Press Releases

A Profile on Families in the Hudson Valley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2003

CONTACT
Lee Miringoff
Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
845.575.5050

Diana Gurieva
The Dyson Foundation
845.677.0644

POUGHKEEPSIE- The quality of the public schools, the region’s economy, and the affordability of health care are the top priorities of families with children for the Hudson Valley. According to a follow-up report of “Many Voices, One Valley” that profiles families with children in the region by the Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, improving the quality of the public schools is the most important priority for families with children. For single parent households the affordability of health care tops the list of concerns. Among the study’s central findings:
  • Making health care more affordable is the top priority among single parents. 18% of single parents do not currently have health insurance compared with 11% of adults in the region who are not currently covered.
  • 24% of Hudson Valley households either are currently without health insurance or have had at least one member of their household go without health insurance within the past year. Although people from all walks of life may experience a gap in health care coverage, there are some families that are more likely to face this problem. 40% of families with one parent had a gap in health insurance coverage for at least one member of the family in the past year. 37% of Hudson Valley households with earnings of less than $50,000 annually experienced a gap in health insurance in the past year.
  • Improving the quality of the public schools is an important priority for many Hudson Valley residents and community leaders, and it is the number one priority for families with children. 70% of Hudson Valley residents, including 72% of families with children, and 67% of community leaders rate the public schools in their community as excellent, very good, or good.
  • Providing more services for children including after-school activities for children and teenagers in the community is a major priority for families in the Hudson Valley especially single parents.
  • 54% of single parents and 52% of parents with earnings of less than $30,000 annually feel too little money is spent on child care and early education programs in their community compared with 33% of residents without children who share this opinion.
  • Although households in the Hudson Valley with school-age children are more likely to be online, family income is a factor. Only 54% of households with children with family incomes of less than $30,000 have access compared with 72% of households with children with family incomes between $30,000 and $49,000, and 88% of households with children with family incomes of $50,000 or more.
  • The economic health of the region is an important issue for most Hudson Valley residents and community leaders. Like Hudson Valley residents as a whole, 50% of families with children believe their community spends too little on improving the quality of jobs. 45% of community leaders in the Hudson Valley believe too little is spent on improving the quality of jobs in their community, and 44% feel spending is about right.
  • Households with children are more likely to have more than one earner in the household than Hudson Valley residents as a whole. 55% of families with children in which there is more than one adult in the household have more than one income compared with 38% of Hudson Valley households.
  • Children can be a motivating force to participation in community activities. 64% of Hudson Valley households with school age children are active in their community compared with 52% of residents without school age children.
  • Like Hudson Valley residents as a whole, 50% of families with children feel decisionmakers in their community do not see things the same way the public does.
The project “Many Voices, One Valley” is based on two companion surveys that were conducted by telephone throughout the six counties of the Hudson Valley. The first survey interviewed residents of the Hudson Valley from October 5th through December 10th, 2001. The second survey interviewed community leaders within the same six counties from November 25th through December 19th, 2001. The sampling error for the results is:

Count Percent of Sample Margin of Error +/-
Hudson Valley Residents 3880 100% 2.0%
Children in HH 1680 43% 2.4%
Household with school age children 1426 37% 2.6%
Household with children under 5 540 14% 4.2%
Single parent household 186 5% 7.2%


The report “A Profile of Families in the Hudson Valley” is available on the Internet at www.dysonfoundation.org/manyvoices.html. It can be accessed from the Dyson Foundation website (www.dysonfoundation.org) or the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion website (www.maristpoll.marist.edu). The full study, “Many Voices, One Valley,” along with summaries for Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties may be accessed from the site as well. Copies are also available from the Dyson Foundation's offices.

For more information about this press release, contact:
Lee Miringoff, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
(845) 575-5050
Diana Gurieva, The Dyson Foundation
(845) 677-0644 ext. 12

Diverse Viewpoints? Race and Ethnicity in the Hudson Valley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2003

CONTACT
Lee Miringoff
Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
845.575.5050

Diana Gurieva
The Dyson Foundation
845.677.0644

POUGHKEEPSIE- Like most residents in the Hudson Valley, African-American and Latino residents rate living in the region positively. However, there are differences in perceptions among racial and ethnic groups when it comes to improving the public schools, access to health care, and the quality of jobs. According to a follow-up report of “Many Voices, One Valley” on race and ethnicity in the region by the Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, there is a good deal of agreement among white, African-American, and Latino residents on issues that face the region’s future, but there are differences as well. Among the study’s central findings:

  • Residents of the Hudson Valley, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, rate the community where they live positively. 89% of white residents, 86% of Latino residents, and 77% of African-American residents rate the community where they live as excellent, very good, or good.
  • African-American and Latino residents rate improving the quality of the public schools as the number one priority for the region, whereas keeping businesses in the area ranks highest among residents of the Hudson Valley as a whole.
  • African-American and Latino residents are concerned about the quality of jobs in the Hudson Valley. 69% of African-American residents and 72% of Latino residents rate the quality of jobs as fair or poor. 55% of white residents share this opinion. In contrast, 51% of community leaders in the Hudson Valley rate the quality of jobs in the region positively.
  • Although the affordability of health care and accessibility of health insurance are priorities that resonate with Hudson Valley residents regardless of their racial or ethnic background, African-American and Latino residents are less likely to have continuous health insurance coverage throughout the year. 24% of Hudson Valley households either are currently without health insurance or have had at least one member of their household go without health insurance within the past year. This compares with 39% of Latino households, and 30% of African-American households that do not currently have health insurance or have experienced a gap in health insurance in the past year.
  • African-American residents are more likely to rate the health care services in their community as fair or poor than are other residents. 57% of African-American residents do not rate health care services positively compared with 37% of white or Latino residents in the Hudson Valley who rate the health care services available in their community as fair or poor.
  • Residents of the Hudson Valley may not always see eye-to-eye with community leaders. 72% of African-American residents and 60% of Latino residents see a difference between the views of decision-makers and the views of the public. 48% of white residents share this opinion. In contrast, only 42% of decision-makers believe that they see things differently than the public.
  • Hudson Valley residents and decision-makers agree that the public should be a part of the decisions made for a community. 98% of community leaders, 93% of African-American residents, 94% of Latino residents, and 97% of white residents have this opinion.
  • Hudson Valley residents believe that the best way to make a difference is through volunteerism. 50% of African-American residents and 48% of Latino residents in the region are more likely to mention getting involved as an effective way to have an impact in the community compared with 36% of white residents. 72% of African-American residents in the Hudson Valley regularly volunteer or are active in a civic organization, a church, or a club compared with 57% of Hudson Valley residents as a whole.
The project “Many Voices, One Valley” is based on two companion surveys that were conducted by telephone throughout the six counties of the Hudson Valley. The first survey interviewed residents of the Hudson Valley from October 5th through December 10th, 2001. The second survey interviewed community leaders within the same six counties from November 25th through December 19th, 2001. The sampling error for the results is:

Count Column % Margin of Error +/-
Hudson Valley Residents 3882 100% 2.0%
White 3233 85% 2.0%
African-American 249 7% 6.5%
Latino 307 8% 5.5%

The report “Diverse Viewpoints? Race and Ethnicity in the Hudson Valley” is available on the Internet at www.dysonfoundation.org/manyvoices.html. It can be accessed from the Dyson Foundation website (www.dysonfoundation.org) or the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion website (www.maristpoll.marist.edu). The full study, “Many Voices, One Valley,” along with summaries for Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties may be accessed from the site as well. Copies are also available from the Dyson Foundation's offices. An additional report on families and children in the Hudson Valley will be released on January 26th.

For more information about this press release, contact:
Lee Miringoff, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
(845) 575-5050
Diana Gurieva,
The Dyson Foundation
(845) 677-0644 ext. 12

Dyson, Marist Poll Release Regional Survey of 4,320 Residents

'Many Voices One Valley 2007' Details Region's Priorities, Viewpoints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2007

POUGHKEEPSIE—The Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion today released Many Voices One Valley 2007, a far-reaching survey of 4,320 Mid-Hudson Valley residents covering a range of critical and timely issues, including health care, affordability, quality of life, taxation, and confidence in local leaders.

“This report provides an up-close and detailed understanding of the perceptions, hopes, and fears of the people of our region. In particular, it demonstrates that many residents of the Mid-Hudson Valley are struggling to make ends meet, often making difficult financial choices in order to afford to live here,” said Robert R. Dyson, president of the Millbrook-based Dyson Foundation, which financed the study. “We are indebted to the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion for, once again, showing why they are considered one of the pre-eminent polling organizations in the country.”

The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) interviewed 4,320 residents from seven counties comprising the Mid-Hudson Valley in completing the survey which profiles the region and details people’s perceptions and concerns. Many Voices One Valley 2007 revisits a similar report issued by the Dyson Foundation and MIPO five years ago. This report provides illuminating comparative information, demonstrating consistent trends and intriguing changes in residents’ viewpoints since the first survey was completed in 2002.

Dr. Lee M. Miringoff , director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said, “This is an extremely data rich survey which will serve as a valuable community resource for many years. The Dyson Foundation, in its ongoing support of this project, allows this research to identify points of both continuity and change.”

Among the key findings in the report (which can be viewed in its entirety at www.ManyVoicesOneValley.org) are:
  • Making health care more affordable tops all other priorities in the minds of Mid-Hudson Valley residents.
  • Reducing taxes leaps to third on the list of residents’ top priorities in 2007 after registering ninth the last time the survey was conducted in 2002. It is the number one priority in Putnam County.
  • Sixty percent of the region’s residents believe their local leaders don’t share their views on issues, compared with 50 percent of residents in 2002.
  • Twenty-nine percent of Mid-Hudson Valley residents expect to leave the region within the next five years with half of those citing economic pressures as the motivating factor.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the region’s residents feel positively about life in their communities and 77 percent feel they can have an impact on the place in which they live.
The survey of 4,320 Mid-Hudson Valley residents was conducted over a 10-week period—from April 9 through June 19—covering seven counties, including Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster. (The 2002 study did not include Sullivan County.) Along with regional results, the survey breaks down responses by county as well, giving local leaders, non-profit agencies, government and businesses the ability to track local trends and perceptions.

The over 200-page report is broken down into three sections: the first, “Many Voices One Valley 2007,” mirrors and compares those questions and priorities explored in the 2002 study; the second, “Making Ends Meet,” is an exploration of the region’s affordability; and the third, “Health Matters,” represents an in-depth study of residents’ status and perceptions regarding health care.

Founded in 1978, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) is a survey research center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The Marist Poll has conducted independent research on public priorities, elections, and a wide variety of issues including the economy, health care, foreign affairs, the environment, science, information technology, and lifestyles. Through the regular public release of Marist Poll surveys, MIPO has built a legacy of independence, reliability, and accuracy. Frequently cited by journalists, public officials, and policy experts, the Marist Poll has been recognized for fairness, accuracy, and timeliness. Its results are featured in print and electronic media throughout the world.

Established in 1957, the Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed grantmaking foundation led by Robert R. Dyson, who has served as the Foundation’s President since 2000. Headquartered in Millbrook, the Foundation awards grants through a diverse regional funding program serving the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Foundation’s assets stand at approximately $354 million and, in 2006, it awarded grants in excess of $18.4 million.

For more information about this press release, contact:
Dr. Lee Miringoff, director, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, 845-575-5050
Dr. Barbara Carvalho, director, Marist Poll, 845-575-5050
Stephen Densmore, press liaison, The Dyson Foundation, 845-234-8713

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 www.dysonfoundation.org.

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

Managing Nonprofit Organizations in Lean Times

Nonprofit Finance Fund President, Clara Miller, to be Featured Jan. 27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009

POUGHKEEPSIE—With the nation’s economy suffering mightily and philanthropic institutions fearing for the worst, Mid-Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations are encouraged to attend a free presentation and discussion—“Managing Your Nonprofit Organization in Lean Times”— designed to offer nonprofit board members, executives and staff proven strategies for coping with the coming storm.

From 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the Poughkeepsie Grandview, the presentation will feature remarks from Clara Miller, President and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), who will offer insights from her 25 years leading NFF’s efforts to help nonprofits become more fiscally responsible. Ms. Miller will also expound upon some of her recent articles, including: “Weathering the Storm: Lessons from 2001,” in which she details seven steps nonprofits can take to successfully navigate through a dramatic economic downturn.

Ever since founding the organization, Ms. Miller has led NFF to a position of national prominence as a “philanthropic bank” serving both social sector organizations and their funders. Along with making loans and grants to nonprofits, NFF offers workshops and business consultation services that have helped innumerable nonprofits become more efficient and less vulnerable.

“We are thrilled to have a person of Clara Miller’s stature speaking at this event. If anyone can give nonprofits cogent advice on how to survive the dreadful economic downturn we are facing, it’s Clara Miller,” said Dawn Carolei, coordinator of the Funders Network of the Mid-Hudson Valley and special projects assistant at the Dyson Foundation. “As the economy worsens, we are concerned that nonprofits and their clients will suffer disproportionately. This important presentation and discussion will address strategies and best practices for dealing with the difficulties ahead.”

After Ms. Miller’s remarks, the event will also feature a discussion period for program participants which will be followed by a reception scheduled from 5-6 p.m.

“Managing Your Nonprofit in Lean Times” is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Dutchess County and the Ulster County Community Foundation, the Dyson Foundation, and the Funders Network of the Mid-Hudson Valley in association with the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers (NYRAG).

Although the event is free, those interested in attending are asked to pre-register online by Thursday, Jan. 22 by sending RSVP information to: register@nyrag.org For more information, please call the Dutchess and Ulster Community Foundations at 845-452-3077.|

For more information about this press release, contact:
Andrea Reynolds, Dutchess and Ulster Community Foundation, 845-452-3077
Dawn Carolei, Dyson Foundation, 845-790-6314
Stephen Densmore, Press Liaison, 845-234-8713