MIAMI – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has released new Community Indicators resources to help its nonprofit partners and others in their work to strengthen communities.The Foundation has created detailed \"community profiles\" for each of its 26 communities of interest, plus an overview profile that summarizes key indicators across the 26 disparate communities.
All of the profile reports are now available on the foundation's web site www.knightfoundation.org. Making the profiles available is the second phase of the groundbreaking Community Indicators project, a two-year effort designed to help Knight Foundation staff, trustees and advisers use objective evidence to develop grant programs and initiatives meant to lead to healthier communities. Drawing on local, state and national data sources, these profiles document more than 70 quality-of-life measures for each Knight community, covering children and families, education, literacy, community development, housing, citizenship, and arts and culture. The profiles track real-world trends, thus serving as a complement to the impressionistic information drawn from the previously released public opinion surveys.
Examples of community profile information include outcome measures such as high school graduation rates and infant-mortality rates and context measures such as median household income and the number of police officers per 1,000 population.
American Institutes for Research of Washington, D.C, and The Urban Institute of Washington, D.C., are partners on the profiles project.On the foundation's web site, the community profiles are available along with survey reports from each Knight community.
The reports present survey results and a detailed narrative documenting citizen engagement, attitudes and behaviors related to the health of communities. The 15-minute telephone surveys reached 500-800 households, per community, and in most cases covered the home county. There is a common core questionnaire for all sites, with four custom questions added for each community.
To provide a U.S. comparison, Knight Foundation included a national survey of 1,200 adults, interviewed from mid-October through mid-November 1999. Princeton Survey Research Associates of Princeton, N.J., directed the survey portion of the project. Field work for the community surveys was conducted February 1999 through November 1999.
"The profiles and surveys give people information they need to govern themselves effectively, to make their communities better places to live, work and play,\" said John Bare, Knight foundation's director of evaluation. \"Communities are welcome to use all of what we're providing or to pick and choose items. Our information is just a starting point. We designed this so that communities can supplement our information with richer local knowledge on issues they care about most."
Knight foundation's communities are: Aberdeen,'s .D.; Akron, Ohio; Biloxi, Miss.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Boulder, Colo.; Bradenton, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia,'s .C.; Columbus, Ga.; Detroit; Duluth, Minn.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Gary, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Long Beach, Calif.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Milledgeville, Ga.; Myrtle Beach,'s .C.; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; San Jose, Calif.; State College, Pa.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan.
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.