Foundations Deepen Partnership to Advance an “Informed and Engaged” Charlotte

Knight Foundation Commits Up to $5 million to Foundation for the Carolinas to Increase Local Impact

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today that it will invest up to $5 million in an endowed fund to foster an “informed and engaged” Charlotte over the next seven years through Foundation for the Carolinas.

The effort is part of Knight Foundation’s national $70 million Community Foundations 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 $5 million to a permanent endowment fund during this initiative. Grants made from the gains of this fund are intended to serve the Charlotte community indefinitely.

"Keeping community members informed and helping them stay engaged are critical to creating the kind of Charlotte we all want to live in," said Michael Marsicano, CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas.  "We are very lucky to have Knight Foundation doing this important work in our community.”

“Knight Foundation is privileged to have such a strong partner as Foundation for the Carolinas in its community-building efforts,” said Susan Patterson, Knight program director for Charlotte.

Nonprofits in Charlotte seeking Knight funding should contact Patterson at 704-973-4566, or email her at

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.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About Foundation for the Carolinas
Foundation For The Carolinas is a nonprofit community foundation serving donors and a broad range of charitable purposes in North and South Carolina. With assets of $780 million, the foundation encourages and makes possible philanthropic giving by individuals of all means to benefit their communities. Visit

Contact: Marc Fest, Vice President of Communications, Knight Foundation,
(305) 908-2677,

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit