Knight Foundation Offers $5 Million to Realize Ideas to Improve Cities Across the United States

The Knight Cities Challenge seeks new ideas from innovators who will take hold of the future of our cities. From a pool of $5 million we’re awarding grants at the city, neighborhood and block levels—and all sizes in between. No project is too small, so long as the idea is big. We are looking for new ideas on how cities can attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement. Ideas can come from anywhere and not just the usual sources. Anyone with a new idea and a plan to execute it is welcome.

How do I apply?

The challenge is open for applications from Monday, October 10 until Thursday, November 3 at noon E.T. You can submit your application on You don’t have to be a professional grant writer to apply but you should be ready with a plan to make your idea a reality. We’re looking for projects big and small that can have wide impact. Tell us how you would help your city, your neighborhood, or your block succeed. The initial application asks just three primary questions about your project that should be answered in 100 words or less.

What are the rules?

1) Your project must take place in or benefit one or more of the 26 Knight communities. They include:

2) Your idea must focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunity, and creating a culture of robust civic engagement.
Read more at the Knight Cities Challenge homepage, in the FAQ section, or by attending one of our online or community events.

This funding opportunity announcement is from the Illinois Tech Fund Searching Services Team (FSST).


Per Illinois Tech policy, all grant applications (federal and non-federal) must be reviewed, signed and submitted by the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs regardless of the amount of the request. Complete your routing sheet as soon as possible via Cayuse SP. The Cayuse SP link is found under the Research Tab in the myIIT portal. Contact or call at 312.567.3035 for more information on submitting a proposal.