LI Index seeking new publisher

Rauch Foundation President Nancy Douzinas.

The Rauch Foundation is seeking proposals from other organizations to take over its Long Island Index project, launched in 2003 as an experiment in what has been called “advocacy through data.”

The foundation, which focuses primarily on early education and environmental programs, announced it is looking for an organization that has a “strong, passionate voice to contribute to helping Long Island develop to its fullest potential.”

“The Long Island Index has a crucial role to play in the region,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas. “The Rauch Foundation is firmly committed to the Index and believes that securing a permanent home for it is the best way to ensure a sound, dynamic, and influential future for the Index and for its voice in the evolution of the region.”

Index Director Ann Golob said organizations should express interest by June 1, with full proposals due Sept. 1. The foundation expects to make a selection by next April but would shutter the project if a new publisher cannot be found. The foundation plans to offer financial support during a transition.

Interested organizations can contact Golob via and must have:

  • Independence from political, ideological or commercial interests of a larger organization
  • A clear vision for the future and an understanding of how its research would contribute to moving that vision forward
  • A commitment to addressing Long Island’s future in a regional manner, with Nassau and Suffolk together
  • Recognized leadership in its area of expertise, and a staff or plans to hire a staff needed to develop high-quality research products

The RFP is here.

“The Foundation is not looking for an organization to necessarily duplicate what the Index has done in the past,” said Golob, who plans to step down following the transition. “We think the Index is ripe for a re-visioning, and we welcome new ideas about how to use research, surveys, mapping and any other possible tools to address Long Island’s future.”

Beginning with its first report in 2004, the Index has studied the full range of issues facing Long Island, from school segregation to public transportation, brain drain and the shortage of affordable apartments.

One of its greatest achievements, arguably, was to keep alive discussion of a proposed third track for the Long Island Rail Road, which would reduce travel times to New York City and open the region to reverse-commuting workers from the five boroughs.

Long given up for dead in the face of concerted opposition from communities along the 9.5-mile stretch, the project was recently championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and funded in part in this year’s state budget.

Full disclosure: The Rauch Foundation is an Innovate LI financial supporter and publisher John Kominicki writes regularly for the Index blog.