This post is one of a series focused on how community foundations are investing in news and information projects to make an impact on issues they care about. The following video was filmed during Knight’s 2012 Media Learning Seminar, where five community foundations gave brief, TED-like talks on how the projects they launched are impacting their cities. Here, Clotilde Dedecker shares her experience with Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.
The role of community foundations shouldn’t be limited to giving grants, says Clotilde Dedecker of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.
In the video above, Dedecker shares how her foundation has taken a leadership role in addressing public health and environmental issues in Western New York by investing in a news and information project: “We have found that as a community foundation we are most effective in improving the lives of our communities not by giving grants, but by co-creating structures that bring people and organizations together in new ways to drive change.”
She cited their website Growwny.org - which stands for Green Renaissance of Western New York. The site has united over 150 environmental nonprofits working on water, air and land issues in the community, connecting them to each other and to the general public, Dedecker said.
This year, Grow, with support from Knight, will increase its ability to engage low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental contaminants. This includes building out a network that will let people text in environmental threats in their neighborhoods and map them on the site, in turn providing a record and opportunities to visualize the data. Dedecker hopes that this will provide a basis for future policy and advocacy work.
“Whether it's bats in the attic, or calculating your family's carbon footprint, or addressing environmental justice, we're harnessing the power of info technology because increasing the flow of information will lead to healthier, more economically viable communities,” Dedecker said.
Learn more about how the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo used information as a field-building tool for the environmental movement.