The Knight Foundation has awarded a $100,000 challenge grant to the Minneapolis Foundation, to partner with individual donors to expand reporting by MinnPost of key issues in the community.
The Minneapolis Foundation was one of 21 community foundations around the nation, and one of two in Minnesota, to receive a combined total of $5 million in matching funds under a new program, the Knight Community Information Challenge.
In announcing the grants, the president and CEO of Knight, Alberto Ibargüen, said: “At Knight Foundation, we firmly believe that you cannot effectively manage the affairs of a community in a democracy without the free flow of information. That’s why we believe that information is a core community need, as critical as any to a healthy community.
“Our goal at Knight is informed and engaged communities. Community foundations were established to meet core community needs, so they are logical partners.”
The other local recipient is the Minnesota Community Foundation, which was awarded $500,000 to create an online community that will host statewide competitions for the best ideas to solve community problems. Winning ideas will become reality, thanks to grants from the community foundation and its partners. Priority issues will be identified through community listening sessions. Minnesota Public Radio will encourage dialogue and participation.
The grant to the Minneapolis Foundation is to support in-depth coverage of key community issues, by matching local donations for MinnPost reporting beats. Since each local donor will have his or her gift matched by the Minneapolis Foundation, with the total then matched from the Knight funds, local donors will get a 3-for-1 match.
The content MinnPost creates under this grant will also be made available free of charge to ethnic and community weeklies, to ensure wider distribution of the coverage.
With this commitment, the Minneapolis Foundation becomes the second major Minnesota-based foundation to provide grant support for MinnPost, joining the Blandin Foundation, which is supporting MinnPost’s expanded coverage and outreach in Greater Minnesota.
But this is not the Minneapolis Foundation’s first involvement with MinnPost; it also sponsors The Daily Glean.
“The community needs information about problems, solutions and how to effect change. But the shrinkage of newspaper staffs means coverage on these critical issues is declining. We think making this coverage widely available will help inform our communities as a first step to making meaningful change,” says Christelle Langer, the foundation’s vice president of communications.
As part of its mission, the foundation works in partnership with many sectors of the community to improve the quality of life in the region and promotes dialogue and action on critical issues in the community. Visit its website here.
This award from Knight is separate from a $105,000 one-year grant it made to MinnPost in December, part of which was used for the hiring of a Washington correspondent.
“On behalf of the entire MinnPost community — staff, contributing journalists, volunteers, donors, and readers — I thank both Knight and the Minneapolis Foundation for their support of our work to sustain high-quality, professional regional journalism,” said Joel Kramer, MinnPost’s CEO and Editor.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, based in Miami, promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change. Visit the foundation here.
For a full list of winners of the Knight Community Information Challenge grants and their projects, click here.