Knight Cities Challenge

kccThe Knight Cities Challenge is now accepting applications that address the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? From a pool of $5 million, we’re looking to award funding at the city, neighborhood and block level, and all sizes in between.

Knight Foundation is hoping to attract a wide variety of applications from: activists, architects, artists, block captains, city officials, designers, educators, entrepreneurs, hackers, institutions, nonprofits, organizations, planning professionals, restaurant owners, social workers—everyone is welcome.

The challenge has just two rules:

  1. A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place or benefit one or more of the 26 communities where Knight invests
  2. The idea should address one or more of three drivers of city success:
  • Talent: Does your idea help cities attract and retain talented people?
  • Opportunity: Does your idea help improve economic prospects and break down divides between people of different incomes and between workers and today’s economy?
  • Engagement: Does your idea encourage people to connect with their community and inspire them to become more involved in shaping its future?

Applying to the challenge is simple. The initial application asks just three primary questions about your project that should be answered in 100 words or less. If you would like to learn more about the Knight Cities Challenge, please attend an in-person community event in Fort Wayne. It will be held on Wednesday, October 7th at 3 pm at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne (555 E. Wayne Street); RSVP here .

To enter the challenge or for more information, go to and answer a few questions between October 1st through October 27th. For more information, follow @knightfdn and #knightcities on Twitter for updates and please help us spread the word.

The Knight Foundation wants to hear from you. Carol Coletta Vice President for Community and National Initiatives, will be on reddit’s Ask Me Anything on Oct. 2, answering your questions about city innovation, the Knight Cities Challenge and Knight Foundation — so come by and ask.  To join, go to on Friday Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. ET and click on the thread titled “I’m Carol Coletta, VP for Community and National Initiatives at Knight Foundation. AMA about how to make cities more successful, the Knight Cities Challenge, the Foundation and everything else.”

Meet the Funders 2015: October 14

2015 Meet the Funders: Focus on Health

Wednesday October 14

Registration now open

Register here to attend.
Seating is limited for the forum portion and the event fills up quickly.

Funder panel
9:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.
ACPL Theater

  • No limit on organization’s attendees for this portion.
  • Invite board members or additional staff to the panel to learn more about the grant-making process and funder-as-partner relationship

Forum sessions
10:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
ACPL meeting rooms, with limited seating

  • Strictly limited to 2 representatives per agency
  • Four foundations participating including:
    • AWS
    • Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
    • The Lutheran Foundation
    • St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
  • Registration required to attend the forum portion. 
  • Limited seating means registration fills quickly. Sign up today!

What is Meet the Funders?

Meet the Funders is our biggest and most popular annual event to give you the opportunity to learn local funders’ giving guidelines and updates. This is your chance to Meet the Funders.

Learn more at our Meet the Funders FAQ

The Dreaded Paperwork

Elise KordisThe water kept coming into the basement. Water rolling in like waves. The rains and subsequent flooding were heavy that day, so I’ve been told.

The building was over 100 years old, a former dry goods store turned history museum. Many of the old records were stored in the basement. As a result of the flooding, records were put in new boxes and hauled up to the main floors. Other records were stored at the old courthouse on the top floor. Many of those records had significant damage due to the soot and other elements.

For years the records sat. When I came to the museum, it was one of my goals to organize and preserve old records in the best practices and to create a policy on data management. We started with one record at a time.

The action plan was to first assess the damage and how to best store documents. We then did minor conservation and stored the documents using the best practices. The third step was to digitize and data entry. This was no small feat. There were thousands of records, a good portion of them were duplicates however. To my knowledge, this project has not yet been completed.

Organizing these records was not “just for fun.” These records told the story of the organization, almost 100 years of information. The documents held the little “secrets,” the institutional knowledge. They were imperative to the history of the museum (meeting notes, curators, exhibitions, notes about objects, and many more pieces of data).

Not only were old records disorderly, the “newer” records were out of shape too. In the 1980s the museum moved into one building. Records were scattered and not refiled (not that I blame staff as through out the museum’s history the most employed at one time was 3 full time and 2 part time people all managing a 33,000 square feet space and a collection of about 150,000). As we were working on the old records, I began to think about the newer records. I had spent much time trying to figure out where paperwork was filed, such as where was that grant paperwork from 10 years ago? Or what happened to the visitor logs? Or what did we do for our annual festival years back? Or where were our budgets or other financial statements?

These questions and others prompted me to assess the “newer” records and organize the data in a way that could be easily accessible. All the paperwork was there, it just needed some sorting. Just like the old records, I started one folder at a time. My office was never clean. I had piles everywhere! Low and behold, the project was completed. We learned a lot in the process, facts about the museum, practices, exhibits, funding, etc.

Now this isn’t a story of what was accomplished at the museum, but a word to the wise.

  1. Place documents in a safe environment.
  2. Keep important records such as those documenting the history of your organization.
  3. Develop a data management plan or a records retention plan.

It is a lengthy and time consuming process if you start from scratch; however, it is well worth the effort! It also doesn’t matter the age of the organization. It is easier to start now than go through episodes with mother nature and moves.


Resources for Record keeping

Records Management for Nonprofits

Grant Space

Record Keeping for Nonprofits Fact Sheet

ARMA International – Association of Records Managers and Administrators

IRS – Source is in context for businesses; however, useful for nonprofits.

EEOC – Source is for employment record keeping.

Federal Records Management Handbook

10 Step Guide for Records Management

Record Retention Guide

Sample Document Retention and Destruction Policy

26th Annual Conference on Youth

Allen Superior Court’s Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES is getting ready to host its 26th Annual Conference on Youth!


The flagship training for Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES is the Annual Conference on Youth. The Annual Conference on Youth emerged from Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division’s desire to ensure that all agencies working with children and families operated with the same strengths-based philosophy the court espoused. This yearly training, funded in part by a grant from Foellinger Foundation, brings in top professionals in the field of youth and family services to train area workers on strengths-based practices.

The 26th Annual Conference on Youth features three keynote speakers and a variety of workshop topics. The conference includes a service provider fair, showcasing area agencies and services, and opportunities to network with other youth and family serving professionals. This year’s theme is Nurturing the Whole Child: Mind, Body & Spirit. Continue reading

Meet Our New Intern, Katrina

Hello World,

My name is Katrina and I’m the new PCNRC intern. I graduated in May of 2015 from Ball State University with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. Katrina Pieri for wordpressI’m looking forward to this amazing opportunity to learn more about how nonprofits function. I plan on working in the nonprofit field throughout my life. This may involve working directly for a nonprofit, volunteering, or perhaps even starting my own nonprofit.

I’m also particularly excited to be working at the library because my second career goal is to become a published novelist.* As the daughter of a librarian, I spent many years growing up listening to my father read Harry Potter (and other books, though mainly Harry Potter) and attempting to write my own magical stories.

Besides reading (as you might guess) and writing, I also have a great passion for traveling. So far, I’ve been to Italy, Germany, China, and Vietnam, in that order. I’ve also been to Canada, but it seems no one ever counts poor Canada when listing off countries in this fashion. I have a rather lofty goal of visiting every country in the world. It’s been done before and it can certainly be done again.

For anyone reading this, I hope to meet you in person sometime, whether you visit the PCNRC to utilize our resources or attend one of our upcoming programs!

*Cue jokes about how we all know someone who is ‘writing a novel.’