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About our Engaged Communities Strategy

Knight invests in civic innovators who help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement. We believe that designing places to achieve these goals is crucial to city success.

  • Knight invests in civic innovators – people who are taking hold of the future of their cities with big ideas for making cities more successful.

  • Knight invests in ideas that leverage the power of places – because thoughtfully designed and programmed places can accelerate the things that matter to a city’s success.

  • Knight invests in ideas that will attract and keep talented people – as there is no better long-term indicator of a city’s economic success then the number of college-educated people in its workforce.

  • Knight invests in ideas that expand opportunity for all – by creating places where people of diverse backgrounds can connect across economic divides and which support the way people work in today’s economy.

  • Knight invests in ideas that create a culture of civic engagement – because cities will only succeed when people feel responsible for actively shaping the future of their communities.  

We work in 26 communities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight owned newspapers. Resident program directors oversee our grant-making in eight: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Philadelphia; San Jose, Calif.; and St. Paul, Minn. We partner with community foundations in the remaining 18.

Our foundation has invested more than $841 million in community initiatives since its creation in 1950. We want our national network of learning to inspire the actions of residents in each of our communities and help us build a better democracy and a successful future. 

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