John Bracken to Direct Knight Foundation’s Digital Media Grants
June 4, 2010

As Director of New Media, Bracken will work to advance informed and engaged communities through media innovation and quality journalism.

He will lead the foundation's Knight News Challenge, an international contest to find innovative ideas that use digital platforms to help inform local communities.

"John is already a leading digital media grant maker," said Eric Newton, vice president of Knight Foundation's journalism program. "His work will only grow in impact as all news organizations seek to invent or reinvent themselves for the digital age." “In a world of constant technological and social change, it’s essential that we fund a wide range of experiments that will help point the way we will share and use information in this democracy,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation.  “Only by intense experimentation and staying open to new trends and ideas can we hope to sustainably provide communities with the information they need to function in an open society.”

GSMA Announces Seven New Grant Recipients from the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme
June 4, 2010

The GSMA announced the details of a further seven grantees from the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund, which is administered by the GSMA Foundation, Inc., with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New grantees are Cellcard in Cambodia, Digicel in Fiji, Orange in West Africa, Safaricom in Kenya, Tata Indicom in India, Telenor in Pakistan, and Tigo in Africa.

“Just 15 months after we first announced the launch of the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme we are proud to announce that all funds have been committed in support of mobile money deployments across the globe,” said Gavin Krugel, Director GSMA. “Projects were chosen on their ability to deliver, speed of delivery, scale and sophistication. Between now and the end of 2011 millions of consumers are expected to directly benefit from mobile money services launched with the support of the Fund – that is 170 million customers at the base of the economic pyramid and who previously lacked access to financial services, from 19 operators in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.”

Race to the Top Competition Offers Lessons for Grantmaker and Government Collaborations
June 2, 2010

New York, NY — June 2, 2010. The nation's foundation community has provided critical financial and technical support to states applying for the first round of the U.S. Department of Education's "Race to the Top" education reform competition. Yet according to Race to the Top: What Grantmakers Can Learn from the First Round, released today by the Foundation Center, the success of future collaborations will depend on government including grantmakers in the development of new policies and grantmakers being engaged, long-term partners in the process.

Under the auspices of the Foundations for Education Excellence initiative, the Foundation Center conducted interviews in March and April 2010 with foundation staff, education consultants, and government leaders who had guided the first-round application process in nine states. Key findings from these interviews include:

Walmart Foundation Launches Solar School Program With $1.2 Million Grant
June 1, 2010

CHICAGO, Ill. – May 24, 2010The Walmart Foundation today announced a $1.2 million dollar donation to the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to install solar panels on 20 schools in five cities across the country. The five cities taking part in the program are Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle.

“The Walmart Solar School program will help educate the next generation on the opportunities and benefits of using more renewable energy,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “This program aligns perfectly with Walmart’s sustainability commitment to involve our communities and customers in our environmental and social efforts.”

$45 Million Match Is Pledged
May 28, 2010

Michelle Obama on Thursday announced that five foundations — the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Skoll Foundation, the Open Society Institute and the Benificus Foundation — would provide a total of $45 million to match the money the government plans to grant to nonprofit groups through its Social Innovation Fund, which will help expand social programs that have proven successful. More than 20 other foundations and organizations will provide an additional $5 million so that the fund will have $100 million, half in federal money, to award beginning in July.

NeighborWorks America Receives $1 Million Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation
May 25, 2010

Washington, D.C. — NeighborWorks America today announced that it received $1 million from The Rockefeller Foundation in support of infrastructure development and upgraded technical support for nonprofit housing counseling organizations. The grant will help to strengthen and supplement nonprofit housing counseling capacity and increase their efficiency and ability to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Hewlett Foundation Awards Over $84 Million in New Grants Through Six Grantmaking Programs
May 24, 2010

MENLO PARK, Calif. – From increasing childhood literacy in India to helping improve the air quality in California's Central Valley, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced over $84 million in new grants to 199 organizations.

Organizations receiving grants ranged across the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world in the Foundation's six primary areas of grantmaking: global development, education, performing arts, philanthropy, the environment, and population. The Foundation also made select grants for special projects. Among the highlights of the grants awarded this spring are:

Grant Lets ‘Frontline’ Expand PBS Programming
May 21, 2010

At a time when many news organizations are cutting back, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is continuing its efforts to bolster in-depth journalism in public media. The corporation said on Tuesday that it was giving “Frontline” a $6 million, two-year grant that would allow it to expand its investigative programming to a year-round schedule on PBS stations.

The money, plus an additional $1.6 million that is still being raised, will pay for seven to eight new programs each year, so the 28-year-old show will no longer have to take a summer hiatus. The expansion was announced in Austin, Tex., at PBS’s annual meeting.

Promise Neighborhoods Program Is Officially Off the Ground
May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010, Chronicle of Philanthropy The Department of Education officially started the Promise Neighborhoods program, inviting applications for $10 million in grants to plan comprehensive antipoverty projects in urban neighborhoods, rural areas, or tribal communities.

The department said it would award up to 20 one-year grants of between $400,000 and $500,000 for projects modeled after Harlem Children's Zone, a charity program that offers educational and social services to help poor children from birth to college in a nearly 100-block area in New York.

The application deadline is June 25, and grants will be awarded by September.

Foundations See 'Moment of Opportunity' to Improve Schools
April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010, Chronicle of Philanthropy Twelve foundations announced today they plan to spend $506-million this year on grants designed to bolster a new $650-million federal grant program to expand innovative school-improvement projects.

"We see this as a real moment of opportunity for the country," said Michelle Cahill, a vice president at Carnegie Corporation of New York, which is coordinating the effort along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant makers said in a statement they have also created an online registry to make it easier for groups to apply for, and share information about, the new federal program, known as the Investing in Innovation, or "i3," program.