ABERDEEN – 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” Aberdeen over the next seven years through the South Dakota Community Foundation.
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 Aberdeen region and other Knight communities. Grant seekers in Aberdeen will apply for funding through the South Dakota Community Foundation. A new community foundation director in Knight’s Miami headquarters will work with an advisory committee in Aberdeen to guide the community foundations on how to use the funds.
“This addition to our donor-advised fund presents unique grant opportunities in Aberdeen and Brown County, where business, education, not-for-profit and government representatives have been working together to create a more connected community through improved Internet access and applications for its use,” said Bob Sutton, president, South Dakota Community Foundation. “I believe we will see some very creative responses that illustrate how applicants want to make this area a more informed, engaged community.”
Nonprofits seeking Knight funding should contact Sutton at the South Dakota Community Foundation 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.
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.
About the South Dakota Community Foundation
The South Dakota Community Foundation is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. The Foundation commingles assets from more than 500 funds for investment and administration purposes. Earnings from approximately $110 million are available for distribution for non-profit, charitable and scholarship purposes. For more information on the South Dakota Community Foundation, contact the office at 1-800-888-1842.
Contact: Marc Fest, 305-908-2677; firstname.lastname@example.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.