Today, Knight opens the door for applications in the fifth round of its Community Information Challenge, being accepted now at informationneeds.org. If previous years are any indication, we’ll get plenty of ideas from community and place-based foundations uniquely taking aim at meeting their community’s information needs. In many communities, strengthening credible, professional news sources is the need. That’s the work supported by the Community Foundation of New Jersey with NJ Spotlight, and I-News, supported by The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. In other communities, the community foundations and the projects they have supported have focused more on digital tools for civic engagement and action. Such is the case for Envision Bay Area, supported by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and We The People supported by the Community Foundation for North Florida.
Knight believes community foundations are uniquely positioned to help identify and address the information needs of their community. For many, getting involved with this work has enhanced their mission-driven work. For others, it provides a powerful opportunity to provide leadership in their community. If you have a question about the challenge, join me for an online Web chat at noon EST Feb. 8 at informationneeds.org - I and my colleagues will be answering as many queries as we can. As the application deadline of Feb. 27 nears, we will be eager to see what compelling projects are submitted in this final round of the five-year initiative. What’s next for the Community Information Challenge? Knight Foundation has begun considering that question, and we’ll be asking foundation leaders in the weeks ahead for their insight on how we can best support local information needs.