Giving Compass' Take:

• Southern California Grantmakers shares how philanthropists can get involved in the 2020 census to ensure an accurate count that improves equity in the distribution of government funds.

• How does this work align with your philanthropic mission and values? This article is specific to California, how does this translate to your state? 

• Learn how states are preparing for the 2020 census

On April 1, 2020, the Census will attempt to count every single person in the country.

Unfortunately, we know from both history and how the present Census operations are unfolding that not everyone will be counted. An undercount bodes poorly for California.

An accurate 2020 Census is important to California for a number of reasons. First, an undercount places California at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal funding. In 2015, California received $76 billion dollars in funding for federal assistance programs from housing to education to public entitlements like Medicare based on decennial Census-derived statistics.

Second, California is at risk to lose political representation – the state could lose a seat in Congress if there is an undercount. Third, we risk the ability to understand the social, racial, and economic inequities facing our state if the very data we rely on is inaccurate.

We already know some of the greatest challenges to a fair and accurate Census count in California. There are numerous “hard-to-count” communities that live in our state. These communities include low-income residents, people of color, immigrants with limited English proficiency, and very young children.

History has shown us that philanthropy in California can make a difference in addressing these challenges. In 2010, the collective investment from philanthropy of nearly $10 million dollars far exceeded the state of California’s $3 million dollar allocation. Philanthropy’s investment was specifically aimed at increasing the participation of hard-to-count communities.

It worked.

Read the full article on philanthropy for census 2020 at Southern California Grantmakers.