2013 Knight Community Information Challenge

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2013 Knight Community Information Challenge

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Starting May 1, Knight Foundation will again be offering matching funds to community and place-based foundations seeking to make an impact by funding news and information projects. This year,......

Starting May 1, Knight Foundation will again be offering matching funds to community and place-based foundations seeking to make an impact by funding news and information projects. This year, though the Knight Community Information Challenge is evolving. While the challenge will continue to be an open contest for all kinds of media projects, this year we will be offering up to $50,000 in seed funding to foundations for new ideas. Our goal is to provide the support funders need to test their ideas and assumptions, and iterate as need be, before going on to the more costly process of building out a full project. Also in this round, we will be particularly interested in Open Government projects, an area we think shows great promise. Find out more at www.infoneeds.org. The challenge deadline has been extended to July 1, 2013.

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  • I ’d keep just the headline and the part in italic, and dump the rest of the text below it
  • Who ’s on the committee: Some current and past KCIC grantees (Alicia Philipp, Atlanta; Clothilde, Buffalo; Mary Lou Fulton, Calif Endow); some KF folks (Bob Sutton, South Dakota, JoAnn Turnquist, Columbia; Josie, Boulder); some non-winners: Brian Byrnes, Santa Fe, John Davies, Baton Rouge); Kristin Grimm, non-CF/media person; Community Foundations are excellent vehicles for the work because: Deep relationships in the communities they serve; they ’re often (BUT NOT ALWAYS) leaders in their communities and see this work as an extension of their convening role; “ If you’ve seen one CF, you’ve seen one CF” – they’re all different KF could provide more information on successes and what works; use the CF ’s to tell those stories; strengthen the network of “early adopters” Sustainability not guaranteed; beyond $$, KF should consider more hands-on help: regional MLS (if they keep cutting-edge appeal), more Circuit Riders, etc. The Media Learning Seminar has been key to the success of foundations entering the information arena; efforts must be made to keep it fresh, vital and one day, a regional event. Expand reach (across philanthropy; CF ’s not unified as a field) Create a stronger network of “committed” foundations, e.g. through the advisory committee The general discussion was that while Knight has a framework and that many community foundations had “signed-on” to the notion of the importance of information as a core community “commodity” (Kelly Lucas’ phrase), not all understood the significance and it’s clearly not yet a “movement” in the minds of all community foundations. Indeed, the discussion took a fork in the road when it highlighted the notion that there is “no field” and that community foundations are as diverse as their number. Who should be champion? (CF ’s or KF?) If this initiative is to be led, it must be transferred to foundations; it cannot just be about Knight Foundation. How does Knight encourage these committee members to become champions? While Knight was applauded for the openness of the process for the first three challenge rounds, it appeared that community foundations are now looking for a direction from Knight. People expressed concern that they couldn ’t identify a focus for the grants and while they are in broad categories now, what would help focus foundations going forward? Would Knight articulating its theory of change more closely enable community foundations to carve out a framework to follow within the information ecosystem? When Knight pushed back that the Knight Foundation was originally looking for the focus to come from the field, the committee members felt that if there is a “next phase” it should have more structure or specificity. More stories (successful projects, how to ’s, etc.) Highlight successful programs; those funded by Knight as well as those which evolved without Knight funding. CFs 100 th anniversary an opportunity


  • 1. New $9.5 million commitmentto expand challengeMatching grants contest: Open call for ideas starts May 1• Provides seed funding to test news ideas• Preference for Open Government ideasExpanded Tech Help:Circuit Riders team includemore specialities, including branding,marketing, etc. 3
  • 2. New $9.5 million commitmentto expand challengeMedia Learning Seminar:Continues to be thegathering for foundationleaders to exchangeideas and learn trendsFall 2013 –Learning Networks:Building on earlysuccesses, Knightprovides additionalfunding to a selectgroup that willshare insights 4
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