Today is Census Day

A fair and accurate census that reflects our communities is absolutely vital to ensure that Californians receive access to resources and equal political representation. Census data guides the allocation of about $76 billion in federal funding for critical programs like Medicaid, SNAP, and Title I education. In addition, California’s representation in Congress depends on a complete, accurate census.

The State of California has allocated $60 million to fund community outreach, with an expected $10 million more in the next fiscal year. However, experts in the field have pegged the funding gap for community outreach in California at millions of dollars more.

Now is the time for all of us to come together. We know that the most crucial time starts today –exactly one year before Census Day. Whether you are new to the Census or have been involved for months, or even decades, we all need to do our part. Here’s how:

  1. Read this Census 2020 Funders’ Menu of Options from the Funders Census Initiative and ask us about the strategy that most interests you
  2. Fund Census outreach efforts to ensure that your community is counted
  3. Collaborate with the dozen other funders at our quarterly statewide funding table to find support and coordinate strategies [add email link]
  4. Join colleagues from across the state in Oakland on April 9 to share and learn strategies for supporting your community
  5. Join Philanthropy CA in the State Capitol May 21-22 to talk with our legislators about the Census and philanthropy’s role [add email link]

The 2020 Census will be particularly challenging for California, our country’s most populous state. California is the hardest-to-count state–in 2010, it is estimated that 1.5 million residents went uncounted. A whopping 75 percent of California residents—more than 30 million people—belong to one or more groups that are hard-to-count in the Census, including renters, young children, urban and rural low-income households, residents with limited English proficiency, immigrants and mixed status families, among others.

Consider how your grantmaking strategies lift up the communities you care most about, and the impact of an accurate census on public dollars associated with long-term sustainable change. This should energize us all to support community outreach for a successful 2020 Census.


We are confident that every Californian will have a chance to be counted because, when we come together, our community organizations, governments, and philanthropy are incredibly powerful.

Ready to get involved? Contact us at and let’s get to work.  


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