The philanthropic arm of a nonprofit foundation headed by former Palo Alto mayor Judith Kleinberg has won a prestigious award for its grant making under her leadership.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation won the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Outstanding Foundation Grant Maker Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP). The award was given on Nov. 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara. The award is among the top five honors given by the AFP.
Kleinberg, who served on the Palo Alto City Council between 2000 and 2007 and was mayor in 2006, is now the Knight Foundation's program director for San Jose and Silicon Valley. Since joining in June 2010, she has helped the Silicon Valley branch take a regional approach. The Knight Foundation, which is headquartered in Florida and has a branch in San Jose, has a mission of "advancing journalism in the digital age."
Kleinberg said although she was singled out at the ceremony, she sees herself as a team member. And "my predecessors were phenomenal. I stand on their shoulders," she said.
The foundation focuses on grants in the areas of arts and culture and digital and media literacy and seeks ground breaking, innovative projects that move forward its commitment to new media development to help communities be better informed and engaged. More than $1 million has been given for each of three years, she said.
Grant recipients have included Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, Mexican heritage events in San Jose, interactive and children's cultural programming, the San Jose Symphony's Random Acts of Culture and the ZERO1 Art and Technology Network.
In the digital-literacy area, the foundation has funded innovative mentoring programs, a technology platform to help nonprofit organizations and will bring the World Wide Workshop game-design platform to Silicon Valley in 2012, where children learn game-design technology around civic issues. The program began in West Virginia and is now used in every school in that state to help bridge the digital divide.