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Knight Foundation challenge opens doors to new connections

February 26, 2010

In two rounds of grantmaking, the Knight Foundation has used community foundations around the country to invest millions of dollars, in their words, “in creative ways to fund media projects that inform and engage residents about pressing issues.” The Knight Foundation Information Challenge includes an impressive list of great ideas, some of which are already well under way, thanks to matching grants.

The community foundation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, proposed a citizen journalism project called The Rapidian, that is now going strong, thanks to the grant, with an exciting web and Twitter presence. In Rhode Island, the community foundation is working with a local public radio station on a series of educational forums. In Minnesota, a statewide competition will soon be launched to enlist ideas about solving problems like obesity.

Each community foundation, true to the nature of these place-based institutions, looked to the geographic area it served for inspiration and important partnerships. That’s what the Knight Foundation wanted, because they know the value of communities working together to help make themselves better and stronger.

We praise the Knight Foundation for this effort, as we continue to think about ways that greater Birmingham can join the ranks of successful applicants.

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