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    Census 2010 Grants Will Bring Visibility to Hard-to-Count Populations

    Census 2010 Grants Will Bring Visibility to Hard-to-Count Populations

    The San Francisco Foundation is launching a grants program to strengthen local nonprofits in their campaigns to bring visibility to hard-to-count populations. We will be engaging in Census 2010 work by awarding grants of up to $10,000, with an additional $2,500 available for the engagement of an artist to design and produce visual art media to create visibility around the census.

    The Foundation is specifically interested in organizations that can substantially strengthen community outreach for the census in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. The Foundation’s census work is being done in conjunction with other funders in the region. Successful applicants will target hard-to-count populations in counties, cities, and neighborhoods that have been undercounted in the past. Priority will be given to organizations that have a clear strategy for their outlined work that includes education, outreach, establishing Questionnaire Assistance Centers, etc.

    Community-based organizations are in a unique position to create images and messages on the census that would resonate with hard-to-count populations. The additional fund of $2,500 will be used to designate an artist of the organization’s choice who can capture the identity and attention of the targeted population for the census work. The Foundation sees visual images as powerful tools to engage hard-to-reach populations in civic activity. Organizations receiving the additional arts funding will produce posters, flyers, and other publicity materials with images and language that target a specific hard-to-count population or area.

    The Foundation’s goal is not solely to grant to organizations doing census work but also to encourage those organizations to work with the Census Bureau, to access their resources, and to network and coordinate efforts with each other in order to work more effectively and efficiently. As part of the grants program, awarded organizations will receive non-grant assistance. Recipients of the grants will be required to attend three grantee meetings where strategies and models will be shared and connections to resources and organizations facilitated. The first meeting will be on November 3, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Times and dates for the two additional meetings will be included in the award letter. 

    Grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000, with an additional amount of $2,500 available for visual media campaign. Applications are due September 25, 2009. Decisions will be made in November 2009. Funds will be disbursed shortly afterward. The grant period for the Census 2010 Grants Program will be from November 1, 2009, to July 1, 2010.

    How to Apply

    Applications are due September 25, 2009. Organizations interested in applying for grants to do Census 2010 work should go to https://granteecenter.sff.org.  If you have any questions, please contact Navin Moul at nxm@sff.org or 415.733.8527.


    Every year, more than $300 billion in federal funds are awarded to states and communities based on census data. Census data guides local decision-makers in important community planning efforts including where to build roads, hospitals, and schools. It determines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the redistricting of state legislatures, county and city councils, and voting districts. The importance of a complete and accurate count for the 2010 Census cannot be overstated. Historically, certain populations have been undercounted, including immigrants (both documented and undocumented), people of color, the homeless, formerly incarcerated individuals, and multiple-family, limited English-speaking, and low-income households.

    The Census Bureau has identified 50 of the hardest-to-count counties in the nation. Ten of these counties are in California. Although the two counties in the Bay Area identified as hard-to-count are San Francisco and Alameda, The San Francisco Foundation recognizes that there are hard-to-count populations in all of the five counties we serve.

    Because state resources have been significantly reduced for the 2010 Census work, it is more important than ever to engage community-based and faith-based organizations in an effort to ensure a complete count. For each person not counted, $11,449.80 in federal funding over the next ten years will be lost to much needed programs.

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