New Donor-Advised Fund Grants to 10 Community Foundations Round Out $50 Million Knight Foundation Initiative

MIAMI — In the second wave of a $50 million investment by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 10 community foundations have received a combined $21.9 million for local grant making from funds established to strengthen nonprofits serving residents in Knight cities and towns.

The latest grants, ranging from $750,000 to $3.7 million, are part of a five-year initiative approved in 2000 to establish or supplement donor-advised funds in the 26 communities where Knight Foundation is a local funder. The 2003 grants go to community foundations serving Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida; Long Beach and San Jose, Calif.; Macon and Milledgeville, Ga.; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Biloxi, Miss. In 2002, grants of more than $24.1 million went to 11 community foundations serving Detroit; Charlotte, N.C.; Lexington, Ky.; Akron, Ohio; Boulder, Colo.; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Gary, Ind.; Duluth, Minn.; Bradenton, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan.

“Because we’re committed to these 26 cities and towns for the long haul, community foundations are natural allies and partners for us,” said Penelope McPhee, Knight Foundation’s vice president and chief program officer.

From the outset, when Knight Foundation trustees approved $775,000 in 1988 in four community foundations, local donor-advised funds have given Knight and its community foundation partners the flexibility to make smaller quicker investments to meet local needs. Since then, Knight has worked to establish community foundations in places where none had existed through general operating support and challenge grants for endowments; and by establishing and supplementing donor-advised funds. In all, Knight has invested $56.1 million to strengthen community foundations in 25 of our communities.

Grants from the donor-advised funds complement the larger, long-term investments of Knight Foundation’s Community Partners Program in locally recommended priorities.

At the completion of the $50 million initiative, Knight’s donor-advised funds will range from endowments of $1 million for smaller communities to $5 million for urban centers. Grants from the Knight funds are intended to support six fields of interest: education; well-being of children and families; housing and community development; economic development; civic engagement and positive human relations; and vitality of cultural life.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.