Knight Foundation Renews Fund Membership

by | Jan 10, 2011

Knight Foundation Renews Membership in Fund for Our Economic Future


$2 Million Gift will Support Work of the Fund in Northeast Ohio 


CLEVELAND–Jan. 10, 2011–The Fund for Our Economic Future has strengthened its efforts to bring more, higher-paying jobs to Northeast Ohio with a new $2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The foundation’s gift reaffirms its commitment to advancing the region’s economic competitiveness.


Knight Foundation and other Fund members work with the community to create systemic change in four areas: the region’s ability grow businesses, develop talent, be inclusive, and help local governments more efficiently and effectively govern.


“The Fund has been successful in engaging the region’s philanthropists to focus on transforming our region to a high growth economy,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for Knight Foundation. “Its ability to help leverage investment into the region had contributed to its success.”


“Knight Foundation has been a strong advocate and partner in shaping Northeast Ohio’s economic strategy since the Fund’s inception in 2004,” said Dave Abbott, chairman, Fund for Our Economic Future. “We are pleased that Knight Foundation has chosen to continue its support of the Fund and will continue to collaborate and attract and generate more jobs and investments in our region.”


The Fund is making strong progress in its mission to transform the economy of Northeast Ohio. Most significantly, the Fund has convened the region’s education, government, business, labor, and civic leaders to implement an economic action plan, Advance Northeast Ohio.


Formed in 2004, the Fund for Our Economic Future encourages and advances a regional competitiveness agenda (called Advance Northeast Ohio or ANEO) which will lead to long-term economic revitalization that strengthens our region’s core cities, encourages inclusion and enhances the region’s quality of life.


With the addition of Knight Foundation, there are 55 members of the Fund. Since 2004, the Fund has raised more than $70 million to support regional economic competitiveness initiatives.


“Knight Foundation’s renewal speaks to their long-standing commitment to and leadership in reinventing the Greater Akron community and Northeast Ohio,” said Fund President Brad Whitehead. “Through involvement in the Fund, Knight Foundation will continue to position the Greater Akron community as a leader in the new regional economy during this time of economic recovery.”


Akron is among 26 Knight Communities across the nation where Knight Foundation focuses on supporting projects that foster an informed and engaged community.


The Fund is collaborating with partners in the private and public sector to implement the region’s economic action plan, Advance Northeast Ohio. The plan has four focus areas:business attraction and growth, talent development, racial and economic inclusion and government collaboration and efficiency.


# # # ABOUT THE FUND FOR OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE The Fund for Our Economic Future is a collaboration of more than 100 foundations, organizations and philanthropists from across Northeast Ohio that strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness through grantmaking, public engagement and research.


ABOUT THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATIONThe 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