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John S. and James L Knight Foundation Named Outstanding Foundation

(April 13, 2010) For its extraordinary work in supporting journalism and communities across the United States, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is the recipient of the 2010 Award for Outstanding Foundation presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The award honors a foundation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and national, international and/or community involvement. The Knight Foundation will receive the honor on April 13, 2010, at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP's 47th International Conference on Fundraising in Baltimore.

Since 1950, the Knight Foundation has granted more than $1 billion, including nearly $400 million to advance quality journalism through partnering with more than 1,000 individuals and organizations, including media outlets, colleges and universities. Recently, the foundation has devoted $100 million to Media Innovation Initiatives, a program with the goal of helping to save journalism in the digital age.

The foundation has also supported 26 communities across the country (areas where the Knight family owned newspapers) with more than $639 million in grants to nonprofit partners. By assessing needs and customizing a unique approach for each community, the foundation is able to work with the most effective charities and invest in the arts, economic and workforce development, education and a variety of civic programs. In addition, the foundation supports the nurturing and support of strategic solutions to significant social problems through 169 national grants totaling over $110 million.

One example of the comprehensive nature of the foundation's work in a local community is Wichita, Ks. Over the past three years, the foundation has given millions in grants for work force development, including projects to inspire students to become interested in engineering, mentoring programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs, support to develop new cutting-edge medical device and the creation of an advised fund to support local charities and their work.

One of the key projects that the Knight Foundation has been closely involved with in recent years is leading the rebuilding efforts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The foundation has invested $11 million so far for a variety of efforts, including $1 million to the Red Cross and Salvation Army and $1 million to fund a community planning process to get residents involved, leverage additional resources and bring in experts to help the rebuilding process.

"While perhaps best known for its work in journalism, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has created an extraordinary charitable legacy that goes far beyond just journalism and has affected millions of people," said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. "There is no foundation more worthy of this honor, and AFP is humbled to be able to recognize it and its program with our Award for Outstanding Foundation." 

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents 30,000 members in 207 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to

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