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The Knight Foundation Responds to COVID-19

With the spread of COVID-19, we are at an unprecedented time in history. The Knight Foundation is responding in these uncertain times by continuing to support informed and engaged communities. They remain committed to supporting grantees and assisting with the emergency relief underway in the 26 American communities where Knight operates.

In Aberdeen, Knight has committed $225,000, which will be directed by the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation. These funds will focus on the Knight Foundation’s priorities including:

  • organizations that help inform and connect during the crisis;
  • relief support of previous grantees that are critical to the Knight strategy of downtown vibrancy and connectivity to Northern State University;
  • local technical support for small businesses and nonprofits to navigate State and Federal programs.

Organizations and activities focusing on these areas affected by the coronavirus may be eligible for relief funding. In addition, the AACF will utilize the funds to address critical needs not being met. The AACF is working with local nonprofits and providers to determine the utilization of these resources.

Contact the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation at this link with questions. 

The Knight Foundation-Aberdeen Fund focuses on identifying and working with partners to help Aberdeen attract and nurture talent, enhance opportunity and foster civic engagement. Investment opportunities through the Fund helps Aberdeen be more informed and engaged.

What we fund

In Aberdeen, the Knight Foundation supports the city's efforts to attract and retain talented people. The Knight Foundation Fund at the South Dakota Community Foundation supports Aberdeen's work in revitalizing its downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to accelerate talent attraction and retention. These grants focus on investments in Aberdeen’s core city vibrancy, better connecting Northern State University to the community – in particular the downtown – through smart design, entrepreneurship and the arts.

"Talent Retention" includes developing, attracting and retaining young talent in the community.

"Entrepreneurship" is investing in the spaces and events where innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and academics can collide and connect.

"Core-city vibrancy" is created through activities and gathering that represent the unique spirit of the community.


  • All applicants to Knight Foundation-Aberdeen Fund at the South Dakota Community Foundation must be a verified IRS 501c3 nonprofit corporation, authorized to do business in South Dakota. Collaborative, partnered or cross-cutting applications are specifically sought and encouraged.
  • Collaborative, cross-cutting or partnering proposals with qualified 501c3 organizations and others are encouraged.
  • At a minimum, the proposals should describe the proposed project and the applicants’ ability to deliver on the project.
  • A round of interviews, including a presentation, may be conducted before the final selection.
  • Grant amounts will not exceed $40,000 in one grant award, OR grant amounts will not be less than $10,000 if multiple grants are awarded.
  • Multiple grant years might be considered if the proposal is compelling. Multiple grant years are not guaranteed, however.

Through this Fund, the Knight Foundation prefers not to advise funding for the following:

  • Activities outside its stated areas of interests
  • Ongoing requests for general operating support, annual fundraising campaigns, fundraising dinners or operating deficits
  • Activities that normally are the responsibility of government 
  • Medical research, organizations or projects whose mission is to prevent, eradicate and/or alleviate the effects of specific diseases and requests from hospitals
  • Activities that propagate a religious faith or restricted to one religion or denomination, support of political candidates, and memorials
  • Programs or projects that take place outside of the United States or are conducted by organizations headquartered outside of the United States
  • A second request for a capital campaign for this the Knight Foundation previously approved a grant from its own funds or advised a grant from the Knight Fund at the Community Foundation


Grant applications should be submitted to Jamie Farmen at and Lilly Weinberg with the Knight Foundation at The grant application form can be found below.