Atlanta Census 2020 kickoff engages broad community partners
By Clare S. Richie, public policy specialist, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Census 2020 is now less than one year away, and the City of Atlanta has already kicked off its efforts. On April 1, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms hosted a community rally at City Hall to announce ATL Counts Census 2020, an effort that aims to ensure an accurate count during the census. Congressman John Lewis will serve as Co-Chair of ATL Counts with Mayor Bottoms and help lead a diverse group of corporate and civic partners who have been identified to serve on the Atlanta Complete Count Committee.
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is proud to be part of the Complete Count Committee. The Foundation plays three roles in this effort:
- We’re a grantmaker
- We’re a connector and convener
- And we’re an advocate.
The Community Foundation is dedicating a portion of our grant funding this year specifically to help build capacity for nonprofits leading efforts for education and outreach among historically hard-to-count populations to gear up for the 2020 Census. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 over a 12-month period are available. More details are available on our website, grant applications are due April 24 at noon.
As a connector, we are especially pleased to be part of the Complete Count Committee to help facilitate the connections that this effort requires. Our work connects us to other funders, nonprofits, businesses and civic institutions. Representation from each of those sectors is critical. We’re closely watching what other community foundations across the U.S. are doing to rally support and participation for the Census, and we’re sharing our own best practices.
And we’re an advocate. We exist to strengthen the region’s capacity to address critical community needs. We inspire philanthropy that increases the vitality of our region and well-being for all residents. Our work depends on all residents being counted so that we can effectively fulfill our mission.
If we don’t get an accurate count and our federal funding drops as a result, there will be a bigger burden on nonprofits to provide programs to fill in the gaps. In turn, that will add to the burden of the philanthropic sector to fill in the funding gaps.
With less than a year to go before Census 2020 starts, there is much more work to do to get the word out and ensure an accurate count. We’ll continue to share our ideas for how you can be a partner in this effort.