The 2020 Census

With the approach of the 2020 census, philanthropists and foundations may already be anticipating how to reevaluate their giving strategies in response to the country’s changing demographics. But several groups are working to engage funders with the census itself, stressing how devastating the consequences of an inaccurate or biased census could be for political enfranchisement, government funding, private sector investment, and all forms giving. The Funders Census Initiative (FCI) 2020, an organization “committed to stimulating interest in the census among funders and their grantees” notes that at $415 billion in federal grants alone are allocated each year using census data. Historically, the census has been criticized for overlooking members of lower socio-economic groups, people of color, immigrants, and children. Many of these critics are especially concerned about how this bias will affect the 2020 census because federal funding is much lower than in the past. In response, members of the Funders Census Initiative and the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, are throwing their support behind “get-out-the-count” campaigns on both a state a national level and stepping up their efforts to engage their partner organizations.