Informed Communities - Gates Family Foundation

INFORMED COMMUNITIES

Informed, engaged communities are vital to democracy and key to addressing a wide range of critical challenges facing our state. The absence of trusted, local news and information undermines civic participation and prevents important issues and powerful institutions from receiving the scrutiny they require. As traditional sources of local news – particularly newspapers – have declined dramatically over two decades, in-depth coverage of vital civic issues statewide has lagged. Social media has filled this vacuum, fueling mis- and disinformation, discord, and polarization promoted by algorithms to drive clicks and profits.

Gates Family Foundation is committed to supporting community-based newsrooms and promising new ventures in Colorado that are building a more diverse, fertile, and sustainable local news and civic information ecosystem. We support public-service journalism and communications that serve historically ignored communities and provide platforms for underrepresented storytellers. We work to fill civic news gaps in our core focus areas by supporting organizations that report on urgent issues in education, natural resources, and community development.

HOW WE SUPPORT INFORMED COMMUNITIES

Strategic Grants

Foundation staff work closely with a diverse group of community development partners to initiate and support projects that advance the strategic priorities and goals listed above. See our strategic partners in informed communities here. If you think your project or organization might be a fit for our Informed Communities program, we encourage you to contact a team member below. READ MORE

Capital Grants

Two times a year, we accept applications for our capital grants program. Informed Communities projects that qualify include capital infrastructure projects that support local newsrooms, or renovation of buildings that enhance a community’s ability to convene important civic conversations. See a list of our recent capital grants for informed communities here. READ MORE

Impact Investments

We put the Foundation’s endowment dollars to work through mission-aligned investments to support informed communities. Examples include a low-interest loan to help The Colorado Sun expand its membership and service to reach more communities statewide, and a loan guarantee to help keep 24 Colorado Community Media local news properties in local hands. READ MORE

INFORMED COMMUNITIES TEAM

Gates’ staff members bring an array of experiences and talents to work with our partners and communities.