The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $3 million grant to the Fund for Our Economic Future in support of the fund's efforts to encourage government efficiency and effectiveness in Northeast Ohio.
A portion of the grant will be used to increase participation in the fund's EfficientGovNow competition, which this year will award up to $330,000 to as many as four government collaboration projects proposed by area residents. The balance of the funds will be used to launch a social media effort designed to encourage residents of the sixteen-county region to learn about government issues of broad regional importance, form opinions and offer solutions for making local governance more effective across the region, and select policies to be advanced to local and state officials.
The Kent State University Foundation will act as fiscal agent for the grant, while the university's Center for Public Administration and Public Policy will help guide and evaluate the efforts to make local governments more efficient and effective.
"The citizens of Northeast Ohio recognize that the fragmented, costly system of local government that has evolved over the decades hurts our region's ability to compete in the global economy," said Fund for Our Economic Future chairman and George Gund Foundation executive director David Abbott. "They've consistently said they want to see the system changed. Our goal is to create a new way of engaging and empowering citizens to drive the changes that they determine will strengthen our communities and our region."