KnightBlog

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

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    Communities

    How new support from Knight Foundation will help Refresh Miami scale for the next 10 years

    Aug. 11, 2016, 8:42 a.m., Posted by Brian Breslin

    Citi Women in Tech event, January 2016. Photo courtesy of Refresh Miami.

    Brian Breslin is the founder of Refresh Miami, Florida’s largest tech and entrepreneurial organization with 9,000 members. Refresh Miami is supported by Knight Foundation, which today is announcing new funding of $100,000 for the group.

    Miami has come a long way since the days of six-person meetups at a Starbucks on Lincoln Road nearly 10 years ago. What started as a simple way for like-minded tech professionals and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas grew year after year, paving the way for the robust community and network that exists today.

    Refresh Miami has been at the center of this developing ecosystem, and with new support from Knight Foundation we’re ready for our next phase of growth.

    Knight’s first investment in Refresh Miami—$150,000 in 2013—had a dramatic impact on our organization. It allowed us to secure our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, grow from 2,500 members to over 9,000, and attract some top-notch speakers to Miami. They have included Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and LaunchCode, Bob Diener, founder of Hotels.com, and John Ciancutti, one-time director of engineering at Facebook. This wouldn’t have been possible without Knight support.

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    Communities

    Giving days can be a community win when foundations focus on the big picture

    Aug. 10, 2016, 6 a.m., Posted by Luz Gomez and Mike Berkowitz

    Photo: Silicon Valley Gives 2015, from the Giving Day Playbook.

    At a time when charitable organizations are vigorously competing to gain the attention—and ultimately the support—of individual donors, giving days offer a powerful tool to drive community philanthropy. In fact, the amount raised through these days is impressive – including more than $116.3 million alone for 18 communities studied by Knight Foundation since 2012. But these online fundraising campaigns are about much more than the dollars, a new Knight report, the culmination of a three-year initiative, found: Over time, when organizers purposefully align the campaigns with their missions, giving days have helped to strengthen community foundations that organize them. 

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    Communities

    In wake of giving day tech failure, here’s what we have learned

    Aug. 10, 2016, 6 a.m., Posted by Beth Kanter

    The tech failure that disrupted the national Give Local America Day fundraising campaign in May 2016 raised a big question for community foundations hosting giving days:  What can they do differently to ensure smooth sailing in the future?

    To answer, Giving Day hosts turned to each other through Knight Foundation’s Peer Learning Exchange and Facebook Group, and participated in conference calls organized by Priscilla Enriquez, Chief Giving Officer of the Sacramento Regional Community Foundation.  They sought a host of answers. Even while some communities reached or exceeded  their Give Local America goals, they searched for ways to address administrative messes, their own technical reviews, in addition to ways to rebuild trust with their community.  

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