My-Issue-Communities-Map-2010.JPGNew York, January 31, 2010 - Last year 1,200 applications were submitted to the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge grant and we were one of 50 finalists. They funded 9 applications, most regrettably, not ours.

This year we submitted an application entitled Issue-Communities and are delighted to announce that we have been selected to enter round two. Our proposal promises to empower residents to create “Issue-Communities” reflecting areas of interest or concern. User generated web maps will enable the creation of self selected and narrowly focused Issue-Communities that will, ipso facto, engage their creators in the identification and resolution of local issues.

This year’s application differs from 2009’s in that it requires those claiming their projects will be ongoing to explain the business model. We proposed offering a publishing partner with exclusive access to Issue-Community activities for  a limited period in exchange for operating assistance. Let us know what you think of this.

Our proposal can currently be found on the Knight Foundation’s site. There you can comment on our proposal and give it a rating (we suggest giving 5 stars unless you can hack the site and give 6 or more).

For the longer term, we’ve also created a wiki page where our application can be found, and where we will provide updates on our News Challenge grant application.

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

idealist-org.0.JPGNew York, January 27, 2010 - One of the better public interest websites is in deep trouble If you’re not familiar with it take a look now.

Idealist has always been a great place for those looking for help with civic and community issues, for jobs, events, and a lot more. We regularly post notices of our meeting there. Idealist receives most of its income from these job notices and got hit hard by the recession. Today I received a note from Ami Dar, its founder, which said:

“Very briefly, here’s what happened. Over the past ten years, most of our funding has come from the small fees we charge organizations for posting their jobs on Idealist. By September 2008, after years of steady growth, these little drops were covering 70% of our budget.

Then, in October of that year, the financial crisis exploded, many organizations understandably froze their hiring, and from one week to the next our earned income was cut almost in half, leaving us with a hole of more than $100,000 each month.”

If you can help please go to and do so.

Tom Lowenhaupt

Filed January 27th, 2010 under Volunteers