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United Way of Central Maryland announces call for entries for region-wide Changemaker Challenge

BALTIMORE, MD—United Way of Central Maryland is seeking progressive thinkers ready to elevate, accelerate, and activate big ideas to strengthen their communities. This week, the organization announced a call for entries for its Changemaker Challenge, which will award more than $600,000 in grants across each of the locations the organization serves, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll*, Harford, and Howard Counties, as well as Baltimore City.

“The Changemaker Challenge aims to spark social innovation to address real issues our neighbors are facing by identifying need and closing gaps,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “We believe in the power of community, and in impactful change coming from neighborhood leaders. We’re looking forward to seeing new, innovative solutions to problems both old and new that we can help amplify.”

Individuals and nonprofit organizations are invited to submit their applications through February 20 and finalists will be notified by March 26. Finalists will have access to coaching and mentorship, as well as promotion through United Way of Central Maryland’s networks and owned platforms. Grantees will also have free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur learning community, a one-stop shop for the tools and support needed to start or grow a business. Changemaker Challenge grant recipients will be selected at live events in April and May.

“Before [the Changemaker Challenge], I wasn’t able to do [the work]. I just talked about it,” said Alex Smith, a 2021 Changemaker Challenge winner. “I didn’t have the time or resources to make it happen, and I couldn’t have done it without the Changemaker Challenge.”

Previous Changemaker Challenge awardees have continued to create impact and gain recognition for their work. Elijah Miles of Tendea Family was recently named a Hometown Hero by the Baltimore Banner; Ballet After Dark appeared on “America’s Got Talent;” Dominiece Clifton has been awarded several additional community grants to continue her work with her Mobile Movement Lab; and Araba Maze of Storybook Maze has been featured on Good Morning America and was named a Baltimore ChangeMaker by Baltimore Magazine.

The Changemaker Challenge began in Howard County in 2017 as a partnership between United Way of Central Maryland, the Horizon Foundation, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, and the Community Foundation of Howard County. For the first time, Howard County Government is providing $100,000 in grants to support changemakers in Howard County. WBAL is an in-kind media sponsor, sharing the Changemaker Challenge via its owned platforms.

Learn more about the Changemaker Challenge, including official rules, terms and conditions online at

*In Carroll County, United Way of Central Maryland works with local leaders to sponsor a prize in the Carroll Biz Challenge in August.

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