Nonprofits get support

The nonprofit sector has for years relied on government support to provide social services that otherwise would not be funded. In 2010, the Urban Institute, founded by President Lyndon Johnson as an independent social and economic policy group supporting the War on Poverty, reported that $1 out of every $3 given to public charities came from government sources. In other words, about one-third of crucial social services wouldn’t be available to local communities without government support.

In Dutchess County, the Agency Partner Grant Program, entering its 12th year, has been a source of funding for nonprofit organizations across the county. On the front page this week, we report on biennial grants totaling almost $2 million awarded in the last week of 2023 to 32 nonprofits in our community.

The competitive grants are awarded based on an organization’s ability to demonstrate its vital community role. In announcing the latest round of grants, outgoing Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O’Neil said: “Our Agency Partner Grant Program continues to serve as an important collaboration between local nonprofit organizations and Dutchess County Government to address critical needs in our communities. We thank the Dutchess County Legislature for its ongoing support of the APG program and the agencies that strive every day to improve the lives of our residents.”

The Urban Institute has pointed out — in its study of the mutual dependency of governments and nonprofits — that while nonprofits are dependent upon the public sector, so, too, is government dependent on the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofits deliver vital social services, strengthen communities, and promote civic engagement.

In Dutchess County, the 32 nonprofits receiving grants provide a broad range of services. Some are familiar: assisting students with special needs; offering afterschool programs that nurture academic, social and behavioral development; providing English as a New Language (ENL) courses for elementary school students; promoting literacy, job skills training and 4-H youth development.

This grant funding also aims to address a much broader range of community needs: homelessness prevention; senior nonemergency medical transportation; initiatives to reduce criminal recidivism; programs for enhancing parenting skills, helping grandparents and other relatives caring for children; LGBTQ+ teen support; food, nutrition and health programs.

The list of recipients across Dutchess County, which includes our North East Community Center and a number of organizations based in Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie, represents an impressive array of nonprofits helping to fulfill the diverse needs of our community. (For the full list, click here.)

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