The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will shell out $3.14 million in matching grants to 19 local foundations as part of its Knight Community Information Challenge, which is aimed at helping those groups to meet local information needs.

A recent survey by the Knight Foundation found that one-half of the local foundations that responded had invested a total of $165 million in local information.

Knight Foundation president and CEO Alberto Ibargüen said:

These foundations are at the front line of an increasing movement of place-based foundations to improve the information health of America’s communities. Their work helps residents have the information they need to make important decisions about their communities. Ultimately, our democracy will only thrive if we have informed and engaged communities.

Vice president for communities Trabian Shorters added:

As local information sources have thinned, community and place-based foundations are taking a leadership role in ensuring communities continue to be informed and engaged.