Indian River Community Foundation is introducing a new online resource, Indian River Indicators, that can be used to track community needs and measure indicators of local health and prosperity. The resource was developed following the completion of the Indian River County Community Needs Assessment, a report that was published in 2020 by the Community Foundation in collaboration with several community partners. Indian River Indicators is financed by philanthropic contributions to the Community Foundation.
Indian River Indicators provides key data and information about our community that is updated annually. It can be used by local nonprofit charitable organizations and their advocates to strengthen fundraising efforts to support and sustain proven programs. It can also be used by community leaders to develop policy, promote promising practices or inspire innovation that can lead to solutions for some of Indian River County’s most persistent challenges.
“Since publishing the Community Needs Assessment, nearly every funding request we receive cites data from the report,” said local attorney and Community Foundation board chair Rebecca Emmons. “We believe Indian River Indicators will significantly improve our ability to know which organizations are making meaningful differences in our community by addressing the most significant needs.”
In addition to demographic information about Indian River County and its residents, Indian River Indicators includes specific data and information measuring the health and prosperity of children, adults, and seniors over the age of sixty-five. Information is organized to help answer key questions about our community’s health, education, economic opportunity, and housing.
“Indian River Indicators literally shows the areas where we are making progress as a community,” said Jeff Pickering, Community Foundation President and CEO. “One positive indicator of children’s health and well-being, for example, is the decline in our community’s infant mortality rate over the last ten years. It is one thing to hear about this anecdotally, but it really becomes clear when you see the trend illustrated through charts, graphs and census track maps.”
Despite progress in certain areas of community need, Indian River Indicators also includes data and information about some of Indian River County’s most persistent problems and greatest disparities.
- Poverty rates are high, with one-half of Indian River County’s population living in poverty or one paycheck away from it.
- Housing expenses as a percentage of household income are disproportionately high, with 22 percent of homeowners and 52 percent of renters paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing.
- Kindergarten readiness and third grade reading proficiency have made progress but are still far below the goal of the community’s “Moonshot Moment” literacy initiative.
- Substance abuse and binge drinking rates among teens and older adults are more than twice the state of Florida average.
“We believe that every member of our community deserves the opportunity to live a healthy, prosperous life,” said Pickering. “For those who choose to devote time and resources to making this a reality, Indian River Indicators is a powerful tool that can help support their efforts to make more informed decisions and better investments in our community.”
Indian River Community Foundation was established in 2008 with a mission of building a better community through donor-driven philanthropy. With assets of approximately $90 million in 200 charitable giving accounts, the Community Foundation and its clients have awarded more than $80 million in grants, mostly to nonprofit charitable organizations located in Indian River County, Florida. Visit www.ircommunityfoundation.org to learn more.