The Nonprofit Sector: A Vital Economic Force in the MId-Hudson Valley

July 20, 2006

The Mid Hudson Valley’s nonprofits are most often recognized in their role as stewards of the community’s health and well being. Yet the economic role played by these disparate organizations—from the large institutions like colleges and hospitals to small social assistance agencies—is quite substantial.

The study, conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), analyzes the economic impact and economic profile of nonprofit organizations in seven Mid-Hudson Valley counties (Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, and Putnam).

The study was funded by the Dyson Foundation, whose Executive Vice President Diana Gurieva, explained that “the Foundation is committed to strengthening the nonprofit sector, and that commissioning this first-ever study was a key step in increasing the whole community’s understanding of the 1700 nonprofits located in our region.”

Highlights from the study findings include the following:
  • CGR estimates that the aggregate economic impact of nonprofits in the Mid Hudson Valley economy is about $6.5 billion, 14% of the total output of the region, analogous to “gross domestic product” or GDP at the national level.
  • Total employment attributable to the nonprofit sector (both direct and spillover impact) is also sizeable at about 89,000 jobs, about 23% of the approximately 384,000 wage and salary positions in the region.
  • Wage and salary income for the Mid Hudson Valley totals about $13 billion. The nonprofit sector, both directly and indirectly, contributes about $2.7 billion, about 21% of the wage and salary total.
  • CGR calculates that the nonprofit sector contributes about $109 million annually to NYS personal income tax receipts with an additional $39 million each in state and local sales tax.
  • Nonprofit institutions are particularly important in specific sectors. Combining the direct employment and payroll and the “spillover” impacts that result from the purchases of the institutions and employees, CGR estimates that nonprofits constitute 80% of total employment and payroll in the education and healthcare sectors.
  • Within the counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley, the range of dependence on the nonprofit sector is significant. At one extreme, nonprofit employment and payroll, both direct and spillover, constitutes only three percent of the total for Greene County, while more than one quarter of the Columbia County economy depends on the nonprofit sector.
“The results of this study illustrate the tremendous economic impact made on the Mid-Hudson Valley by the nonprofit sector”, said Anne Beaulieu, President and CEO of United Way of Dutchess County, “Non-profit organizations not only bring valuable services to their communities, but are also key stakeholders and considerable contributors to the overall economic well-being of the region.”

Andrea Reynolds, President of the Community Foundation of Dutchess County, said that “It is very important to have quantitative data about the role nonprofits play by being employers, purchasing supplies, equipment and services, and assisting in the spillover effect those activities have on our economy.” Not only do nonprofits improve our quality of life, they considerably enhance and strengthen the economy much like many parts of the for profit sector.

Based on a variety of sources including Internal Revenue Service filings, a survey of nonprofits, Dun & Bradstreet data, and information contributed by the study’s advisory committee of foundations, United Ways and economic development organizations, the study provides a robust picture of the nonprofit sector.

The study is being released throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley through the collective efforts of the United Ways, community foundations, and economic development agencies in the region (see accompanying Steering Committee list). This collaboration may be unprecedented, in bringing together this diverse, representative group of agencies to focus on the economic importance of this heretofore undervalued sector.

Anne N. Conroy, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, reacted to the study, saying that “…it offers a foundation in fact for what we believe: that nonprofit organizations are increasingly significant contributors to the economic stability and strength of Dutchess County and the entire Mid-Hudson Valley region. The dominance of this sector is clearly demonstrated by the study.”

The Dutchess County report on the Nonprofit Sector is being released by the Dyson Foundation, in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Dutchess County, the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, and the United Way of Dutchess County. Background information on each of these organizations, as well as CGR, accompanies this press release.

A complete copy of the report is available for downloading from the Dyson Foundation’s website at

For more information about this press release, contact:
Dyson Foundation, Diana M. Gurieva, (845) 790-6312
Community Foundation of Dutchess County, Andrea Reynolds, (845) 452-3077
Dutchess County Economic Development Corp, Anne N. Conroy, (845) 463-5406
United Way of Dutchess County, Anne Beaulieu, (845)-471-1900