CLLCTIVLY and Maryland Nonprofits build resiliency of youth service providers


January 26, 2023  /  BALTIMORE, MD  –  The Baltimore Children and Youth Fund (BCYF) awarded CLLCTIVLY and Maryland Nonprofits $150,000 to pilot the CONNECT program. CONNECT is a nine-month cohort of ten organizations focused on deepening relationships and collaboration among nonprofits to improve organizational sustainability, increase fundraising, and move towards a liberatory framework for serving young people in Baltimore City.

As conveyed by Jamye Wooten, CLLCTIVLY’s Founder, “Nonprofit culture often promotes competition and scarcity. We work to center the assets that exist within the community while deepening relationships that foster collaboration and highlight the abundance that exists when we come together.“

For BCYF, “Liberation is core to our values, and is a way to think about our world and work,” says Alysia Lee, President of BCYF. “It’s a great time to reimagine what philanthropy is in a liberatory framework.”

The ten leaders who will be collaborating through the CONNECT program are:

  • Tracie Jiggets of The Art of Truth, which celebrates the human experience through teaching dance and theater as a revolutionary practice of personal development and artistic expression.
  • Jayson Green and Ricky McCarter of New Song Community Learning Center, which provides exceptional academic and educational experiences important to the healthy intellectual, social and emotional development of the student and family.
  • Moriah Ray and Agzja Carey of African Diaspora Alliance, which seeks to connect descendants of Africa to the global African community, and promote solidarity throughout the African Diaspora.
  • Geri McCarter of Coach G Step Academy, which uses the art and heritage of step to engage youth in leadership, education and mentoring.
  • Danielle Battle and Michael Battle of RICH, which connects Baltimore residents to resources and sharing experiences that will build stronger individuals, families, and communities.
  • Brandon Clayton and Harold Diggs of Young Successful Leaders, which creates young leaders, entrepreneurs and financial builders to help youth and young adults flourish and lead their families, peers, friends and community.
  • Adrian Gooden and Tasha Gooden of Hilma’s Heart, which serves people in need and helps others unpack from their pasts, develop an awareness of trans-generational trauma to promote trans-generational healing, and help them navigate towards maximizing their full potential
  • Elijah Miles and Aiina Iyawa of Tendea Family, which advances Baltimore’s Black community by operating transformative initiatives focused on identity, self-improvement, community service and development.
  • Alphonso Mayo and Alexandra Porte of Mentoring Mentors, who supports youth through an intergenerational, near-to-peer model that promotes interdependency, long-term relationships and commitment to the community.
  • Valarie Matthews of Catherine’s Family and Youth Services, who provides tools necessary to educate and empower the residents of Northwest Baltimore City with improving the quality of life and well-being.

“Each organization is already providing exceptional services to Baltimore City’s youth,” expressed Krystle Starvis, the Chief Operating Officer for CLLCTIVLY and lead organizer for the CONNECT pilot. “We look forward to combining our strengths and seeing what grows from our collaboration.”

Carmen Marshall, the Director of Consulting and Chief Equity Officer for Maryland Nonprofits, shared “This whole model requires authentic care – not only talking about it, but demonstrating and modeling it so people can see it take root. It’s a total disruption, and that’s a good thing. When we truly care, we work together to create the best outcome and experience possible.”

The CONNECT program begins in January 2023, and the team is eager to get started and see what novel and new strategies emerge from the cohort’s efforts. To learn more about each organization and how you can support it, please visit their websites.


 CLLCTIVLY, fiscally sponsored by Fusion Partnerships Inc, is a place-based social change organization centering Black genius, narrative power, social networks and resource mobilization. Our mission is to end the fragmentation and duplication of programs, to learn from and about each other, and to be a resource for the Greater Baltimore community that seeks to find, fund and partner with Black social change organizations.

In 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, a coalition of grassroots activists and concerned citizens came together to form Baltimore United for Change (BUC). In the days following the Uprisings, BUC Co-Founder Jamye Wooten launched a skills bank to create an “on-ramp” for concerned community members that wanted to serve. Over 260 individuals and organizations answered the call. BUC served as the foundation for CLLCTIVLY’s launch in 2019. Today, CLLCTIVLY offers no-strings-attached grants and community for Black nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs in Baltimore. Visit for more information.

 About Maryland Nonprofits

 For 30 years, Maryland Nonprofits has worked to promote a thriving and effective nonprofit sector in Maryland and nationally through our Standards for Excellence Institute. With our 1,500 members, we coordinate advocacy with nonprofit leaders to advance equity and public policy that supports vibrant community organizations and civil society. Maryland Nonprofits capacity-building services include the state’s largest nonprofit consulting group, training, an annual conference, and accreditation through the Standards for Excellence® program. We are the home of the Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY), Maryland Latinos Unidos, and the Charge-Up Collaborative. Maryland Nonprofits is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a mission to strengthen organizations and networks for greater quality of life and equity. Visit for more information.

About Baltimore Children and Youth Fund

Baltimore Children & Youth Fund (BCYF) is a nonprofit organization stewarding public funds to ensure children and youth are healthy, ready to succeed in school and live in stable, safe and supportive families and communities. The effort to create a dedicated fund to support programs for Baltimore’s young people was launched in 2015 by then-City Council President Bernard “Jack” C. Young — a response to the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, an event that sharply illuminated longstanding inequities in public funding in Black communities. The Baltimore City Council approved creation of the Fund through a charter amendment that was sent to the ballot in November 2016. The measure was approved by voters in November 2016 with more than 80 percent support. The charter amendment calls for BCYF to receive an annual appropriation that is at least $0.03 on every $100 of assessed or assessable value of all property in the City of Baltimore to provide grants to organizations providing youth services. Visit for more information.


Krystle Starvis

Justine Ramos
Maryland Nonprofits