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Knight Community Info Challenge: connecting the dots to community engagement

by: Amy Gahran |

There's less than two weeks to go until the June 1 application deadline for this year's Knight Community Information Challenge. How have the projects already funded through this program spurred community engagement?

Recently FSG surveyed more than 50 community foundations that have sponsored local news and information projects in the first five years of the Challenge. Some highlights from the survey findings:

  • 66% reported increased community engagement on issues of concern to the foundations.
  • 74% said KCIC projects helped their community become more informed, spurred more media attention to local issues, and encouraged greater collaboration on community issues.

For instance, in Alexandria, Va., ACT for Alexandria created an online town hall which prompted online discussion. The local Democratic party ended up using questions from the town hall in its final primary debate. And the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan's transportation-focused project Mode Shift contributed to the creation of a community group to establish local bike pump and flat repair stations, as well as greater citizen participation in community gatherings about developing bike programs.

Amy Gahran

Amy Gahran is a journalist, editor, trainer, entrepreneur, strategist, and media consultant based in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to writing
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