Knight Blog

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

Give Miami Day raises record $5.2 million for nonprofits

Nov. 21, 2014, 2:52 p.m., Posted by Jessica Hodder


Community Block Party attendees check out participating nonprofit organizations during the event. Photo courtesy of The Miami Foundation.

Once online donations passed last year’s record of $3.2 million, organizers at The Miami Foundation realized that Give Miami Day 2014 would be their most successful Giving Day yet.

Thursday’s Give Miami Day raised $5.2 million for 520 South Florida nonprofits, with a total of 19,245 gifts. This was the first year that The Miami Foundation promoted a funding goal for Give Miami Day, set at $5 million.

“As Miami continues to evolve, Give Miami Day acts as a gateway for new members of the community to learn more about local causes they are passionate about and contribute to the overall success of our city,” said Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto.

Working with a cohort of local partners, including Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation helped incentivize community giving by making a bonus gift for every online donation between $25 and $10,000 received on Give Miami Day. Twenty-four prizes were awarded to nonprofits that hit key milestones throughout the day, such as the first gift received and receiving gifts from the most countries.

My Brother’s Keeper hackathon supports black youth interested in tech careers

Nov. 21, 2014, 12:14 p.m., Posted by Monica Peters

Philly Hackathon: Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs and hackathon organizer, talks to youth Trailblazers about their pitches. Photos by Monica Peters.

Team Change Your Community worked feverishly in a computer lab at String Theory Charter School in Philadelphia last weekend to create an app for community good.

The youths tossed out problems, ideas for solving them, and narrowed down their options to one. Then, they got to work coding.  The result: an app that allows users to take pictures of abandoned buildings and nominate them for how they should be renovated or used.

Their project took first place during the event, the first hackathon for the White House initiative My Brother’s Keeper. Team members took home Samsung Galaxy tablets and a chance to participate in a Google Hangout with #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, the hackathon’s keynote speaker. The real prize, however, is that the hackathon, held Nov. 14-16, is a step toward guiding the 95 boys and girls who participated on a trajectory to careers in technology.

“Whenever young people start to break negative patterns and start a new positive pattern you have no idea what that’s going to mean for history,” Jones said.

University-community engagement is a two-way street

Nov. 21, 2014, 11 a.m., Posted by Sandy Smith


Not all neighborhoods around the University of Chicago want the same amount of engagement with campus police. (AP Photo/Stacie Freudenberg)

This post is cross-posted with permission from Next City.

How can urban “anchor institutions” — colleges, universities, hospitals and other major institutions that are rooted in a specific place — strengthen their communities?

One parking lot at a time.

Midtown Detroit President Susan Mosey spent much of 2014 persuading her neighborhood’s major employers, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Medical Center, to give up one surface parking lot each for redevelopment in a neighborhood where eliminating surface parking is a major catalyst for community revitalization. The panelists at Next City’s City Sessions panel on “The University as Community” on Nov. 19th at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia had many other examples of little things that “eds and meds” and other large place-based non-profit institutions can do to hasten big change in their neighborhoods and cities. It could be something as small as offering space in an institutional building for a local bakery to set up a cafe, or shifting printing to a struggling local printer that allowed it to expand and modernize with a new $2 million printing plant (as happened in Detroit), or designing campus buildings so their main entrances open out onto city streets rather than in toward campus (a Chicago example).