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Case Studies: How Four Community Information Projects Went from Idea to Impact

February 1, 2013

Making positive change happen in communities requires the free flow of quality information. We need it to achieve the results we want in education, public safety, environmental protection, youth development -- and just about any other issue that we care about. If the news and information environment is in trouble, so is civic life. Community and place-based foundations across the country are recognizing that, in an increasingly digital world, credible news and information are among the most powerful tools they have to spark community change. Over the five years of the Knight Community Information Challenge (KCIC), more than 80 foundations have invested in various media projects -- strengthening local and state reporting, encouraging citizen dialogue and supporting digital literacy skills -- to advance their goals for a better community.This report offers four case studies on how different foundations used information to improve the healthy functioning of their communities. The cases highlight the following: Why did each foundation support local media? How did it connect to their strategic priorities? What steps did they take to make their project successful? And what impact has it had on the issues they care about? Sharing these cases we hope provides valuable lessons for other foundations considering supporting local news and information efforts and broadening their commitment to using media and technology to engage residents.

Journalism, News, and Information

Collaboration and Connection: How Foundations Partner Effectively to Address Their Community's Information Needs

February 9, 2012

Offers examples and tips for partnering with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors on community news and information projects, including finding the right partner by assessing organizational capacity, community assets, compatibility, and structure.

Journalism, News, and Information

Knight Community Information Challenge: 2011 Evaluation Findings

February 8, 2012

Highlights, in slides, findings from an annual evaluation of the media and journalism grant program and progress in increasing community and place-based foundations' engagement with information needs and in creating more informed and engaged communities.

Journalism, News, and Information

Impact: A Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects

February 1, 2011

This guide aims to help organizations collect useful information about the effectiveness and impact of their community information projects by highlighting aspects of the evaluation process that are unique, challenging or critical in a community information context. It also describes and includes relevant and meaningful tools that can be used to assess community information projects. The guide is not meant to be a comprehensive how-to guide on evaluation; many books and resources on evaluation practice already exist elsewhere.

Journalism, News, and Information

The State of Funding to Address Community Information Needs Among Community Foundations

November 30, 2010

Updates the May 2010 report The State of Funding in Information and Media Among Community and Place-Based Foundations. Presents findings on trends in community foundation support for community information needs, types of projects, and barriers.

Journalism, News, and Information

Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders

September 30, 2010

Evaluates fifteen Web sites funded by the Knight Foundation's Community Information Challenge, including data on visits, unique visitors, page views, and bounce rates. Outlines how to set goals, align metrics, and implement analytics.

Journalism, News, and Information

The State of Funding in Information and Media Among Community and Place-Based Foundations

July 8, 2010

Highlights findings from a survey of foundations, including Knight Community Information Challenge applicants, on funding trends for local information and media projects, other supports, local information health, and strategies for community leadership.

Journalism, News, and Information

2011 Reports From the Field: Community and Place-Based Foundations and the Knight Community Information Challenge

February 25, 2010

Explores how Knight Community Information Challenge grantees are addressing community information needs and building capacity, to the benefit of both the communities and their own programming. Outlines approaches, lessons learned, and how to get started.

Reports From the Field: Place-Based Foundations and the Knight Community Information Challenge

February 23, 2010

Community and place-based foundations are in the midst of an incredible transformation. Their historic roles as fund managers or check writers primarily focused on local philanthropic assets, are evolving to becoming influential catalysts in their communities for social change: taking ownership of issues in their community, mobilizing multifaceted campaigns for change, and creating actionable knowledge for the larger field. These renaissance community and place-based foundation leaders know and engage with a wide circle of stakeholders involved in community issues of interest to them -- including those representing nonprofits, governments, donors, and community leaders among others. This report explores how, through the Knight Community Information Challenge, community and place-based foundations are incorporating community information needs into their work for the benefit of both their communities and foundation missions and strategies.

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