California Endowment Launches $10 Million Census Fund

California Endowment Launches $10 Million Census Fund

The California Endowment has announced the creation of a $10 million fund in support of statewide outreach and education efforts for the 2020 census.

The funding initiative, which comes as the federal government considers adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, will focus on the ten to fourteen million Californians who belong to "hard-to-count populations," including immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and lower-income families. Complementing the $90.3 million already allocated by the State of California to ensure an accurate count, the endowment's fund will support advocacy at the state and regional levels, education, and cross-sector coordination; statewide coordination of philanthropic efforts; media, communications, and message testing; planning and implementation of regional "Get Out the Count" (GOTC) strategies; technical assistance; evaluation; and rapid response funding for low-response census tracts and unforeseen issues.

Data collected through the census informs a range of local services and decisions, including the location of schools, hospitals, and housing, and helps the private sector make investment decisions about facilities, hiring, and marketing. It also influences the annual allocation of more than $800 billion in federal resources to states and localities.

"As the most populous and diverse state in the nation, California has the highest stakes of any state in the 2020 Census," said California Endowment president and CEO Robert K. Ross. "It's incredibly important we ensure every Californian is counted no matter their socioeconomic or immigration status. We thank California Governor Jerry Brown, the state legislature, and their select committees for their leadership. We recognize we have an important role to play alongside the state, philanthropy, and other partners across all public and private sectors. Only through working together will we achieve a complete and fair count."