Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Three Years Post Hurricane Sandy, The Staten Island Foundation Releases FY2014-15 Biennial Report
NEW YORK CITY – Recognized by the Foundation Center as among the Top Five largest independent funders of Hurricane Sandy response by total giving, The Staten Island Foundation has released its Biennial Report for Fiscal Years 2014-2015. The report is available online at www.thestatenislandfoundation.org
The theme of the Foundation’s biennial report is “Making Connections.” Highlights include:
- Messages from the Foundation’s Chair and Executive Director: Looking Back, Looking Ahead;
- An infographic summarizing the Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy funding to date;
- Stories on how the Foundation is engaging the community, cultivating leadership for an emerging future, and extending its reach through catalytic connections.
The Staten Island Foundation is a private foundation established in 1997 to improve the quality of life on Staten Island. To date, the Foundation has provided over $50 million to hundreds of local nonprofits with strong relationships and deep knowledge of the borough’s operating ecosystem. In partnership with the local community, nonprofit, public and private sectors, the Foundation strives to ensure this vibrant, diverse community – especially its least advantaged – has access to the resources necessary to maximize its potential. With a results orientation, the Foundation views its support as an investment in change, the measure of changed lives for a better community.
Staten Island, one of New York City’s five boroughs, is a 7 by 14 mile-Island located in New York Bay, where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Representing just 6% of New York City’s total population, Staten Island’s approximately 500,000 residents have access to comparatively fewer public services, yet experience greater public health needs. Despite having the highest all-cause mortality rates and highest rates of youth alcohol and substance abuse in New York City, primary health care is seriously under-resourced. Staten Island is the only borough in New York City without a public hospital or homeless shelter. Public transportation is limited. And while Staten Island has traditionally been perceived as a homogeneous, conservative, suburban community, the last two decades have seen the growth of a significantly more diverse population with immigrants from Latin and South America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
Though the assets of Staten Island’s nonprofit sector are considerable, its operational context is as unique as the borough itself. Staten Island’s deeply committed nonprofit sector has long struggled to attract sustained off-Island philanthropic awareness and support relative to other boroughs, despite strong intra-Island networks and a track record of collaboration and community impact.
Against this public and nonprofit sector backdrop, as the Foundation’s Executive Director Betsy Dubovsky has noted, “It is especially difficult to be poor in Staten Island.”
This difficulty was brought into high relief on October 29, 2012 as Hurricane Sandy battered Staten Island’s shore neighborhoods. The storm’s high-water mark was recorded on Staten Island, which emerged as among the most severely impacted areas in the mid-Atlantic region. Local service organizations were on the front line assisting residents, though many of these organizations and their staff members were also storm survivors. Ongoing recovery challenges rippled out across the public, private and nonprofit sectors: how each sector thinks, problem-solves and collaborates for real change has been disrupted for the foreseeable future, and possibly for generations to come.
The frontier spirit of this “forgotten borough” has been profoundly tested in the wake of the storm and proved to be a strength, as individuals and organizations continue to tap long-standing relationships and networks to mobilize resources for recovery – and build preparedness capacity to face potential future disasters.
The Staten Island Foundation was established in 1997. Our mission is to improve the quality of life on Staten Island, particularly for the least advantaged, with a focus on improving education, health, community services and the arts.