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Place-based foundations are in the midst of incredible change as they become catalysts for action in their communities. The Knight Foundation's Knight Community Information Challenge has spurred an innovative set of place-based foundations to address community information needs to benefit their communities as well as their own strategies and missions.

Top Takeaways

  1. Place-based foundations are moving from their historical role as fund managers to influential catalysts for social change. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the Knight Community Information Challenge (KCIC) in 2008 to enable place-based foundations to help their communities become better informed and engaged about issues.
  2. KCIC grantees have learned a tremendous amount about the resources and activities critical for managing information projects successfully, and have developed innovative ways of addressing community information needs, including incorporating information into their existing programs, supporting information providers in their communities, and even becoming information providers themselves.
  3. Through KCIC, the Knight Foundation has deepened its understanding of the unique role of place-based foundations in the community information space, including the array of financial and non-financial resources they deploy in their communities and the networks of stakeholders involved in local community information systems.
As we brought additional community partners and individual citizens into the project, we more fully understood the full effect of the changing media landscape on our community and the need for new platforms for information exchange.

Roberta King, Grand Rapids Community Foundation