Think Smart. Act Bold.
The Rauch Foundation takes an entrepreneurial approach to promoting change. We invest in areas where we can have fundamental impact: children and families, the environment, and regional leadership. Within those areas, we support research, initiatives informed by that research, and comprehensive approaches to problem-solving. We look for opportunities to be transformative, and we are willing to take a chance on systemic initiatives that might not otherwise be pursued.
The Rauch Foundation has a long history of supporting research – especially research that illuminates systemic problems and opportunities for regional action. We support studies conducted under the auspices of academic institutions and organizations throughout the region. We are often the primary funder, but we prefer to collaborate with other supporters where possible.
There is no greater highlight to the Rauch Foundation’s history of research than the Long Island Index, a 15-year initiative – funded exclusively by the Foundation – that ended in 2018 when the Index published its final report, and nextLI, an initiative of Newsday, began with funding from the Rauch Foundation. In those 15 years, the Index conducted and presented objective data that illuminated attributes of life on Long Island and compared much of it to that of comparable suburban areas.
The Long Island Index not only conducted much-needed objective research but presented it in ways that stimulated public discussion and, in many cases, affected public policy. It employed reports, interactive maps, infographics, conferences, commentaries, media outreach, and social media. In doing so, it often triggered regional initiatives based on its findings.
The Rauch Foundation supports initiatives that are research-proven or evolve from research results. The Foundation was an early funder of the Parent-Child Home Program, for instance, initially helping bring the Program, which is now replicated nationally, to four communities. The Foundation has also supported replication of the Family Place Library model, bringing innovative family-centered services to public libraries.
As a result of the Long Island Index’s research, the Foundation has provided vital support for the Right Track for Long Island Coalition, a coalition of major organizations, institutions, businesses and individuals who have come together to support the LIRR Enhancement Project (the Third Track). The project involves construction of a third track along the existing two tracks of the LIRR Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
The Foundation has supported numerous environmental initiatives, based on research into water quality on Long Island and in the Chesapeake Bay.
Comprehensive Approaches to Problem-Solving
In many cases, the research has revealed the need for regional approaches to problem-solving, and the Rauch Foundation has responded with support for those initiatives. The Energeia Partnership, for instance, brings together a diverse group of leaders from Long Island's public, private and not-for-profit sectors to help address the region's most complex issues. The Long Island Clean Water Partnership is a coalition of Long Island’s leading conservation organizations that partner and collaborate with scientists, public officials, community members, and other stakeholders to implement solutions to the decline in water quality.
In the Chesapeake Bay, the Foundation played a key role in the creation of Blue Water Baltimore in 2010, when five local, grassroots, environmental organizations – each dedicated to caring for their neighborhood stream – decided to join forces and collectively address water quality issues in Baltimore. Today the combined organization monitors the Baltimore area waterways for pollution, organizes cleanups, plants trees on public land, provides green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff, and advocates for stronger laws for clean water, both locally and statewide.