The decennial census is a cornerstone of our democracy, determining Congressional districts and driving key decisions made by federal and local government, business, nonprofits, and philanthropy around the allocation of funding and where services are provided. Due to a number of factors, including lack of director-level Census Bureau leadership, the shift to online data collection, and the climate of fear among communities that are traditionally some of the hardest to count, the threat of an inaccurate census in 2020 is very real. When children, people of color, immigrants, low-income families, and other vulnerable populations are undercounted, they are effectively made invisible. The time for action is now.
Funders in this region have an opportunity to increase the likelihood that “everyone counts and everyone is counted." 2019 is a pivotal time for us to coalesce around strategy and resources. WRAG invites members to join a new convening group focused on leveraging the resources of local philanthropy and other stakeholders to ensure an accurate and complete census count in the region. To find out more, contact Rebekah Seder, seder(at)washingtongrantmakers.org.
Working Group Co-Chairs
- Levina Kim, Director, Partner Engagement, United Way of the National Capital Area
- Ria Pugeda, Senior Program Officer, Consumer Health Foundation
- Terri Wright, Vice President for Program & Community, The Meyer Foundation
Resources from the Field
Funders' Committee for Civic Participation's Funders Census Initiative - a national working group mobilizing philanthropy around the country to take action on the census.
United Philanthropy Forum's Census 2020 Project - a wealth of resources on what's at stake with the 2020 Census and how philanthropy can engage.
Census Hard-to-Count Mapping Tool - Zoom in on the Greater Washington region to see which census tracts are the hardest to count.
Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds - GWU research on how federal funding flows to each state based on census data. See DC, Maryland, and Virginia one-pagers.
2020 Census Funder Toolkit - This toolkit from the Funders Census Initiative provides resources for funders and explains why an accurate count is particularly critical for the communities you serve.
Key 2020 Census Funder Milestones - FCCP's Funders Census Initiative created this document to help guide funder participation through 2020.