The U.S. Census is an important democratic tool that has implications for federal funding, accurate representation in Congress, and support for underserved communities. As April 1, 2020 - or Census Day - approaches, philanthropy has an opportunity to make an impact. To understand more about the U.S. Census and philanthropy's role, read more:
- Why The 2020 U.S. Census Is Critical, Southern California Grantmakers
The census directs hundreds of billions of federal dollars to hospitals, infrastructure projects, and education each year, exerting unparalleled influence on students, educators, and schools.
- The Consequences Of Undercounting Kids In 2020 Census, Annie E. Casey Foundation
The 2010 U.S. Census failed to count almost 1 million children younger than age 5. These weren’t the only kids who were missed.* The decennial census also historically undercounts children of color as well as kids in low-income and immigrant families. Despite the vital importance of the census, we face another potential undercount of young children in 2020 — a problem that’s grown in magnitude with every census since 1980. If the 2020 numbers are wrong, we will live with the consequences for 10 years.
Collaborating Toward an Accurate Count
These philanthropic bodies are building networks to ensure an accurate Census count. Some of them are merging to form strong coalitions with an aligned mission for accuracy, while others provide essential resources for groups to catalyze action. Below is a list of entities working toward a better count, and a better future:
- United Philanthropy Forum: The organization has brought together 79 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations and partnered with the Funders Census Initiative to leverage resources toward a more accurate census.
- Philanthropy California: This is a coalition of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and San Diego Grantmakers that is committed to an accurate count using information-sharing, collaboration, and advocacy efforts.
- Funders Committee for Civic Participation: This organization created the Funders Census Initiative 2020 to support donors interested in learning and collaborating on Census work.
- Complete Count Committee: Local governments and community-based organizations have begun forming Complete Count Committees, which are coalitions that encourage census responses. For the 2020 Census, local groups are helping with data and technology skills to help get an accurate count.
Take Action for An Accurate Count of the 2020 Census
Donors can take action now to help ensure an accurate Census count. Here are some action steps from the Funder’s Network:
- Join the Funders Census Initiative
- Read the Census Counts Campaign Toolkit
- Collaborate with donors already working on the Census in your local area
- Join or create your local state Complete Count Committee
- Gather your grantees for grassroots level organizing to reach hard to count populations