Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles Website

July 12, 2010
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts: Andrea Reynolds, Community Foundation, 845-452-3077
               Megan Pierce, United Way of Dutchess County, 845-471-1900 x 115
               Kent Gardner, Center for Government Research, 585-327-7054
               Steve Densmore, Dyson Foundation, 845-234-8713
           
 
Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles Website Commissioned
New Site Will Allow Greater Understanding of Regional Trends, Needs
 

POUGHKEEPSIE—Three of the Mid-Hudson Valley’s leading philanthropic organizations have commissioned the respected Center for Government Research (CGR) to create a website that will host comparative information about Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties, providing government and nonprofits throughout the region with an important new tool for assessing and understanding the populations they serve.

The Dyson Foundation, United Way of Dutchess County, and the Community Foundation serving Dutchess, Ulster, and Putnam Counties announced this week that they will jointly commit up to $54,000 per year for the next five years in order to commission CGR to create and maintain the new website, which should become operational early in 2011. The three organizations, with input from local health and human service providers, selected 50 indicators within the following fields to be represented on the site: children and youth, community engagement, demographics, education, financial self-sufficiency, and culture/tourism.  

“This innovative new website will provide an apples-to-apples understanding of regional trends and comparative information that has been difficult to obtain in the past because of variations in how each county reports certain types of information,” said Michell Speight, Program Director for the Dyson Foundation. “We are pleased to be collaborating with the Community Foundation and the United Way to offer this service, particularly because this has been a goal of many of Dutchess County’s human services agencies for several years.”

“The Community Foundation is pleased to join the Dyson Foundation and United Way on this significant project.  Through our support of the Community Indicators website, we will provide organizations the ability to track community conditions, develop programs and affect change that will contribute to the well-being of citizens in the Hudson Valley,” said Andrea Reynolds, President of the Community Foundation serving Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties.

 “Along with the Dyson Foundation, the Community Foundation and CGR we are pleased to bring this information to the community, nonprofit partners and residents,” said Anne M. Beaulieu, CEO and President of United Way of Dutchess County. “Knowing more about our area will help us celebrate and make use of our strengths and address areas for growth. Working together – collaboratively – nonprofits, government and other sectors will improve lives.”

As proposed, the project will include the following:
 
  • One regional profile website that will include charts, data tables, and analysis of the three-county region (Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster).
  • Three separate community profile websites (Dutchess, Orange and Ulster) to include charts, data tables, and analysis specific to the individual county with comparisons to the region.
  • Four complete community profiles (region, plus three individual county profiles) based upon a consistent set of 50 indicators.
  • Key Trends analysis for the six main fields (e.g. education) for each of the four community profile websites.
  • Summary Report compiling key trends for each of the four profile websites.
  • Demographic indicators, including total population, age of population, population by race and ethnicity, and household type, for each of the four profile websites.
  • Regular updating of indicator data, charts, and analysis, as well as county and regional summaries.
 
The Dyson Foundation has teamed with CGR on important community-based research projects in the past. In 2009, the Foundation commissioned CGR to conduct a review and analysis of salaries and benefits for Dutchess County legislators and executive staff.  In 2005, CGR received a grant to conduct the Mid-Hudson Valley Nonprofit Economic Impact Study.
 
Many cities and regions around the county have similar community indicator projects and CGR has developed and maintains such projects for other communities such as Rochester and Herkimer-Oneida counties. The Center for Governmental Research (CGR) was founded in 1915 by George Eastman as a bureau of municipal research in Rochester NY to serve as an “independent, non-partisan agency for keeping citizens informed.”  Today as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with offices in Rochester and Albany, CGR’s activities focus on issues that affect the quality of life in communities both inside and outside of New York State.
 
 
Background
 
United Way of Dutchess County
United Way of Dutchess County is one of the area’s premier community-impact organizations, serving as a resource and convener to help increase community capacity to meet community needs. Its mission is to build a stronger, healthier community by raising resources and developing partnerships to make a measurable difference in people’s lives. More than 50,000 county residents each year rely on a United Way funded program, partnership or initiative for assistance. For more information visit www.unitedwaydutchess.org.
 
 Community Foundation serving Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties 
Established in 1969, the Community Foundation is your first resource for everything charitable. Currently, the Foundation administers more than 435 charitable funds established by donors who primarily live in Dutchess, Putnam and Ulster counties.  Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $14 million in grants and scholarships has been awarded to our community. For more information about the Community Foundation call 845-452-3077 or visit www.cfdcny.org.
 
The Dyson Foundation
The Dyson Foundation is a private grant making foundation headquartered in Dutchess County and directed by the Dyson family under the leadership of Foundation President Robert R. Dyson. The Dyson Foundation's mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life in the region for all of its residents, especially those most vulnerable or economically disadvantaged. For more information visit www.dysonfoundation.org