It is difficult to overstate the importance of a complete and accurate census. The census is one of the most important elements of our democracy. A decennial census is mandated in the U.S. Constitution, and the principal use of the information collected is to apportion seats for the U.S. House of Representatives, but the data also serve many other purposes. 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.
In fact, in Indiana, federal funding distributed as a result of our population count can be as much as $1,671 per capita, or more than $11billion.
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. The Indiana Philanthropy Alliance and other regional philanthropy associations and their members are needed to advocate and educate community 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.
IPA is happy to be a part of the United Philanthropy Forum’s Census 2020 project, funded through a grant from the Joyce Foundation. Our goal is to educate/increase awareness among our members and key stakeholder groups about the census and the importance of an accurate, fair, reliable count.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of the 2020 Census, contact Becky Honeywell, IPA’s director of membership and external relations, at 317.630.5200 x. 111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FY2019 Census Budget Letter
IPA and about 150 Census Project stakeholders co-signed a letter to Congressional policymakers urging them to add more funding to the Trump administration’s FY2019 requests for the 2020 Census.
“We respectfully recommend that the committee allocate $4.735 billion for the Census Bureau in FY2019 —$933.50 million above the Administration’s request for the agency, and $912.5 million above the request of $3.015 billion for the 2020 Census,” the letter said.
Describing FY2019 as “a critical year on the path toward the decennial census” the co-signature letter said the FY2019 ramp-up must include additional funding for more partnership specialists to encourage participation by hard-to-count communities, increased advertising/communications funds, additional local census offices and questionnaire assistance centers. The Census Project letter also called for a $300 million contingency fund “in the event of IT failures or natural disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires.”
- Complete Count Committees: How to Get Involved
- National Conference of State Legislatores 2020 Census Resources and Legislation
- The Funders Census Initiative
- The Census Project
- The Census Bureau
- Indiana Census Website
Resources on the Census
- New! Let your community partners know the Census Bureau is accepting applications now.
- New! U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the Commerce Department to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census unless the Department is able to cure the legal defects.
- 2020 Census: How State Legislators Can Make a Difference, with US Census Bureau - Webinar Recording
- 700 Reasons to Care About the Census - Our American States Podcast (April 2018)
- Funders Census Initiative (FCI) Briefing Series: Census 2020 Messaging Testing Results - Webinars/Discussions for funders only. Download flyer about these briefings.
- Key 2020 Census Milestones Fact Sheet
- Census 2020 Citizenship Question - Interested members can go here to have your organization added to the sign-on letter for philanthropy-serving organizations that will be submitted as part of the Census Bureau's 60-day public comment period on the Census Citizenship question that was announced in the Federal Register on June 8.
- 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide
- Funding Advocacy Around the Census: What foundations can and cannot do
- Factsheet on Addition of Citizenship Question to 2020 Census Form
- Commonly Asked Questions About the New Census Citizenship Question
- Census 2020 Menu of Options for Funders
- Hard To Count (HTC) Areas in the US
- Counting for Dollars: Why it Matters
- Census PowerPoint
- Indiana Census Fact Sheet
- Forum Census Information
- National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Statement
- Census Policy Update: What’s in Store for 2018
- How You Can Help the 2020 Census in Your State
- Engaging Your Foundation in the 2020 Census
- Key Census Milestones
- New Fact Sheet on Census Accuracy and Undercount
- Census Private Sector Fact Sheet
- Why We Need the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
- FY2017 U.S. Census Bureau Appropriations: Why Full Funding Matters
- Supporting the Census and American Community Survey: A Toolkit for Coalition-Building
- 2010 Census Funder Toolkit
Publications and Reports
- 2020 Census: Everyone Should be Counted, But How? - LegisBrief
- What You Need to Know About the 2020 Census - LegisBrief
- The 2020 Census: It's a Big Deal (May 2018) - State Legislatures Magazine Article
- The One and Only End-to-End 2020 Census Test - Blog
- The Census is Coming and States are Preparing - Blog
- What You Need to Know About the Census - Blog
- How Legislators Can Ensure An Accurate Census - Blog
- Census Mapping Tools Help Find Where Hard-To-Count Americans Roam - Blog
- Confidentiality, The Census and Trust in the Federal Government - Blog
- Census Consensus - Blog
- Americans can weigh in on 2020 Census until Aug. 7, Cleveland Plain Dealer
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has offered shifting explanations for why citizenship question was added to the 2020 census: The Washington Post; The New York Times
- 2020 Census Faces Challenges in Rural America: New report by Dr. William (Bill) O’Hare about special challenges that will make some rural areas and populations difficult to count accurately.
- Census Uncertainty Spurs State Action to Prevent Undercounting: This article from Pew Charitable Trust highlights state and local efforts to help ensure an accurate, successful census in their communities.
- Everyone Counts: How 2020 Census Data Matter to Your Bottom Line: National Association of Counties produced a report on the use of 2020 census data, especially for local governments.
- An Accurate Count is Essential for a Strong America: Military, law enforcement and business leaders of Council for a Strong America call on Congress to act to secure adequate census funding.
- Counting Everyone in the Digital Age: Implications of Technology Use in the 2020 Decennial Census for the Count of Disadvantaged Groups: The Leadership Conference Education Fund and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI) report addresses how proposed Internet and automation technologies will affect 2020 Census enumeration for groups at risk of being undercounted. The report also includes actionable recommendations for Congress, the administration, and community leaders.
- Counting For Dollars: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds: This analysis of the geographic distribution of funds from the 16 largest Census-guided programs is designed to help stakeholders and policymakers understand the extent to which federal financial assistance is distributed on the basis of census-derived data. Fact sheets are available by program and states.
- Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multi-Ethnic America: This report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund examines the Census Bureau’s research and testing program from the perspective of civil rights stakeholders and to ensure that any revisions to the 2020 census race and ethnicity questions continue to yield data that support the advancement of fairness and equity in all facets of American life.
- 2020 Census Operational Plan: This document presents a summary of 2020 Census operational design and presents the high-level schedule of key milestones and the most critical project risks.
- Five Steps for Reducing the High Net Undercount of Young Children in the 2020 Census: by Dr. William P. O’Hare, August 2016
- Column by Dr. William (Bill) Frey, Brookings Institution, Fortune
- Don't Politicize the Crucial Census Count, Minneapolis Star Tribune
- U.S. Conference of Mayors Resolution
- Philanthropy and the 2020 Census: A Once-In-A-Decade Chance To Get It Right, Article by Vanita Gupta for National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
- Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds