Making the Case for Philanthropy
It is difficult to overstate the importance of a fair census count. When census information is not accurate, it threatens to muffle the voices of undercounted groups and regions, and undermine the basic political equality that is central to our democracy. Institutions across the country, including local and state governments, businesses, nonprofits and foundations, routinely rely on data from the census to allocate funding, define where services are delivered and promote economic development.
The Census Bureau is facing a daunting set of challenges as it prepares for the 2020 census. Since the bureau is facing budget constraints like never before, it’s planning to collect the majority of census information online, scale back door to door outreach and roll back canvassing. The changes increase the potential of undercounting young children, minorities, low-income individuals and other marginalized individuals. Given the current climate, regional philanthropy associations and their members are needed to advocate and educate elected officials and community leaders on the importance and impact of the 2020 census on their communities. Even without the changes being proposed for the 2020 census we know there were gross undercounts of vulnerable populations in the 2010 census. This is why the 2020 census matters to philanthropy.
Forum’s Census Project
The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers would like to thank The Joyce Foundation for providing funding for a two-year project to engage regional funders in ensuring a more thorough and accurate census count in 2020. The Forum’s Census 2020 project has three main objectives:
- to educate regional philanthropy associations on the importance of the 2020 census and the role for their grantmaking members
- to mobilize regional funders to advocate for policy improvements for the 2020 census
- to Increase Funding Support for the 2020 census among regional funders.
Mini grants were made available to the regional philanthropy associations in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana to engage in the Census 2020 Project. Though we will be paying special focus to the aforementioned mid-west states, many of our efforts will reach the Forum’s entire regional association membership. The Forum will focus on providing tools, information and other resources on this site, as they are developed, that will enable regional funders to advocate with local and state governments to provide adequate funding for census outreach and education. These resources will be placed on our website and many will be open to public access to encourage others to advocate for a fair and accurate Census 2020.
Want to join this effort?