One year from today, on April 1st, 2020, the Constitutionally-mandated census will be in full swing. Since the last census in 2010, our nation’s communities and needs have changed in many ways.
Accurate census data are essential for the fair distribution of political representation at the national, state and local levels, and for the prudent, equitable allocation of government resources. More than $800 billion annually in federal assistance to states, localities and families is distributed based on census data. Yet historically, the census has missed counting disproportionate numbers of racial minorities, immigrants, young children and the poor, leading to inequality in political power and in access to public funding and private investment for these communities.
Although philanthropy cannot and should not supplant the government’s responsibility to ensure a fair and accurate census, funder engagement in support of the census is more important than ever, and now is the time to act in order to ensure adequate resources are deployed.
Here are some things you and your grantmaking organization can do:
- Review the Funder Menu of Options created by the United Philanthropy Forum and the CFI to help identify ways that funders can participate in fostering an accurate count.
- Join the Funders Census Initiative Working Group, which is hosted by the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP). As a working group member, you’ll have access to the core listserv for funders to connect on their work at the national, state and local levels. There is no cost, and you don’t need to be a FCCP member to join.
- Learn more by reading the Missouri Foundation for Health’s fact sheet on the 2020 census and the impact for Missouri.
- Participate in the Missouri Foundation for Health’s webinar on Making the 2020 Census Count for Missouri on April 3 at 10:30 am.
- Review the Counting for Dollars 2020 report produced by George Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy, which provides data on federal spending in Missouri.
Count Me In. Because Everyone Counts.