Community Impact Report
What kind of community do you want?
"Shared leadership... is less like an orchestra, where the conductor is always in charge, and more like a jazz band, where leadership is passed around…depending on what the music demands at the moment and who feels most moved by the spirit to express the music." – Phillip Schlechty
In the spring of 2014, we worked with a Rutgers University Capstone student team to compile education, health, and income data for our thirteen municipalities to show our impact and inform future strategies.
Data Overview

The researchers used secondary data from the U.S Census Bureau, American Community Survey data, The Opportunity Index, Community Health Rankings, Newark Kids Count, and the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics from the 2000 and 2010 census in order to determine the need of the municipalities served under the UWEWH footprint, and the focus of our resources.

The Opportunity Index is a tool designed to provide a snapshot of what opportunity looks like at the state and county level. United Way Worldwide partners with Opportunity Nation to promote the Opportunity Index tool for leaders and community members to use as a guide for measuring and improving opportunity locally. Essex County received an average score of 51.94/100 and Hudson County received an average of 51.14/100 both resulting in a C+ grading average. These scores show that while we have made significant progress in our 90 years of operations, we still have targeted, strategic work to be done in advancing the common good.

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No one knows Essex and West Hudson County better than its residents, business owners, school staff, and students.

The United Way Campaign for the Common Good brings together people nationwide to take action and improve the education, income, and health of their communities.

As part of the campaign, local United Ways hold Community Conversations to gain a stronger sense of people's aspirations for their communities, and provide a channel for them to express the realities of their daily lives. With this knowledge, United Ways across the country can be more effective and relevant.

Community Conversations Overview

Community Conversations are small group conversations designed to discuss the strengths, challenges, and needs in our community. We recognize that no one knows Essex and West Hudson County better than its residents, business owners, school staff, and students. This report includes the findings from our effort to engage in dialogue and spark action by bringing together a diverse set of community stakeholders and providing a safe, neutral place for them to express their aspirations.

Since December 2011, we have conducted over twenty-five (25) community conversations with over 250 individuals in various settings across our 13 municipality footprint.

Community Voices
Community Voices

The experts — students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community leaders — all shared their beliefs, views, personal experiences, and hopes with us.

This report includes community voices and ideas for what can be done in the future to inspire growth, progress, advancement, and prosperity.