Civic Action


The decennial Census is a cornerstone of our democracy, determining Congressional districts and driving key decisions made by government, business, nonprofits, and philanthropy.

The 2020 Census Funders Working Group recognized that a complete and accurate census count is critical for advancing racial equity in our communities. Historically, the census count disproportionately left out communities of color, immigrants, young children, low-income, and rural households. When populations are undercounted in the census, communities are impacted in multiple ways, with communities of color the most adversely impacted.

The 2020 Census Funders Working Group, as well as individual funders,  provided a variety of grants to support Census efforts in the Washington, DC region. Both before and after the census period, the group convened community groups, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and the philanthropic sector to share updates, lessons, challenges, and recommendations for future work.

CountDMVIn Census 2020: Community Action in the Washington, DC Region is the report of the 2020 Census Working Group of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.  It highlights some of the many activities undertaken by community groups, nonprofit organizations, local governments and the philanthropic sector to promote an accurate 2020 Census.  It also includes recommendations to prepare for 2030.  More than 200 materials from these groups can be found in this archive:


Read: Our Region, Our Giving 2019, featuring a special look at the 2020 Census - Published November 2019

Working Group Co-Chairs

  • Nadine Duplessy Kearns, Meyer Foundation
  • Levina Kim, United Way of the National Capital Area
  • Ria Pugeda, if, a Foundation for Radical Possibility (formerly Consumer Health Foundation)
  • Sara Watson, Senior Consultant, Bainum Family Foundation


A regional movement to #CountDMVIn launched at the June 6, 2019 regional forum, Interventions That Work: 2020 Census & Hard-to-Reach Communities. Watch the kickoff video featuring community leaders below and check out the United Way of the National Capital Area's comprehensive #CountDMVIn toolkit here.

DMV Fact Sheets: 2-page documents with key information on the importance of the Census in each jurisdiction


Arlington County

District of Columbia

Fairfax City

Fairfax County

Falls Church

Loudoun County

Manassas City

Manassas Park

Montgomery County

Prince George's County

Prince William County


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.

Count the Region - initiative of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

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 Counts - a collaborative national advocacy campaign to ensure a fair and accurate Census 2020

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.



PDF icon Count DMVIn Census 2020 Report.pdf4.21 MB