Knight Foundation Fund for Gary, Indiana

Knight Foundation supports democracy in America by fostering informed, engaged, and equitable communities. The foundation invests in journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of 26 cities and towns where John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. In 18 communities, the Foundation has endowments in the local community foundation and serves as the donor advisor.

Knight Foundation views local community foundations as both important partners in sourcing ideas for our strategic grantmaking, and leaders and conveners in each Knight community. We seek to be a funder of opportunities for the future of each community and seek to build upon local momentum, assets, and resources – often focused geographically in the downtown core. We are open to prototyping new ideas to support local leaders and organizations.

Grant Focus – Talent attraction and retention through downtown revitalization and blight reduction

Knight supports Gary’s goals for talent attraction and retention, economic opportunity in the downtown and nearby communities, and mitigating the population loss. We invest in this core city vibrancy by supporting entrepreneurship, creative solutions for blight reduction and places that bridge economic divides.


Tactics leveraged:

  • Building on Assets: better connecting the community to key assets like universities, corporations, or nature.
  • Public Spaces: enhancing the public realm to be more connected and vibrant.
  • Civic Engagement: breaking down barriers between residents and decision makers; engaging underrepresented communities in civic life and leadership roles.

Knight Foundation Grant Opportunity

Organizations interested in applying for a Knight Foundation grant should submit a letter of interest to Legacy Foundation at

Eligibility and Criteria

  • Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization OR government entity (such as schools, hospitals, libraries)
  • In good standing with the IRS
  • Projects that are geographically focused on Gary, Indiana
  • Projects focusing on downtown Gary (the area around 5th and Broadway) will be given priority for Knight Funding

Ineligible Applicants and Projects Include:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses/For-Profit Companies
  • Inherently religious activities such as religious worship, instruction, or proselytization or activities that promote specific religious doctrine
  • Associations for activities directly benefiting their members
  • Requests for partisan political or lobbying activities
  • Fundraising
  • Debt
  • Capital Campaigns or endowment building
  • Medical research

Award Amount:
Organizations can request up to $100,000.

How to Apply:
Submit letters via email to for review. Questions regarding Knight Foundation grant priorities and guidelines may be directed to Kelly Baer at or 219-736-1880.