Baltimore Ravens Foundation Spotlight
MISSION The Ravens Foundation, Inc. is committed to improving, encouraging and enabling the healthy development of youth in Maryland. The foundation annually gives financial and volunteer support to many Baltimore-area nonprofits. It also yearly provides youth football grants and college scholarships to students as part of the Ravens Scholarship program.
Ravens PLAY 60 Grant– Provides funding of up to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations that initiate and/or continue programs or projects that promote physical fitness and nutrition education in the state of Maryland.
Huddle For 100 ‘CAW TO ACTION’– In honor of the NFL’s 100th season, the Baltimore Ravens’ called for community members to dedicate 100 minutes of service in the Central Maryland area. Members of the organization helped organize food donations and created inspirational cards for 600 children.
L.I.F.T Conference– The Ravens host a leadership conference that focuses on enhancing skills, both mental and physical, for female athletes. They host a day full of workshops, guest speakers and a group work out at the Ravens’ Under Armour Performance Center to help empower the next generation of female student-athletes.
Crucial Catch– As part of their cancer focus, yearly grants are given to health centers nationwide.
Baltimore Ravens Scholarship Program– Their scholarship program enables local youth to continue their education on a collegiate level by awarding five $5,000 renewable scholarships to students in financial need.
Youth Football Grants– The Baltimore Ravens Foundation invites youth football programs throughout Maryland to apply for a Ravens Youth Football Grant for the opportunity to outfit all players in their program in brand new jerseys or cleats, as well as football field accessories and equipment.
My Cause My Cleats– Ravens players showcase customized cleats to spread awareness about social causes that are important to them.
Interview with Keenan Harrell, Community Relations Manager
Please introduce yourself and describe your role with the Baltimore Ravens
Hi, I’m Keenan Harrell and I am the Community Relations Manager for the Baltimore Ravens. I am involved with several of our community programs, sponsorship relations and social responsibility programs.
Can you tell me about the Ravens Foundation, their community outreach efforts and the programs you’re involved with?
Sure. We have a lot of different community outreach efforts that are focused on helping people in the Baltimore area. Our NFL Play 60 initiative works with different schools in the community to track their students’ physical activity minutes during a four-week challenge. Teachers and students can see how their school compares to other schools across the country and the winner county gets a Play 60 Pep Rally hosted by our organization. This program focuses on the importance of health and wellness and getting our youth to be more active.
We also take the month of November to raise awareness about food insecurity and the importance of providing free meals to the community. We partner with the Maryland Food Bank and Safeway to host food drives alongside our players and staff to help provide free meals to people. In Maryland, 667,110 people are struggling with hunger and 1 in 6 of them are children. We focus on using our platform as an NFL organization and our social media reach to raise awareness about this issue and help families in need.
How does your organization identify communities or individuals to work with? How have they worked to build trust and relationships in the Baltimore community?
Being a professional sports team, we have been able to use our platform to develop partnerships with schools, nonprofits and social impact groups in the Baltimore area. We have an extensive network of nonprofit partners that we rely on to help us identify the different needs in our community. People also reach out to us directly for help and we use our resources to assist them.
Describe how your organization’s impact is measured? How do you evaluate the results of your programs and get that information out to people?
We make sure to take metrics of our output so we can evaluate how many people we are reaching with our programs. We also try to talk to students and the people in our community who we serve to better understand our impact. Our department also puts out a Community Impact Scrapbook each year to highlight our efforts.
How has the Ravens Foundation had to adapt to everything going on this year?
We really had to pivot in a lot of ways and like everyone else figure out how to put on our programming virtually to meet the needs of our community. Since we are physically restricted with COVID-19, we’ve held virtual player appearances and youth programs online. We are also working hard on our social justice programming to address the social climate around our country. The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens distributed a $1 million donation to support social justice reform throughout the Baltimore community. Additionally, we are making a huge push for voter registration through PSA’s and our social media networks to make sure that Americans are registered to vote.
How can someone become involved or donate to your efforts?
Right now, the best way to help is to visit www.baltimoreravens.com/community which has all of our information and people can learn more about our programming. They can also donate to one of our partners, United Way of Central Maryland and explore their volunteer opportunities.