We’re still several years out from 2020, but funders are already preparing for a census that experts believe will be unusually fraught by challenges like underfunding, cybersecurity threats, partisan sabotage and growing mistrust of government.

An unsuccessful census can have far-reaching consequences for both the public and private sectors. On the government side, census data informs how congressional districts are redrawn and determines where government funds go.

This is at the heart of our democracy. This is one of the key levers, and if you get it wrong, then your democratic institutions are warped for the next decade. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, it shouldn’t matter, you want to get right.”

On the private side, businesses use the data to decide where to they should set up shop. Philanthropists use census-derived data to decide how to set goals, distribute grants and evaluate outcomes.

But why should funders get involved? A key reason is that minorities, low-income people, children, especially children of color, immigrants, and mobile young people are disproportionately overlooked in census counts, while higher-income, white households tend to be over-counted.

Read the full article on the 2020 census at Southern California Grantmakers