Foundations Deepen Partnership to Advance An “Informed, Engaged” Bradenton

Knight Foundation Commits up to $2.5 million to Manatee Community Foundation to Increase Local Impact

BRADENTON – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that it will invest up to $2.5 million to foster an “informed, engaged” Bradenton over the next seven years through the Manatee 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 Bradenton region and other Knight communities. Grant seekers in Bradenton will apply for funding through the Manatee Community Foundation. A new community foundation director in Knight’s Miami headquarters will work with an advisory committee in Bradenton to guide the community foundations on how to use the funds. 

“Knight Foundation’s new investment in its Donor-advised Fund at the Manatee Community Foundation will significantly increase the number and amount of grants that will be available. As permanent endowment, this support will assist our community throughout the years to come. We are excited to launch this new program initiative,” stated Executive Director Marilyn Howard. 

Nonprofits seeking Knight funding should contact Howard at the Manatee 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. “The new director will work together with foundation staff and advisory committees in each Knight community to guide the local foundations on use of the funds.”

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

Contact: Marc Fest, 305-908-2677; [email protected]