Category Archives: Grants

Nathan Cummings Foundation to Increase Payout in 2017-18

The Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York City has announced that it will increase its payout in 2017 and 2018 and is encouraging other philanthropic organizations to do the same…

To that end, the foundation, which last August announced a shift in its grantmaking focus to address climate change and inequality, will put additional resources into forging and deepening coalitions, exploring new ideas, and making room for big bets in emerging areas and is in the process of identifying grantmaking strategies and opportunities for collaboration across its focus areas, including support for journalists, especially those representing marginalized communities; strengthening civic engagement; investing in resilience practices; and building bridges across social and economic divides…read more



ALA receives IMLS grant to advance library-led community engagement


ALA receives IMLS grant to advance library-led community engagement

The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities 
partners with The Harwood Institute for phase one planning

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) announced today that it received a 2012 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant of $250,837 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). ALA will partner with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation on the first phase of a multi-phase initiative, The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities, which will develop a sustainable national plan to transform the role of libraries in their communities by advancing community engagement and innovation.

“The ideas at the heart of this project are particularly timely for the challenges facing public libraries as they rethink their role in their changing communities,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “We are pleased to offer IMLS support of an initiative that leverages the expertise of two partners for a program that is scalable and can ultimately reach many librarians in many communities.”

Speaking to the significance of the new initiative, Maureen Sullivan, ALA president, said “The role and contribution of libraries in ensuring informed and engaged communities is critical to our society and the future of our democracy. This grant will provide librarians with the tools and training they need to lead their communities in finding innovative solutions to the challenges they face. Now is the time for librarians to assume this important leadership role. ALA very much appreciates this support from IMLS.”

During the grant period, ALA and the Harwood Institute will develop librarians as conveners and facilitators for their communities and create a pilot set of resource components designed to build the practice of community engagement in library service throughout the field. The goal of this first project phase is to create core communication materials for dissemination to the field, collaboratively create innovative strategies for community engagement, improve participating ALA leader and member access to strategies and resources for community engagement and help participants feel better prepared to take on the role of community facilitator. More than 350 librarians will take part in a range of professional development activities planned during the grant period. The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities is one of ALA President Maureen Sullivan’s key initiatives.

The ALA Public Programs Office (PPO) will manage the project. PPO supports cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful civic engagement library programming initiatives have includedBuilding Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion andEngage! Teens, Art and Civic Engagement, as well as Let’s Talk About It reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE! @ your library and more. The website, brings librarians timely and valuable opportunities to support the creation of high-quality outreach programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office,

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to spark fundamental change and authentic hope in American public life. Founded over 20 years ago by nationally renowned speaker and innovator Richard C. Harwood, the institute works with individuals, organizations and communities to turn outward and develop their ability to make more intentional choices and judgments that lead to impact in their communities.   For additional information see

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Knight Foundation Commits $70 Million to Advance “Informed Engaged Communities”


Knight Foundation Commits
$70 Million to Community Foundations Nationwide

Initiative Aims to Advance “Informed, Engaged Communities”

MIAMI (Jan. 7, 2010) The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that it intends to invest $70 million over the next seven years to community foundations serving cities and towns where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.

The new Community Foundation Initiative will deepen Knight Foundation’s focus on fostering informed, engaged communities.

“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.”

A new position will be created at Knight Foundation’s Miami headquarters to direct the initiative.

“Our goal is to better coordinate and focus our initiatives in the Knight communities 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 non-profits.

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.

Knight Foundation officials have begun reaching out to community foundations in the 26 Knight communities eligible to participate in the program.

The following are Knight communities: Aberdeen, S.D., Akron, Ohio, Biloxi, Miss., Boulder, Colo., Bradenton, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Columbus, Ga., Detroit, Mich., Duluth, Minn., Fort Wayne, Ind., Gary, Ind., Grand Forks, N.D., Lexington, Ky., Long Beach, Calif., Macon, Ga., Miami, Fla., Milledgeville, Ga., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Palm Beach, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., San Jose, Calif., St. Paul, Minn., State College, Pa., Tallahassee, Fla., Wichita, Kan.

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 community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

Media Contact: Marc Fest, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677;

This message was sent from Knight Foundation to It was sent from: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 3300, Miami, FL 33131.