The social services safety net and basic needs like food and housing is the most important health, social, or economic issue confronting the state of Ohio, according to the latest Community Solutions audience survey. Economic development, job training, and employment fell to the lowest level since we started asking the question a decade ago, landing in 11th place. For the second time in a row, eliminating racist policies and practices and promoting racial equity was near the top.
Who responded to the survey?
Respondents to the online survey included nonprofit executives and frontline social service workers, government officials, and those who work in philanthropy. Every few years, The Center for Community Solutions surveys our audience to find out how we are performing, which of our offerings are most useful and used, and what is on the minds of those who have interest in our work.
Most respondents are familiar with our fact sheets, profiles, and events
Because the vast majority of responses came from readers of our weekly “5 Things You Need to Know” e-newsletter, it is not a surprise that the vast majority of respondents said they are familiar with 5 Things. Close to 60 percent knew about our community fact sheets and legislative profiles, and nearly half had participated in webinars or training opportunities. Our work around poverty and basic needs, the state budget, Medicaid, racial equity, and maternal and infant health was familiar to more than half of respondents.
Close to 60 percent knew about our community fact sheets and legislative profiles!
Poverty data is the most regularly-used aspect of our research
We were pleased to learn that most of the people who consult our research and staff find it useful, especially data on poverty. Over two-thirds of respondents said they used poverty or other data from Community Solutions and 86 percent found it “very useful.” Information about the health and social services safety net also rated particularly high.
What is our impact? What are other issues to explore?
Responses to the survey also gave us much to think about as we enter our 111th year helping to improve health, social, and economic conditions in Ohio. Several pointed to racism as an overlooked issue by policy makers or advocates, and others pushed us to consider the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations. While over 80 respondents said we at least have somewhat of an impact on the community, many just weren’t sure. And the vast majority found our work credible, believe we provide thought leadership, and agree that we address issues that are relevant to their organization, sector, or people they serve, we have some room for improvement to show how we identify sustainable solutions.