Knight Blog

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

Farewell, and thank you, to three Knight board members

March 21, 2012, 10:24 a.m., Posted by Katie Norland


Knight Foundation is bidding farewell to three key board members this month, and honoring their legacy of service with $50,000 each in support of nonprofits in Miami, Boston and Chicago.

Stepping down are Cesar Alvarez, executive chairman of international law firm Greenberg TraurigPaul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation; and John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Capital Management.  Alvarez, Grogan and Rogers served as the chairs of the Audit Committee, the Program Committee and the Investment Committee, respectively.  All were term-limited, after serving two, successive six-year terms as trustees.

In honor of their service, Knight Foundation will award $50,000 each to an organization recommended by each of the retiring trustees. Cesar Alvarez proposed support for El Memorial Cubano, a monument dedicated to victims of the Castro regime.  Led by a small group of former Cuban political prisoners, the project will create a stone wall in Southwest Miami engraved with names of those who have died. Alvarez immigrated to the United States from Cuba with his family as a teen and now heads the country’s seventh largest law firm.

Paul Grogan asked Knight to create a donor-advised “Opportunity Fund” at The Boston Foundation to build the capacity of nonprofits that focus on producing upward mobility for low-income minority youth in Boston. Throughout his career, Grogan has been a champion of American cities. Knight will miss his insights as chair of the Program Committee, which oversees all of the foundation’s investments in communities, journalism and media innovation and the arts.

Video explores new website’s role in helping young people create social change

March 21, 2012, 7:43 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Recently, launched to more efficiently amplify the role of young people in creating positive social change.

“The new site will aggregate and coalesce youth-led movements around the world to share data and to collaborate more effectively. But it will also inspire new youth to become more involved in what matters to them,” Jeff Coates, strategic initiatives associate at Knight Foundation, said.  

The video above explores Knight’s support for the site and shares what kinds of information it makes available to users. The interview also provides tips on how young people can draw inspiration from successful projects and provides resources that helps them replicate these projects in their own communities.

The video features key members of the team behind the site, including Jennifer Corriero, co-founder and executive director of TakingITGlobal, which hosts the site. Corriero describes how it allows young people to discover more about opportunities to get involved in issues that matter to them, both in their own communities and globally.

Community news and info: Pew Research expands on Knight nonprofit news report

March 20, 2012, 2:44 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller



The newly released 2012 State of the Media report provides an in-depth look at how community news sites are faring.

The report, released by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism interviewed key experts in the industry, including Knight’s Eric Newton and Michele McLellan, journalist and Knight consultant.

Here are some highlights:

Revenue Streams

Community news sites need to develop multiple revenue streams, the report said: “The most successful (and therefore sustainable), sites are those with a range of revenue streams, which can include local foundations, advertising, subscriptions, special events and membership campaigns, for example.”

Newton told Pew: “The more varied the sources of revenue, the better.”

The emphasis on diversified revenue streams expands on a Knight Foundation on how nonprofit news ventures seek sustainability. The report looked at some of the country’s leading online local nonprofit news ventures, and concluded that successful news organizations – even the nonprofit ones  - have to act like digital businesses, particularly making revenue experimentation an important piece of the mix.