Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

10 lessons for Giving Days, and one question: How can we make them more sustainable?

Sept. 30, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Bahia Ramos

It’s impressive if you think about it: In just a few years, community foundations have learned to raise millions for local projects in 24-hour sprints. To do it, their Giving Day campaigns have embraced new technologies and outreach strategies to make philanthropy easy and, well, a ton of fun.

But now with a few Giving Days under their belts, we hear more and more community foundations asking how these campaigns fit into their long-term strategies. Certainly, they put philanthropy on people’s radar and raise money for great causes. A big win. But are they financially sustainable for the organizations that run them? How could these campaigns be organized to benefit both the community and the causes the foundation cares about?

Reimagining libraries as conveners of information and innovation

Sept. 30, 2014, 8:50 a.m., Posted by Kalev H. Leetaru

Figure 1: Mapping the Geography of American Television News  

Knight News Challenge: Libraries closes today, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The challenge offers applicants a chance to share in $2.5 million by focusing on the question “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?” Below, Kalev H. Leetaru, a data scientist and the Yahoo Fellow at Georgetown University, writes about libraries as centers of information innovation.

Imagine a world in which libraries and archives had never existed. No institutions had ever systematically collected or preserved our cultural past: Every book, letter and document was created, read and immediately thrown away. Alternatively, what if everything had been kept and the Library of Alexandria had survived to present day, archiving all societal knowledge through the millennia? How would life be different in these two worlds, one of no history and one of all our history, and what can this suggest to us of the future role of libraries in society?

Today both of these worlds have become reality: Libraries ship the physical book world of our history off to storage, eliminating the serendipitous discovery of browsing, while the Web simultaneously creates a virtual Library of Alexandria that unifies societal knowledge. No longer do libraries serve as gatekeepers to the world’s information: The Web has democratized access to information and with a single mouse click provides far more than any single library could ever offer.  Have libraries truly been rendered obsolete in the digital world?

42 projects win Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul

Sept. 29, 2014, 8 p.m., Posted by Dennis Scholl

Photo: Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul winner Aaron Dysart and friends will project video art on to steam from a plant in downtown St. Paul. 

Today, we are excited to announce the 42 winners of this year’s St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge. Our first year of the contest in St. Paul saw the highest per capita response for any arts challenge in history, with 868 submissions! Ideas poured in from all corners of the community and across all disciplines. We are grateful to all who participated and trusted us with their ideas and passion for the arts in St. Paul.

Related Link

"42 Winners Named in First St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge" - Press release (09/29/14)

Each application submitted was carefully reviewed by a group of ten local readers and Knight staff. The team narrowed the list to 69 finalists, each of whom submitted a more detailed proposal and project budget. Again, our talented panel of reviewers read through each proposal and collectively recommended a list of grantees. Those recommendations were presented to our Board of Trustees earlier this month and we are honored to now share the winners.