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24 02, 2017

The Knight Foundation asks-How Can Foundations Meet Information Needs?

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HOW CAN FOUNDATIONS MEET INFORMATION NEEDS? NEW LAB SEEKS ANSWERS

COMMUNITIES / ARTICLE

FEBRUARY 12, 2017 BY LILLY WEINBERG AND MICHELLE HUTTENHOFF

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The paradox of trying to be a good citizen in 2017 is that we are inundated with information, and yet it is still hard to be well-informed on local issues. It’s not something to take lightly. Whether we care about our schools, the environment or criminal justice reform, we all need quality news and information to make the best decisions about what happens at city hall, in our neighborhoods, and on our blocks.

As a foundation that believes informed and engaged communities are the key to a healthy democracy, we know we have more work to do.

That’s why today we are excited to announce a new opportunity for community and place-based foundations to help meet local information needs. We’re looking for four foundations to join us for the Knight Community Information Lab, an 18-month experience to use the tools of human-centered design to define and fill local information gaps.

The key here is that during the lab, these foundations will be designing not just for, but with their community – so that residents are co-creating a long-term information solution to help people be more informed about and engaged in issues they care about.

The Knight Community Information Lab is years in the making, part of a journey that began in 2008 when the disruption in media became apparent, and Knight sought out local champions for news and information. The Knight Community Information Challenge encouraged community and place-based foundations to take a leadership role in this area, and offered matching grants to them for news and information projects. It ended up being one of Knight’s largest investments. Over several years, the program provided more than $20 million for 88 projects on digital literacy, the first generation of online local news start-ups and more.

The challenge successfully raised awareness, motivation and experimentation for foundations around local information needs. However, the challenge was less effective at reorienting foundations to make local information needs an integral part of their work and ongoing funding.

And today we know that the disruption in the media industry isn’t ending, but rather accelerating.

The Knight Community Information Lab is looking to address these issues by building long-term solutions that get to the heart of a community’s information gaps. We aren’t funding projects, at this point. We’re providing $65,000 to the selected foundations to go through a series of workshops, led by design thinking strategist Judy Lee Haworth.

This video can tell you more about that process:

Knight tested this process over the past few years, with four other foundations, and it was extremely successful. We both attended the workshops and watched the evolution of these foundations’ projects first hand, as they went from the research to prototype stages. Along, the way, we made an important realization: that what is being designed matters less than how it is designed. The solution can be a product or a program, or something else entirely. But the way the creators listen, understand and work with people to develop ideas and solutions around information needs is much more important.

Typically, when an organization develops a project, they skip right to the “ideation” phase, and start throwing out ideas and suggestions. However, there are several steps before this point that are critical in developing successful projects. The foundations learned to rethink the design process. They went through a research and discovery period to widen their knowledge on a specific issue they wanted to address and then designed for it in a creative, experimental way.

Today, we’re delighted to say we’re also investing an additional $1 million in those foundations — Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Incourage Community Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust — to continue their work. We’re calling them the Knight Community Information Ambassadors.

Each will receive $250,000 in matching grants, and will continue to apply the human-centered design principles as they move forward while also working together as cohort.

Here’s what the foundations will do:

Chicago Community Trust will build upon its learning around the importance of community data, and putting people first when building civic tech solutions. For this next cohort, they will host “Social Labs,” where Chicago residents will come together to explore and design solutions to alleviating the systemic issues of racism and inequality. The labs will be based on data collected through the Trust’s annual community engagement initiative, On The Table.

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation will expand its successful work helping small New Jersey news outlets better engage the public. Dodge will support creative news and information projects that invite residents, and local institutions – from libraries to governments and grassroots organizations – to be part of the process and inspire them to take action.

Incourage Community Foundation’s original project worked along side community members to determine the future of a newspaper building – once a symbol of pride for this former paper town, but now a derelict building. Moving forward, Incourage will work alongside those same residents to design a new, interactive format for a community indicators report, one that offers real-time, actionable information about their small, Wisconsin city that residents can use to make decisions.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has experimented with local, ethnic media with a reporting project around the education policy Common Core. At the same time, the foundation realized in order for this work to be successful, they needed to use human-centered design to integrate news and information into their programmatic work. Now, the foundation will form a regional media collaborative of mainstream and ethnic outlets to work together, and engage the public in, investigative projects on housing affordability.

The news and media ecosystem is ever changing. We faced great disruption in 2008, and those forces are continuing to fundamentally reshape how we receive – or don’t receive – local news and information, how informed we are or aren’t. We look forward to launching this new initiative and seeing new ideas come forth as to how we can respond to the very real information gaps in our communities.

Learn more and apply to the Knight Community Information Lab. Attend a webinar March 1 to learn more.

Lilly Weinberg is Knight Foundation’s community foundations program director and Michelle Huttenhoff is the community foundations program associate.

22 02, 2017

2017 Dental Health & Emergency Aid Funding.

17 01, 2017

Policy Institute happening in Charleston January 26, 2017

 

 

This year, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, promises to bring big changes to both federal and state government. What can nonprofits expect and how do we join together to advocate for our sector and the people we serve?

Find out at our Third Annual Policy Institute: Critical Partnerships for West Virginia’s Future, in Charleston, presented by the West Virginia Nonprofit Association and Philanthropy WV. The Institute is designed to support and engage foundation and nonprofit staff members, board members, volunteers, and supporters in the legislative process. Whether you’re a public policy beginner or an advocacy expert, this program is geared to anyone with a desire to advocate for public policy issues that are of concern to your nonprofit, foundation, and community. This year’s agenda includes:

  • Featured keynote “What Do Changes in Washington Mean for West Virginia Nonprofits and Foundations?” from David Thompson, VP of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits.
  • Breakout sessions: Using Data to Tell Your Story, Advocacy and Lobbying 101, and Debriefing Successful Advocacy Efforts.
  • Networking lunches grouped by policy issue.
  • Panel discussion including leaders from the WV Senate, WV House of Delegates, and the Governor’s administration.

Third Annual Policy Institute:
Critical Partnerships for West Virginia’s Future

January 26, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:15 PM
WV State Capitol
Charleston, WV

WVNPA/Philanthropy WV Members $25
Nonmembers $50

 

Register Today
28 12, 2016

John Barry joins TGKVF as Chief Financial Officer

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation welcomes new Chief Financial Officer

John Barry started with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation in November, 2016. Prior to joining TGKVF, John had over 25 years in the banking industry assisting foundation, endowment and not for profit clients. He is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania and the Southern Trust School at Birmingham Southern University in Birmingham, Alabama. He also holds a FINRA Series 65 license. John is a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Charleston Estate Planning Council. Outside of work, John coaches girls lacrosse at Capital High School and is involved in U.S. Lacrosse.

22 12, 2016

Call for proposals

16 12, 2016

State of Working West Virginia 2016

State of Working West Virginia 2016

December 12, 2016 by and
West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy

swwv-cover-page-001A persistent question for those who pondered West Virginia’s fate is a simple: why, in a state rich in natural resources, are West Virginians so poor? For more than a century several explanations have been developed by natives and interested “outsiders.” Read full report.

This report, the ninth annual investigation of The State of Working West Virginia, comes at one of those times when national attention has been drawn to the state in the wake of the 2016 elections. In an even more unusual twist, much national discussion has focused around the conditions of our working class, an example of which is the surprise success of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. This analysis is an effort to cut through often overheated rhetoric and look at the available data and at historical trends.

Read more here.

15 12, 2016

The Clay Center receives funding

Photo courtesy of The Clay Center

Photo courtesy of The Clay Center

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences $250,000 (Special Initiative) The Clay Center has launched its revitalization and remodeling program, which will include a new interactive art sculpture and interactive art galleries. The downstairs space, which is currently called STEAMworks, will house a small city designed for kids. The city will have math, science and art-related features where children may explore various careers. Through this renovation, students will be in charge of their own learning, but teachers may adapt the activities to fit into the classroom. To support this revitalization project, a $250,000 grant will be disbursed over a five-year period (2017-2021).

“The Avampato Discovery Museum should be a resource for every West Virginia teacher and inspire a love of learning in every West Virginia student.” – Al Najjar, Clay Center, President & CEO

At its September 21, 2016 meeting, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of eighteen grants (18) totaling $864,570. Of that total, $614,570 will be disbursed over a one-year period and $250,000 will be disbursed over a five-year period.

Read more in the Foundation’s Fall 2016 newsletter here.

14 12, 2016

Keep Your Faith Corporation receives funding

Photo courtesy of Keep Your Faith Corporation

Photo courtesy of Keep Your Faith Corporation

Keep Your Faith Corporation $30,000 (West Side Initiative) Keep Your Faith Corporation seeks to expand its school garden efforts based at Mary C. Snow Elementary to all of its urban producers, including the community garden, SAGE, and “Produce Pedalers.” Through this grant, a permanent location for the West Side Farmers Market will be developed and children at Mary C. Snow will receive tokens to purchase produce that will be sold at the school. Funding will support an AmeriCorps VISTA, supplies for gardens, and the market development.

“The team is excited about this opportunity and ready to get to work.” – Dural Miller

At its September 21, 2016 meeting, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of eighteen grants (18) totaling $864,570. Of that total, $614,570 will be disbursed over a one-year period and $250,000 will be disbursed over a five-year period.

Read more in the Foundation’s Fall 2016 newsletter here.

13 12, 2016

Bob Burdette Center receives 3rd Q funding

Photo courtesy of  Bob Burdette Center

Photo courtesy of Bob Burdette Center

Bob Burdette Center $62,274 (West Side Initiative) Bob Burdette Center and the East End Family Resource Center will be offering full day programming to students from Mary C. Snow Elementary during school intercession breaks on the West Side of Charleston. The intercession programing will focus on STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education. At the end of each STREAM Break, the sites will host a STREAM Family Night. Funding will support salaries for teachers and staff and supplies for STREAM activities.

“Building relationships is critical not only to a child’s educational success but for life success.”

At its September 21, 2016 meeting, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of eighteen grants (18) totaling $864,570. Of that total, $614,570 will be disbursed over a one-year period and $250,000 will be disbursed over a five-year period.

Read more in the Foundation’s Fall 2016 newsletter here.

12 12, 2016

Recovery Point of Charleston receives 3rd Q funding

recovery-point-logo-final

Recovery Point of Charleston $12,500 (Basic Needs) Recovery Point of Charleston, a long-term, residential recovery program for women suffering from addiction, will be housed on Charleston’s West Side. Funding will be used to support the basic needs of homeless women seeking recovery.

“Recovery Point Charleston will serve 92 clients at no cost to them. Some basic needs are provided for our clients as they work to complete a structured, intensive 12 Step-based recovery program.” – Lara Lawson

At its September 21, 2016 meeting, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of eighteen grants (18) totaling $864,570. Of that total, $614,570 will be disbursed over a one-year period and $250,000 will be disbursed over a five-year period.

Read more in the Foundation’s Fall 2016 newsletter here.