Foundations Deepen Partnership to Advance an “Informed and Engaged” Boulder County

Knight Foundation Commits up to $1 million to The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County to Increase Local Impact

BOULDER – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that it will invest up to $1 million in an endowed fund to foster an “informed, engaged” Boulder area over the next seven years through The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.

The effort is part of Knight Foundation’s national $70 million Community Foundation Initiative, an effort to deepen Knight’s commitment to ensuring that communities are informed about and engaged in the issues and opportunities that face them.

“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 Boulder area and other Knight communities. Grant seekers will apply for funding through The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. A new community foundation director in Knight’s Miami headquarters will work with a local advisory committee composed of regional leaders and innovators to guide the community foundations on how to use the funds. Knight’s overall contribution during this initiative will be up to $1 million pooled in a permanent endowment fund. Grants made from the gains of this fund are intended to serve the Boulder community indefinitely.

“This extension of our partnership with Knight Foundation builds on the work of The Community Foundation’s Civic Forum and our TRENDS Report,” said Josie Heath, president of The Community Foundation. “While information is key to civic engagement, it is only the start. This fund will help nonprofits take information to the next level so that we actually see broader engagement, as our community addresses pressing issues.”

Nonprofits seeking Knight funding should contact Elvira Ramos, programs director (Elvira@commfound.org) at The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, and ask 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.

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 nationwide.

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 and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County
The Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Boulder County, now and forever, and to build a culture of giving. The Foundation is the place where giving is informed and inspired to have the greatest impact on the vision of a better Boulder County. To learn more or make a gift, please visit www.commfound.org or call 303-442-0436.

Contact: Marc Fest, Vice President of Communications, Knight Foundation,
305-908-2677; fest@knightfoundation.org

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Photo: The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County has created the Culture of Giving program (www.cultureofgiving.org) to encourage charitable contributions, volunteerism and other philanthropic engagement among the community’s nonprofits and its residents and businesses.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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.