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Knight Neighborhood Challenge Grant Guidelines

A project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Final Deadline was June 30, 2014.  The final round of grants will be announced on Ocotber 16, 2014.

Who can apply?
Businesses, non-profit organizations, government entities, and individuals can apply to the challenge.

Grant Size
To ensure that creativity is not impeded, there is not a minimum or maximum grant size.  

Application Deadlines & Award Dates
The final application deadline was 5:00 pm on June 30, 2014.  Grants will be announced no later than 3 months following the application deadline.  PLEASE NOTE:  To be able to access the online application, you must have a User ID and Password for our website.  To sign up for a User ID and password, click here.  Once your request is approved and you are able to log in, you will see the link for the online application in the left hand navigation panel of the KNC section of our website.

KNC Application Review Process
CFCG staff will perform due diligence on all KNC grant applications following the grant deadline.  The College Hill Corridor Commission will review the applications and give their input to CFCG in an advisory capacity.  The CFCG Grants Committee will take into account the input of the College Hill Corridor Commission Members and make the recommendations for the Knight Neighborhood Challenge grants.  The proposed grants from CFCG’s grants committee will be presented to the CFCG full Board of Directors for final approval.  The KNC grants will be announced within three months of the application deadline.

Successful KNC Applications

Successful projects will respond to community needs and opportunities within the five areas identified in the College Hill Alliance Master Plan. They will be programmatic in nature, will have a well developed plan for sustainability, will involve teamwork, will be citizen-led and will be inclusive. They may not be political or discriminatory.

  •  The Basics: Clean, Safe, and Branded — Ensure that College Hill is clean and safe and perceived that way by local residents, downtown workers, and visitors alike.
  •  The Vibe: College Town Cool — Make College Hill the center of creative expression by infusing the streets and buildings with arts and events that encourage Mercer students and faculty to engage with the public.
  •  The Connection: Cooling the Streets — Encourage walking and bicycling, slow the traffic down, and restore priority and space on the roads to users other than cars.
  •  The Environment: A City within a Park — Re-plant and re-seed the Corridor to bring back the “City within a Park” ideal, which exemplifies Macon’s commitment to the environment and strategically improves and connects open spaces.
  •  The Look: Macon’s Urban and Historic Center — Match the physical experience of the Corridor with the ideal of a diverse and historic intown community while protecting the character of historic and established neighborhoods.

The intent of the challenge is to provide start-up funding to encourage one-time projects related to changing the face of the neighborhood or programming initiatives to increase community participation in the neighborhood.  Grant funds should NOT be used to build infrastructure (ie: roads, sidewalks), for land or building acquisition or commercial development, for building purchases, or to support on-going staff salaries or administrative overhead. 

Geographic Restrictions
All project ideas must take place within the geographic boundaries of the Corridor, as stated by the Knight Neighborhood Challenge.  The College Hill Corridor area is defined as the area to the East of I-75, which is bounded by the following streets: I-75 to Riverside Drive to New Street to Pine Street to First Street to Little Richard Penniman Blvd/Mercer University Drive.
Click here to see the map of College Hill Corridor as it relates to eligibility for Knight Neighborhood Challenge applications.

Project Budget Summary
Every grant application should include a project budget summary that includes all revenue sources, including in-kind, (requested, pending & received) and all expenses for the project.

How to Apply
First you must apply for a User ID and Password for our website.  Once your registration has been approved, you can log in to our website, and you will see the link to the Online Application in the left hand navigation of the KNC section.  When you complete the online application form, including attaching all electronic documents, click submit.  Use the list below to ensure that you’ve included all the required documents when preparing your application.

Required Attachments

  •  Completed Online Application Form (ALL APPLICANTS)
  •  Project Budget Summary (ALL APPLICANTS)
  •  Organization’s Annual Operating Budget (Organization Applicants Only)
  •  Most recent financial statement, audit or completed IRS form (Organization Applicants Only)
  •  Photo, sketch or video clip.

Late, faxed, hard copy, hand-delivered or incomplete applications will NOT be considered.  Please do not include any other forms or information other than what is required as outlined below.  Applicants will be contacted if more information is needed.

Technical Difficulties or Questions?
Only online applications will be accepted.  If you have problems or need assistance completing the application, please contact the Community Foundation at (478) 750-9338 or