The Rauch Foundation announced Monday that it is seeking proposals from organizations to permanently take over publication of the Long Island Index, which for 13 years has provided in-depth analysis on a wide range of topics affecting the Island and its residents.
“It’s a good time to look for a new home and a new life” for the Index, foundation president Nancy Rauch Douzinas said in an interview Monday. Douzinas, who is also publisher of the Index, added, “It was never our intention to run it. It’s not the primary business we’re in.”
Douzinas said the Garden City-based Rauch Foundation, formed in 1961 by her family, primarily has provided grants for early education and environmental programs.
Douzinas said with the Index now in its 13th year, it was a good time to take stock and see if they could find an institution that could take over its operation. She added, though, that the Rauch Foundation would continue to provide financial support — an amount that Douzinas did not want to reveal. She said the Index’s operating budget currently is “a few hundred thousand dollars.”
“We are definitely committed to supporting the venture financially,” Douzinas said. “We’re hoping to continue both financial involvement and have a presence” on an advisory board any future Index publisher would form.
The foundation’s nine-page request for proposal states it is looking for an organization to take over the Index that has a “strong, passionate voice to contribute to helping Long Island develop to its fullest potential.” The RFP can be seen at the Index website: longislandindex.org.
Proposals must be submitted by Sept. 1. The foundation aims to make a selection by April 2017. Douzinas said if a suitable entity cannot be found to take over the Index, “then we are prepared to close down.”
Douzinas said the Index was created in 2003, and its first report was published a year later. It came about after, Douzinas said, she scoured several regions of the country looking for collaborations that were helping regions address their challenges.
“The one idea that resonated here on Long Island was the idea of an indicators report . . . providing education measures, environmental measures, government and the economy,” she said.
Over the years, the Index has highlighted data showing the Island was losing young adults; inequities among the Island’s 124 public school districts; land availability for reuse in local downtowns to create more housing options; and the proliferation of special districts.
Ann Golob, director of the Index, said the goal was to provide “good data presented in a neutral manner” to identify and address challenges. Golob, who said she would be stepping down when the Index changed hands, added, “I’m excited to see what a new organization can bring.”