Collaboration and Connection

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How Foundations Partner Effectively to Address Their Community’s Information Needs
Publication Date
Engaged Communities

Addressing a community’s information needs is a critical aspect of supporting a vibrant and healthy democracy. As community and place-based foundations increase their participation in this work, they realize they cannot do it alone. Partnerships are vital to their success, whether they are developing online platforms for community dialogue, financing new online professional news outlets, or otherwise providing venues for community engagement about important issues affecting residents’ lives.

Across more than 70 individual projects in communities throughout North America, Knight Community Information Challenge grantees have collectively partnered with more than 450 organizations, including mainstream and public media organizations, community nonprofits, other foundations, universities, corporations, local government agencies and libraries to address their community’s information needs. Partnerships are allowing foundations to leverage shared resources and maximize their potential for success. The figure below depicts the types of organizations foundations are partnering with to design and implement their local news and information projects.


As the learning and evaluation partner for the Knight Community Information Challenge, FSG has collected data from grantee foundations and their partners about how partnerships develop, evolve, and add value to information and media projects. This report highlights the strategies and approaches that foundations have used to develop and maintain productive partnerships. 

About our Engaged Communities focus area

We invest in civic innovation at the intersection of talent, opportunity and place to enable our communities to succeed. 

About our Field-wide Research methodology

Field Research is primary and secondary research done for Knight Foundation.