Kansas City Area Foundations Establish Fund to Support Participation in 2020 Census

August 21, 2019

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A coalition of Kansas City area public and private foundations has established a Metro Kansas City Census Equity Fund to support localized education and outreach efforts aimed at ensuring full participation in the 2020 Census.

The Census Equity Fund will support local efforts to mobilize and connect with people in traditionally hard-to-count communities as identified through regional census data. The Fund will begin to accept proposals in August 2019. Grant applications will be submitted to the Census Equity Fund managed by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

“The data collected through the census helps to determine the distribution of millions of federal dollars for health and human services, economic development, schools, housing and roads in our region,” said REACH Healthcare Foundation President and CEO Brenda Sharpe. “Our focus is on making sure that people in metro Kansas City understand that being counted in 2020 benefits all of us.”

The Census Equity Fund seeks proposals that address informational barriers and other issues that hinder participation. Priority will be given to the following strategies:

  • Educating groups and residents about the purpose and benefits of census data and its importance to families, businesses and neighborhoods;
  • Partnering with grassroots leaders to engage residents in hard-to-count areas;
  • Mobilizing populations that are at risk of being undercounted due to culture, language, age and other factors.

In the 2010 Census, experts estimate the population was
undercounted by 1%. A similar undercount in 2020 would cost the
region approximately $48 million each year.

Eligible organizations will be those working within the Greater Kansas City bi-state area that are positioned to effectively engage their particular constituents and promote census participation. Fund applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning in August and reviewed monthly starting in September. Applications will be reviewed through May 2020 based on availability of funds. Grants will range between $5,000-$10,000; larger proposals will be considered from multi-organization collaborations.

Information on the online application process and funding criteria can be found here.