Knight Foundation to Promote an Informed and Engaged Long Beach

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knight grants for informed and engaged long beachThe John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced that it will invest up to $2.5 million in an endowed fund to foster an “informed and engaged” Long Beach over the next seven years through Long Beach Community Foundation.

The effort is part of Knight Foundation’s national $70 million Community Foundation Initiative, an effort to deepen Knight’s commitment to ensuring that communities are informed about and engaged in the issues and opportunities that face them.

“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 exist and thrive only 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.”

Knight will contribute as much as $2.5 million to a permanent endowment fund during this initiative. Grants made from the gains of this fund are intended to serve the Long Beach community indefinitely. A new community foundation director in Knight’s Miami headquarters will work with a Long Beach advisory committee composed of regional leaders and innovators to guide the community foundation in using the funds.

Jim Worsham, president and CEO of the Long Beach Community Foundation said: “We‘re always pleased when a national organization recognizes the value of our services to the local community and we’re especially honored to continue our great working relationship with Knight Foundation.  Overseeing this important endowment provides an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate our leadership in community philanthropy.”

Long Beach area nonprofits that are seeking Knight funding should query the Long Beach Community Foundation about Knight Foundation’s donor-advised fund. In Long Beach, Knight makes all its grants through the community foundation.

“Our goal is to better coordinate and focus our initiatives in the communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers, and use our resources in the most effective way possible,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for communities.

Community foundations make contributions to local groups from donor-advised funds established by individuals, families, businesses and others to address the needs of their communities.  When directing their philanthropy to the local level, national funders like Knight benefit from the grassroots knowledge of community foundations.  The grants will help community foundations enlarge the donor-advised funds that support the work of local nonprofits.

From 2000 to 2007, Knight contributed $69 million to create donor-advised funds at 25 community foundations. At $70 million, this new Community Foundation Initiative doubles Knight’s current investment in community foundations nationwide.

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