A report from the New York Community Trust evaluates the three-year, $3.6 million effort by the New York State Census Equity Fund — a funder collaborative comprising thirty-seven institutional donors — to ensure a fair and full count of New Yorkers statewide for the 2020 census. Based on survey, interview, and secondary data, the report, New York State Census Equity Fund: Documentation & Evaluation Report (80 pages, PDF), assesses the impact of the fund's grantmaking, awareness-raising, and relationship-building work, as well as the feasibility and possibilities of future statewide funder collaboration. In four rounds of grantmaking between May 2019 and August 2020, the fund awarded 124 grants to 120 organizations totaling $2.8 million, keeping a modest balance on the books to support future redistricting work. According to the report, the fund played a key role in providing opportunities for funders to learn more about the census, its importance, and the issues complicating the count in 2020; engaged in advocacy efforts to support a fair and accurate count; and invested in developing and sustaining strategic partnerships, helping to foster a network of census partners across the state. The report also highlights recommendations based on lessons learned from the fund's work. They include: start planning and grantmaking early, provide funds to support the Local Update of Census Addresses, keep stakeholders informed on a regular basis about how the census impacts the state, and invest in a range of civic engagement efforts to ensure that the organizational infrastructure built for the 2020 census doesn't need to be "reactivated" in 2030.
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