Hudson Valley nonprofits emerged out of the pandemic-related economic downturn as strong and as essential to the regional economy as ever, while simultaneously addressing heightened human service and related needs, according to a comprehensive study conducted by the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON).
The research report, “Mission and More: The Economic Power of the Hudson Valley’s Charitable Nonprofit Sector” (https://hudsonvalleyfundersnetwork.org/resources/),
which was commissioned by the Hudson Valley Funders Network, demonstrates that the nonprofit sector maintains a critical place in the Hudson Valley’s economy, providing nearly one out of every five non-governmental jobs in the region along with $7.4 billion in annual wages and an estimated $1.1 billion in state and federal payroll tax contributions.
“This remarkably insightful report is rich in regional and county-specific facts concerning the financial and workforce contributions that nonprofits make at the regional and county levels,” explains Doug Sauer, Independent Advisor for NYCON. “It provides an extraordinarily detailed picture of the scope, scale, and economic impact of over 7,700 active 501c(3) organizations, along with the sector’s resiliency during the first year of COVID.”
The report demonstrates that between 2019 and 2020, regional nonprofits lost a marginally smaller share of their workers than the average nonprofit employer in the state. Also, while facing a mounting tide of community needs in the first year of the pandemic, nonprofits were able to retain significantly more of their workforce than for-profit businesses in the region, a reflection of the nonprofit workforce’s commitment to mission and service.
“Thanks to unparalleled and timely financial support from the federal and state government, along with significant contributions from private donors and philanthropic organizations, the nonprofit sector was able to do its job when its services were needed most,” says Andrea Reynolds, President and CEO of the Dyson Foundation, one of the study’s sponsors. “The report shows that in the time of unprecedented community need during COVID, local nonprofits retained their workers at a higher rate than most businesses and did so with significantly lower wages. As a result, we are hopeful that the sector will emerge out of the pandemic stronger than ever. It is important to note, however, that nonprofits will still need support to continue their critical work as they face increased demands for their services.”
The Hudson Valley Funder Network’s (HVFN) economic impact analysis of public-serving nonprofits covers nearly 7,700 nonprofit organizations operating in the nine-county Hudson Valley region, including Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester. The report was sponsored by the following members of the HVFN: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, Dyson Foundation, Field Hall Foundation, Foundation for Community Health, Swantz Family Foundation, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, United Way of Ulster County, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, and the Westchester Community Foundation.
Sally Cross, President and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, praised the collaborative effort that generated the report. “We thank the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc., the New York State Department of Labor, and chief researcher Chelsea Newhouse for their efforts and contributions to this project. As funding partners to our region’s nonprofits, we present these findings to further inform and educate the media, the public, nonprofit stakeholders, and local, state, and federal policymakers on the vital economic importance and value of nonprofits in our local communities and region.”
Elizabeth Rowley, President and CEO of Community Foundation of Orange & Sullivan, added: “It is our hope that this report will provide sector advocates, policymakers, and practitioners with the basic data needed to make important course corrections to ensure that nonprofit organizations can continue their crucial work serving residents in the Hudson Valley Region and beyond.”
Peter Taylor, President of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, which provides funding to nonprofits located in eastern Dutchess and Columbia counties, as well as parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, pointed out that, along with a broad understanding of regional nonprofit economic impact, the report provides more focused information on nonprofits’ impact in specific counties. “This outstanding report provides unique insights into how the nonprofit economies in each of the nine counties have fared in the pivotal pandemic year of 2020,” he said. “The report’s findings and other useful links will be easily accessible via the Hudson Valley Funders Network website.”
Laura Rossi, Executive Director of the Westchester Community Foundation, stressed that the information contained in the report could be extremely useful for nonprofit organizations, philanthropic charitable foundations, government agencies, and the media. “Thanks to its comprehensive and current data, this will serve as an important tool in assessing service delivery, funding needs, and gaps for all of those involved in nonprofit communities.”
The Hudson Valley Funders Network is planning to offer workshops for nonprofits and related organizations to share the report’s findings and recommend ways of utilizing the information it contains.
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The Hudson Valley Funders Network
is a coalition of funders that formed at the outset of the pandemic to find ways to support the region’s nonprofit sector through the crisis. It coordinates data and information to nonprofits in the form of commissioned surveys and reports, as well as workshops and other resources to build organizational capacity in support of mission. In addition, through pooled funds, the Network supports free technical assistance from NYCON to place-based Hudson Valley nonprofits. The Network recognizes and celebrates the nonprofit organizations in the Hudson Valley Region that provide critical services, especially in the direst of times, as they are essential to every facet of our communities. www.hudsonvalleyfundersnetwork.org
The New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON)
works together with our members, other nonprofits, funders, and stakeholders to enrich communities by building the capacity of nonprofits through services and advocacy. We believe our mission is most effectively fulfilled through a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness as a core value and practice. NYCON has been instrumental in New York’s nonprofit sector growth and development for over 90 years. We have helped thousands of New York nonprofits harness their internal capacity and meet the challenges of the day. What we provide for the nonprofit community is valuable and timely education, personalized capacity-building support, a unified voice in matters of policy and advocacy, cutting-edge tools and resources, and premier nonprofit consulting services. www.nycon.org