Knight Foundation Advised Fund

The Community Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have long been philanthropic partners in the Columbia community.






Knight invests in civic innovators who help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of engagement.

The Knight Foundation believes that the design of places plays an outsize role in achieving these goals.

  • Knight invests in civic innovators using places to attract and keep talented people – as there is no better indicator of a city’s economic success then the percentage of college-educated people in its population.
  • Knight invests in civic innovators using places to expand opportunity for all – by creating places where people of diverse backgrounds can connect across economic divides and which support the way people work in today’s economy.
  • Knight invests in civic innovators using places to accelerate civic engagement – because cities will only succeed when people feel responsible for actively shaping the future of their communities.  

Knight Foundation has invested more than $841 million in community initiatives since its creation in 1950. The Knight Foundation wants their national network of learning to inspire the actions of residents in each of our communities and help build a better democracy and a successful future. 

Knight City Challenge 

What is your best idea to make cities more successful?

The Knight Cities Challenge seeks new ideas from innovators who will take hold of the future of our cities. Knight Foundation accepts applications for this challenge each Fall. For more information, visit

Knight Foundation Projects

The Knight Foundation frequently collaborates with Central Carolina Community Foundation to fund a variety of projects in the city. Read below to learn about current projects.

Public Life Public Space Survey

The Knight Foundation is providing funding for the City of Columbia conduct a Public Life Public Space survey in collaboration with Gehl Studio. The survey focuses on the Columbia areas of the Bull Street Development, the Historic District, Downtown Main Street, The Vista and the riverfront and will create a framework plan and portfolio of project proposals to encourage residents to interact with each other in public spaces.

Click the links below to read press coverage about this grant:

Photos from Gehl Studio's September 2015 visit to Columbia: 

Gehl Studio Visits Columbia

   Gehl Visits Columbia

Stories of Philanthropy