The effort is part of Knight Foundation’s $70 million Community Foundations Initiative, which will help deepen Knight Foundation's focus on ensuring that communities have the information they need to make decisions about their lives.
“Information is an essential community need and community foundations were established to meet core needs,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation’s president and CEO. “They also only exist and thrive because of community engagement and contributions. That makes them ideal partners to help us understand and advance local community engagement, focused on ensuring that these communities have the information they need to manage their affairs in our democracy.”
The new approach will modify how Knight Foundation works in the Myrtle Beach area and other Knight communities. Grant seekers in the Grand Strand area will apply for funding through the Waccamaw Community Foundation. A new community foundation director in Knight’s Miami headquarters will work with an advisory committee in Myrtle Beach to guide the community foundations on how to use the funds.
“This grant will have tremendous impact on the local community as it will allow the Waccamaw Community Foundation and the Community Advisory Committee to evaluate grants that can bring about significant change to our community. Knight Foundation’s shift to ‘informed and engaged’ community grants means we can look for organizational grants that explore issues facing our region and develop a sustainable and sufficient solution to address these issues and hopefully bring about change for the common good of the communities we serve,” said Jonathan P. Kresken, president of the Waccamaw Community Foundation.
“The WCF is honored to have this further vote of confidence from Knight Foundation expressed in a way that will enable an expanded and perpetual source for supporting needs in our community,” said Harold Stowe, chairman of the WCF Board of Directors.
Nonprofits seeking Knight funding should contact Kresken or visit the WCF website at www.waccamawcf.org. Look under Grants and click on Knight Foundation for more information about Knight Foundation’s donor-advised fund.
“Our goal is to better coordinate and focus our initiatives in the communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers, and use our resources in the most effective way possible,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for communities. “The new director will work together with foundation staff and advisory committees in each Knight community to guide the local foundations on use of the funds.”
Community foundations make contributions to local groups from funds established by individuals, families, businesses and others to address needs in specific geographic areas. These organizations offer a national funder like Knight the benefit of their grassroots grasp of issues. The grants will help community foundations enlarge their donor-advised funds supporting the work of local nonprofits.
From 2000 to 2007, Knight contributed a total of $69 million to create donor-advised funds at 25 community foundations. At $70 million, this new initiative doubles Knight’s current investment in community foundations.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.