/or be open to the entire community
  • Improve the vibrancy of the area, increase quality of life for current residents, and/or decrease blight
  • Have, if appropriate, a maintenance plan (for example, if a vacant lot is to be planted, there must be a plan for keeping the lot clean and looking nice, and the plants alive)
  • Take place in the Southwest Partnership area
  • Advance the goals and vision of the Southwest Partnership

Application Requirements:

All projects must:

  • Meet the goals of the small grants program
  • Be able to be completed if funding is received
  • Advance the Southwest Partnership goals and vision

The application must include:

  • A well considered, itemized budget
  • Demonstration of need: the project needs the grant to occur
  • Demonstration that the community members most impacted by the project have been informed and are in support
  • Awareness of any required permitting process and evidence that the process is moving forward
  • Two project leads who will be responsible for the project
  • A plan of the completed project
  • Evidence of permission from the property owner to complete the project

Awardees are responsible for community support for the project, all required permitting, and working with Southwest Partnership staff to ensure that all reporting requirements are met.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects can we apply for?

This grant will provide money for capital projects: projects that will lead to long-term, visible changes in the community.

Examples of capital projects include:

  • Painting murals or installing public art
  • Buying and installing furniture for streets or parks
  • Community landscaping projects
  • Fixing up buildings in the neighborhood
  • Installing neighborhood signs
  • Installing lights, trash cans, etc

Examples of projects that are not eligible are:

  • Community events like block parties
  • Stipends for community volunteers
  • Community clean ups and other projects that don’t lead to long term changes
  • Projects that are in private/non-public space and aren’t freely accessible to the entire community

Please contact us at or 667-210-2105 if you have questions about a specific project.

Where can my project go?

All projects must be in public space: either outside and visible from the street or in an indoor space which is open and accessible to the public. It is rare that an indoor project will be eligible or will score high enough to be awarded funding. If you are thinking about an indoor project please contact Elizabeth at to discuss the project.

Who can apply?

Any group of community members! Individuals, or individual businesses, are not eligible

Does my neighborhood association need to support the project?

Not necessarily, but contacting the appropriate neighborhood association is strongly, strongly encouraged. Applications that have not contacted the association, or received their support, will lose points.

What’s the appropriate neighborhood association?

The association for the neighborhood where the project will take place

A map of the neighborhoods is below:

Neighborhood Association Contacts

Barre Circle Community Association

President: Rich Shores


Meeting: Third Monday of the month at 6:30pm

SWP Representative: Bill Marker


Franklin Square Community Association

President: Edith Gilliard Canty


Meeting: Second Tuesday of the month at 6pm at 26 N Fulton Ave (Bon Secours Community Works)

SWP Representative: Edith Gilliard Canty


Hollins Roundhouse Neighborhood Association

President: Dan Morrison


Meeting: Second Monday of the month at 7pm at 801 W Baltimore St (UM BioPark)

SWP Representative: Dan Morrison


Mount Clare Community Council

President: Nancy McCormick


Meeting: Fourth Monday of the month at 6pm at 1616 Wilkens Ave (Wilkens Ave Mennonite Church)

SWP Representative: Nancy McCormick


Citizens of Pigtown

President: Kelleigh Eastman


Meeting: Second Tuesday of the month at 7pm at 1300 Herkimer St (Southwest Baltimore Charter School)

SWP Representative: Kelleigh Eastman


Poppleton NOW!

President: Sonia Eaddy


SWP Representative: Dotie Page (


Union Square Association

President: Bif Browning


Meeting: First Monday of the month at 7pm at 1401 Hollins St

SWP Representative: Khandra Sears (


What kind of plans do I need?

Enough that we will be able to see what the project will look like when it is completed–sketches, photo examples, architectural drawings, etc. The plans do not have to be detailed or professional, but they should provide a sense of the completed project.

What will give me the best chance of getting funding?

Start by looking at the rubric, and thinking about the best way to show that your project meets the goals of the grant program and the vision of the Southwest Partnership. The more points you get from the rubric, the more likely your project is to be funded.

When planning your project it’s important to think about everything–but the following things can help boost your score:

  • Neighborhood association support: if you’re applying on behalf of a neighborhood association then you’re all set. If not, it’s very important to contact them–and ask for their support! The Southwest Partnership is made up of all the neighborhood associations in the area, so it’s very important to use that they’re ok with a project in their community.
  • Demonstrated need: have you tried to get money for a project like this (or this project) or in your neighborhood before but there wasn’t any available, or the money that was available wasn’t easy for a community group to apply for? Is your project or neighborhood under-resourced and hasn’t had access to a lot of money? Let us know! This grant program is designed to bring resources into neighborhoods that need it for projects that need it.
  • Community engagement: one of the major goals of the grant program is to increase the number of community members working on and leading projects to make their neighborhoods better places to live and visit. Projects that have the opportunity to have a lot of different community members involved in doing them, or that have had a lot of different community members involved in planning them, will score higher.

How is funding awarded?

The Southwest Partnership Vibrant and Walkable Streets Committee will meet after the applications are due to review and score all the eligible applications. They will use the rubric to give each application points and the more points a project has the better chance it has to be funded.

Each neighborhood is guaranteed up to $5000 in funding per grant round. The highest scoring projects in each neighborhood will be funded until that $5000 is gone.

Once each neighborhood receives its funding, the leftover money is given to the remaining projects in the order of score.

Why do we need an organizational bank account? Is my personal bank account OK?

An organizational bank account means that the money is protected–there are rules about who can access it and all the community members working on the project know that the money is safe.

If your group or organization doesn’t have a bank account the Southwest Partnership can help–contact us!